Delivered by: Ms. Ghasaq Shaheen, Political Coordinator
Check against delivery
I thank the Special Representative, Mr. Abdou Abbary, for his first briefing to the Council since assuming his functions. I also thank the President of the Commission of the ECCAS, Mr. Gilberto Verissimo, for his valuable briefing.
There is a need for diligent work to address the many challenges that Central Africa continues to face, as well as their root causes. Foremost of these challenges is the problem of insecurity, which is being intensified by transnational organized crime and the spread of extremism and terrorism, in addition to the deteriorating humanitarian situation exacerbated by climate change and its repercussions.
To respond to this complex situation, a comprehensive approach must be devised to enhance cooperation and coordination at all levels, especially between neighboring countries, as well as between them, the United Nations, and regional and sub-regional partners. These stakeholders play an inestimable role in finding practical and effective solutions, as they have the expertise and tools fit for this task.
Such joint action is needed to address the complex challenges in the region. While multilateral efforts have helped reduce piracy incidents in the Gulf of Guinea, there are still many issues still requiring attention, including the threats posed by terrorist and armed groups to regional security and stability, as we continue to witness from the attacks by the Boko Haram terrorist group in Lake Chad region. We believe that the joint meetings between the special envoys and the concerned stakeholders in the region, such as the one held in Nairobi last October to discuss the threats of terrorism and extremism in the Great Lakes region, are all important examples of ways in which cooperation between regional organizations and the United Nations can be strengthened to support local efforts and build the capacities of states. We look forward to the upcoming maritime summit earlier next year, as mentioned by the Special Representative.
Moreover, in view of the political developments in the countries of the region, whether related to elections or political processes, we cannot fail to emphasize the importance of enhancing of women participation and youth empowerment, given the vital role they play in building stable and prosperous societies. We underscore that achieving sustainable stability in Central Africa requires continuous focus on preventive diplomacy and inclusive political dialogue, conflict prevention measures and tackling conflicts peacefully, as well as promoting social cohesion.
The humanitarian situation in the region also requires a great deal of attention: we note for example that UNHCR is concerned about the situation of about thirteen million people in the region, more than seven and a half million of whom are internally displaced and more than half of them are in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo alone – all of them in need of urgent humanitarian relief. Additionally, we note the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the north-western and south-western regions of Cameroon and stress the need to provide humanitarian assistance and to allow unhindered access to those in need, as well as to provide protection for humanitarian workers.
We must also pay attention to climate change on security and the humanitarian situation in the region. Heavy rains, floods, and desertification continue to impact the population and cause damage to their properties, in addition to increasing tensions and conflicts. It is therefore important to foster the communities’ resilience to climate change, including in the Lake Chad Basin and the Congo Basin. This requires investing more time and resources to develop effective and sustainable solutions to the challenges associated with climate change. We commend UNOCA for supporting African actors and others who continue to expand their knowledge of the links between climate change and peace and security in the region.
In conclusion, Madam President, the UAE reiterates its support to the countries of the region, international and regional organizations and other stakeholders who are working tirelessly to ensure peace, stability and prosperity for the people of Central Africa.