Delivered By: Her Excellency Lana Nusseibeh, Ambassador and Permanent Representative
I wish to begin by thanking our briefers today for their very comprehensive updates on the developments in Sudan, and I welcome the participation of the ambassador of Sudan in this meeting.
The UAE welcomes the short-term ceasefire and humanitarian arrangement agreed and signed in Jeddah over the weekend. The agreement reinforces the Jeddah Declaration of 11 May and forms part of a step-by-step approach agreed by the parties. We thank the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States for their extensive efforts in facilitating these important developments. We urge subsequent talks to improve the security and humanitarian conditions for civilians on the ground, leading to the necessary political solution to this crisis, and in the meantime, we stress that the details of the recent agreement must be fully implemented.
The work of the United Nations on the ground and of diplomatic missions has been exceptional in extremely challenging circumstances. We strongly condemn the vandalisation of diplomatic premises, including the latest incidents at the Embassies of Kuwait, Jordan, and Qatar. Diplomatic premises must be protected in accordance with international law, including the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
Since the beginning of the fighting, the UAE has sent nine planes to Sudan, evacuating almost one thousand people. We continue to host and care for nationals from 26 different countries. We are also supporting neighbouring countries who have taken in refugees. The UAE dispatched 229 tons of aid to Chad to support displaced Sudanese and the Chadian government’s humanitarian response, and we encourage all who can to support those who have been displaced.
There still remains much work to be done.
The seven-day ceasefire and humanitarian arrangement signed over the weekend builds on the Jeddah Declaration, where parties agreed to facilitate the safe passage of aid workers and the distribution of humanitarian supplies. They also agreed to the unimpeded flow of goods, to restore essential services, and to withdraw forces from hospitals and essential public facilities. We hope they will be able to make good on these commitments. The UAE would support the Security Council’s endorsement of the Jeddah Declaration and the short-term ceasefire and humanitarian arrangements.
Together, the Declaration and the short-term ceasefire must be built upon within a wider format, including partner countries, to promote confidence among the parties.
From what Filippo Grandi told the Council last week as well as recent data from UNHCR, we know the numbers of refugees are increasing. More than 200,000 refugees have now crossed over into neighbouring countries. This is accelerating a humanitarian crisis for the region at a time when neighbouring countries are themselves under great strain. In spite of this, we commend those neighbouring governments who have allowed people to seek refuge.
The millions who remain in Khartoum and other areas of Sudan face unacceptable danger and are struggling to meet their basic needs.
Fuel shortages mean hospitals do not have consistent power. The ongoing fighting makes it difficult to replenish dwindling food supplies, leading to reported food shortages in many areas.
The alarm bells continue to ring for all of us.
Tragically, the lives of many children have also been upended or cut short by the fighting. According to UNICEF, 190 children were killed during the first 11 days of the fighting alone, with another 1,700 injured. Most worryingly, these numbers are underreported. Children are entitled to exceptional protections under international humanitarian law and this Council has called for special measures to be taken to protect children, including in Resolution 2601.
We commend the courageous efforts of the Sudanese frontline responders providing emergency services and we reiterate our call for all actors to abide by their commitments. Measures such as flights between Port Sudan and Addis are pivotal for the welfare of civilians. But they are simply a stopgap for the permanent ceasefire that we want to see in place to ensure the continuity of relief services.
The only sustainable end to this situation is through a political track, and this must include a broad array of civil and political actors, including women. The UAE will continue to work with all key partners to support coordinated mediation efforts at all levels. The United Nations, the African Union, IGAD, the OIC, and the League of Arab States have been committed to supporting Sudan on its path to peace.
The solution does lie in a broad regional approach with a strong international backbone.
The UAE believes that the continued engagement of the United Nations through UNITAMS is critical, and we support the renewal of its mandate. We also support the work of the many UN agencies operating on the ground.
The international community must remain resolute in its commitment to safeguarding the future of the Sudanese people. Only by calling for a return to the political track will this violence be brought to a swift and sustainable end.
Thank you, Madam President.