Delivered by H.E. Mohamed Abushahab, Deputy Permanent Representative
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At the outset, I would like to congratulate Brazil for assuming the presidency this month and we also congratulate Albania for concluding its presidency last month.
I thank the Special Representative, Mr. Annadif, for his informative briefing and his efforts in leading the vital work of UNOWAS. We also thank Ambassador Rabab Fatima for her briefing and take this opportunity to express our appreciation for her efforts as chair of the Peacebuilding Commission. We wish her success in her new role at the UN. We also listened carefully to the briefing of Ms. Magagi.
At the outset, I would like to express the UAE’s deepest condolences to the Republic of Egypt and to the families of the Egyptian peacekeepers who have fallen victim to the most recent terrorist attack in Mali, as well as to all the victims of terrorist attacks in the region. The UAE condemns, in the strongest terms, all attacks against civilians and peacekeepers.
I would like to highlight the encouraging improvements in the regional maritime security situation since our last meeting on UNOWAS. These include the inauguration of the West Africa Regional Maritime Safety Centre and increased overall cooperation among the countries in the West Africa and the Sahel. Additionally, the Council’s unanimous adoption of resolution 2634 on maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea sent a strong message about the international community’s commitment to supporting the region’s efforts in this area.
The alarming increase in cross-border threats posed by terrorist groups is yet another security challenge that requires this Council’s special attention, considering that these groups continue to expand their operations across the region. In this regard, the international community must spare no effort to dismantle these terrorist networks, ensuring to follow a comprehensive approach that focuses on addressing the root causes of extremism and terrorism and building community resilience. Moreover, it is essential to ensure synergy between international and regional counter-terrorism frameworks as well as regional-ownership of these initiatives. We note here the importance of local initiatives, including Burkina Faso and Niger’s efforts to incorporate local dialogue and reintegration initiatives into their counter-terrorism strategies.
With regards to political developments, the UAE continues to emphasize the importance of national dialogue to address existing challenges and establish institutions that reflect the aspirations of the peoples of the countries concerned. In this regard, we stress that it is essential for political processes to be inclusive and ensure the full, equal, and meaningful participation of women in leadership and decision-making roles.
Further, responding effectively to challenges with regional implications requires strengthening cooperation, solidarity, and dialogue at the regional level. We stress the crucial role of ECOWAS in working with the countries in West Africa and the Sahel as they forge solutions to address the challenges they face, and in this regard, we note the convening of the 3 July Summit in Accra, which issued decisions that responded to developments in the region.
We also express our deep concern for the deteriorating humanitarian situation, which is compounded by climate shocks and increased conflicts across the region. We emphasize the importance of responding to these complex challenges. This includes the need for the Council members to work together to address the interlinkages between climate change and security in West Africa and the Sahel. In this regard, the UAE commends UNOWAS for its efforts in conducting climate security assessments throughout the region and encourages further initiatives in this area.
In conclusion, we reiterate the UAE’s support for UNOWAS and commend their continued cooperation with regional bodies, including ECOWAS and the African Union, which remains pivotal to addressing the challenges facing the region.
Thank you, Mr. President