Delivered By: Her Excellency Lana Nusseibeh, Ambassador and Permanent Representative
I’d like to first of all thank SRSG Abarry, Ambassador Vérissimo, and Ms. Tamoifo for their insightful briefings today.
I wish to also support the remarks made by Gabon on behalf of the A3 and build on the views expressed in that statement.
It’s clear that UNOCA continues to pave the way for the UN and regional partners to better support the countries in the Central Africa region. In particular, through preventive diplomacy and mediation efforts that are essential for fostering peace, security, and prosperity.
In this respect, I’d like to emphasize three points today.
First, UNOCA should continue its support to the ongoing political and peace processes in the Central Africa region.
We see the true value in ensuring that these processes are inclusive, allowing the meaningful participation of women and the engagement of youth.
On this point, I join the Secretary-General in welcoming the recent appointment of women to key political positions in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, as well as the adoption of a National Action Plan on the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 in Chad, and other similar efforts in the region.
We’re also encouraged by efforts to incorporate gender analysis in the reporting of UNOCA’s activities.
Second, stakeholders at all levels must work together effectively to enhance cooperation and coordination on border management.
This region faces challenges that are mostly transnational in nature, and so too must the solutions be. Local-level cross-border fora between Chad and Cameroon, bilateral joint commissions, and regional initiatives help stakeholders in the region better align their priorities when it comes to managing borders.
This is greatly needed, in particular to tackle the issue of terrorism and the activities of armed groups. We know, for example, that adequate border management can curtail the flow of arms and the illicit trade of natural resources.
As such, we are also deeply concerned about the resurgence of Boko Haram attacks in the Lake Chad Basin. We reiterate the urgency in tackling the immediate threats posed by terrorist groups while addressing the underlying causes of violence and extremism.
Third, as other colleagues have mentioned, climate change, peace and security in the region must be prioritized.
The rainy season has begun in the region, and like every year, we are seeing increasingly erratic rainfall and its consequences.
Heavy flooding across the DRC, Cameroon, and Rwanda have caused the loss of hundreds of lives, destroyed thousands of homes, increased the numbers of refugees and displaced people, and damaged critical infrastructure and agricultural plantations.
Southern Angola faces the worst drought in 40 years, with 1.58 million people facing acute food insecurity according to the World Food Programme. It is well documented now that climate change is exacerbating the tensions amongst communities, especially between herders and farmers across the region, and these issues cannot be ignored.
We are encouraged by the efforts undertaken in the region, including through UNOCA’s work, to both mitigate and adapt to the ramifications of this changing climate. Such initiatives are crucial for protecting both eco-systems and livelihoods, but more needs to be done.
To this end, together with Mozambique and Switzerland, we hosted an informal briefing of the Informal Expert Group on Climate and Security last Friday, to highlight the link between climate and security. And at COP28, which will be hosted in Dubai in November, we will have an opportunity to address the links between climate change, peace, and security across the globe.
To conclude, the UAE reiterates its support for UNOCA’s work in favor of the countries of the Central Africa region and their people. Thank you.