Delivered by: His Excellency Khalifa Shaheen Al Marar, Minister of State
I would like to begin by thanking His Excellency Mr. Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Secretary General of the League of Arab States, for his briefing and his significant role in promoting cooperation between the League and other regional and international organizations, most notably the United Nations.
I also thank United Nations Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo for her valuable briefing and welcome the report issued by the Secretary-General in line with the presidential statement adopted by this Council during the UAE’s previous presidency in March 2022.
I also wish to thank Dr. Omnia El Omrani for her insightful presentation, which highlighted the aspirations of Arab youth – a topic of great importance to the UAE.
Distinguished Council colleagues,
In light of today’s briefings and the growing cooperation between the two organizations, I would like to focus my statement on several areas that require an increase in efforts between the United Nations and the League of Arab States in the coming period. Since this Council last convened on this topic, the Arab region has witnessed a rise in diplomatic and political activities aimed at overcoming conflict, settling differences, and embarking on a new era of stability and prosperity.
Today, Arab countries are moving towards greater unity and integration throughout the region, while also strengthening cooperation with partners in the East and West. There have also been valiant efforts made towards improving relations with neighboring states in the region, as well as dedicated and ongoing mediation efforts by Arab countries across conflicts in Palestine, Yemen, Sudan, and Libya. In this context, we express our appreciation for the efforts led by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and supported by the United States, to facilitate talks between the Sudanese parties. Moreover, the reinstatement of Syria in the League of Arab States has opened an avenue for strengthening the Arab role in resolving the Syrian crisis, while also complementing the UN’s role.
In light of these advancements, we anticipate that the United Nations, particularly the Security Council, will persist in supporting and encouraging these Arab initiatives and endeavors to construct a robust and balanced regional order that achieves stability and lays a solid foundation for comprehensive development in the region. These rapid and positive changes could potentially pave the way for significant breakthroughs in a number of conflicts through encouraging practical and realistic solutions.
Therefore, we call for strengthening the institutional relationship between the United Nations and the League of Arab States in order to confront these shared challenges. This includes enhancing the Liaison Office’s work, which plays an important role in this domain. We also applaud the existing collaboration on the Sudan and Libya files between the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, and we encourage expanding upon this cooperation to encompass other regional matters.
It is also critical for the two organizations to strengthen their cooperation across counter- terrorism efforts. In this regard, we welcome the new implementation plan for the Arab Counter-Terrorism Strategy, which aligns with the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. We also welcome the exchange of visits and information between the specialized agencies in the two organizations, and we call for continuing these efforts.
The Security Council’s mandate on conflict prevention requires us to champion the values of tolerance and human fraternity and address the drivers of conflict, including hate speech, racism, intolerance and extremism. We will delve further into this topic next week when the Council holds a high-level briefing on human fraternity for the first time, which will illustrate the role that these values play in achieving global peace.
It is also important to continue supporting efforts to empower and protect women and girls across the Arab region and across all fields. Women are active contributors to the region’s development, and the UAE has supported several initiatives aimed at ensuring their empowerment and protection – both at the regional and international level. For instance, last December, the UAE hosted the official launch of the Arab Declaration to Combat All Forms of Violence against Women and Girls. We also continue our efforts at the national level to empower women, who now occupy leading roles across variety of different sectors.
Considering that half of the Arab region’s population is under the age of 25, the UAE has supported the establishment of the Arab Youth Center. The Center aims to foster the capabilities of Arab youth, promote innovation and creativity, and in turn nurture a new generation of young Arab leaders. In this context, we welcome the development of an Arab regional strategy on youth, peace, and security.
The growing number of urgent humanitarian crises underscores the pressing need for expanding regional and international cooperation and coordination as well as enhancing efficiency and effectiveness in aid provision. This approach will help overcome challenges that arise from inadequate coordination in humanitarian response, and it will draw on past experiences, such as the recent earthquake that impacted Syria and Turkey.
Arab perspectives are crucial not only when dealing with Arab crises but also when confronting common global challenges, including the adverse impacts of climate change. Climate change has become an existential threat to our world today, including our region, which is grappling with severe droughts. This reality has invigorated the commitment of Arab countries to actively participate in international efforts to combat climate change. As my country prepares to host COP28, we look forward to deepening collaboration with all our partners to make tangible strides towards ambitious climate action, including through a holistic approach that focuses on practical solutions and builds on the work done at COP27 in Egypt.
In conclusion, I would like to emphasize the UAE’s commitment to maintaining an active role throughout its Council membership and beyond, in order to support the Council’s work in reaching decisions capable of contributing to resolving outstanding issues. The positive results from the efforts of the League of Arab States and the United Nations in recent years are a testament to the ability to make tangible progress through collaborative efforts. Even so, we must redouble our efforts to promote peace and stability, support development, and foster economic integration in the Arab region and beyond.