Delivered by: Ghasaq Shaheen, Political Coordinator

Mr. President,

At the outset, I thank Special Representative Abdou Abarry for his comprehensive briefing.

I would also like to reiterate the UAE’s support for UNOCA. We appreciate the Office’s critical role of coordinating with regional and subregional organizations as countries of the region seek to address the challenges that undermine peace and security. These efforts contribute to building a stable and prosperous future for the people in the region.

In the context of today’s debate, I would like to highlight three points:

First, addressing the region’s security challenges requires a multi-track and coherent approach. This includes strengthening regional coordination and cooperation to address cross-border threats such as extremism, terrorism, and illegal trade of weapons. In the meantime, it is important to build national capacity and strengthen community resilience. We believe that the recent successful demobilization of armed groups with the participation of regional actors reflects the importance of multilateral action to enhance security and stability in the region. The coordinated security response between the Central African Republic and Chad to avoid spill-over from conflicts in the region is another example on the importance of regional cooperation.

It is also necessary to focus on combating extremism and terrorism in the region and addressing the root causes of conflicts. Promoting the values of tolerance and peaceful coexistence is equally important to build peaceful societies. We therefore look forward to the next ministerial meeting in Bangui to discuss the regional strategy to preventing and combatting hate speech in Central Africa.

In this context, the UAE underscores the importance of implementing resolution 2686, which requests the UN system to monitor and report on hate speech and extremism. We also stress the importance of continued regional initiatives to support communities affected by violence, such as the. These include the Regional Strategy for Stabilisation, Recovery and Resilience in the Lake Chad Basin region.

Second, inclusive political solutions must remain the compass that guides transitions and peace processes across the region. These efforts are critical to building resilient institutions with the participation of all actors, including women and youth. It is therefore important to focus on constructive dialogue to build trust and overcome obstacles. UNOCA and ECCAS must also continue their efforts to support the success of political processes in the region. In this regard, we commend the recent positive steps towards reconciliation in Chad and Gabon.

Thirdly, we must continue to work to enhance our understanding of the links between climate change and instability in the region. Extreme weather events escalate tensions between communities and exacerbate the already dire humanitarian situation.

 In this context, we look forward to the adoption of the ECCAS Strategy on Climate Change and Resilient Development, which aims to help communities adapt to climate change. We believe that the participation of the UNOCA Climate Security Advisor in the twenty-eighth session of the United Nations Climate Change Conference, held in the UAE last week, contributed to highlighting the challenges that the region faces due to this phenomenon and its impact on security and stability.

In gathering information and assessing the risks associated with climate change, it is important to factor in conflict-sensitive aspects in order to strengthen preventive approaches including early-warning systems.

Finally, the UAE reaffirms its commitment to continue working with all partners and UNOCA to achieve peace and stability throughout the region.

Thank you, Mr. President.