Delivered by: Ms. Ghasaq Shaheen, Political Coordinator
Please check against delivery
I thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Ms. Valentine Rugwabiza, for her first briefing to the Council since taking up her post, and we affirm the UAE’s support for her mandate and for MINUSCA’s work in Central African Republic. We also listened to Ms. Ekomo Lina’s briefing. We welcome the participation of the representative of Central African Republic at this meeting.
Despite the continuing difficult circumstances and challenges in the Central African Republic, it has recently witnessed some developments that we hope will pave the way for peace and stability in the country.
At the political level, the strategic review of the Political Process meeting, held on June 4th in Bangui under the auspices of His Excellency President Faustin Touadera, is an important step towards revitalizing the 2019 political agreement through the Luanda Road Map. We appreciate continued cooperation with the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and other relevant regional and international actors in order to achieve these goals and commend the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for engaging with all the stakeholders to help move the political process forward. We take note of the recommendations of the republican dialogue. We emphasize the importance of ensuring inclusiveness in all peacemaking efforts, including through meaningful participation of women, and here we appreciate President Touadera’s recent appointment of five women out of the 12 members of the electoral advisory framework.
With regards to the alarming security situation, increasingly exacerbated by the continuing activities of armed groups, we stress that a full commitment to the ceasefire agreement and a political solution remain key pillars of the stabilization of the country. However, in the face of increased threats to communities across the country, it is essential that the protection of civilians remain front and center of both political and security considerations. This is even more salient in the context of protecting women and children against sexual violence, which, as the most recent UN report on conflict-related sexual violence shows, is a serious protection concern in CAR. In specific relation to the protection of children, we welcome the signing of national action plan focusing on combating child trafficking last April.
On this same point, I would like to highlight our concerns about the ever-continuing threat posed by explosive ordnance, both for civilians and peacekeepers. In this regard, we commend how MINUSCA has collaborated with United Nations Mine Action Department (UNMAS) to respond to this challenge, including by training and deploying of specialized units, as well as raising awareness on the safe disposal of explosive ordnance. The UAE further underlines the serious security risks posed by misinformation and disinformation, and in this regard, we highlight MINUSCA’s efforts in implementing a strategy to address these challenges. We continue to support MINUSCA’s efforts to help stabilize Central African Republic – we would like to express our deepest condolences to the Kingdom of Morocco and to the families of the two peacekeepers who have recently passed away in line of duty.
It is also necessary to pay attention to the continuing deterioration of humanitarian and economic conditions, strained by high commodity prices. According to the World Food Program, 3 million people in Central African Republic require humanitarian assistance and almost half of the country’s population are food insecure. The situation is even more exacerbated by the fact that the country is still dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic as well as other public health challenges. We underline the need for continued efforts to protect humanitarian workers and we commend the efforts of the Covid-19 Vaccine Global Access Initiative (COVAX), for facilitating vaccine access in CAR.
Finally, we stress the importance of the international community continued support for the Central African Republic and indeed, the entire region.
Thank you, Madam President.