Delivered By: His Excellency Sheikh Shakhboot Nahyan Al Nahyan, Minister of State
Thank you, Mr. President.
I want to take this opportunity to praise Mozambique for a successful Council presidency.
We welcome the opportunity to exchange on preventing and resolving conflicts in Africa. Mozambique’s historical journey to peace and progress remains an inspiration to us all.
I also want to thank our briefers for their insightful statements today.
Over the past years, this Council has discussed the ‘Silencing the Guns’ agenda several times.
There is clearly a need to take stock of where the agenda is today.
The idea that turmoil in one region of the world will not spread to another is an illusion.
Not only is it in our collective interest to see the success of this initiative, but also, it is our moral imperative to enable peace under international law any way that we can.
Peace is not a preserve of African governments alone. Meetings such as this one are an opportunity to learn from one another. As such, I would like to make the following three points:
First, we should fully leverage the continent’s toolkit of conflict resolution and peacebuilding practices.
Over the last two decades, the African Union and subregional organisations have crafted conflict resolution toolkits that centre African views.
The recent diplomatic initiative led by the African Union in Ethiopia is one such commendable story. So too is the deployment of the Panel of the Wise and FemWise.
The role of the international community in this endeavour cannot be understated. And though each conflict is unique, this Council has the responsibility to encourage African mediation efforts and leverage them whenever possible.
The Council can advance this in very concrete ways: by engaging more systematically with regional and subregional mediators as envisaged under Chapter VIII of the UN Charter, and by giving peace efforts the time and space required to bear fruit.
Second, ‘Silencing the Guns’ is about more than conflict resolution. It demands a focus on the root causes, a determination to fight extreme ideologies, and a continued consolidation of development gains.
The Sustainable Development Goals and the African Union’s Agenda 2063 are guiding frameworks. They set out goals that seek to inform and complement national priorities. Ultimately, they enable governments and individuals to lay the foundation for more prosperous, peaceful societies. This includes women and girls. We know that when women participate actively in the economy, they are more resilient to violence and other threats.
Deepening partnerships between regional organisations and local women leaders can promote their roles in conflict resolution and peacebuilding.
Beyond local and national efforts, the international community can lend their support in a number of ways by ensuring that development programs mitigate those economic and climate vulnerabilities and by promoting grassroots peacebuilding initiatives.
Third, and finally, we must stay ahead of emerging and increasingly complex threats.
The rise of extremism and the misuse of technological progress are distinct threats. And yet, if merged, they magnify challenges to peace and security.
Complex threats demand equally complex responses, ones that necessitate a level of investment that is often far beyond the available means.
Anticipatory, coordinated action among states—supported by the international community—is key. Let me give an example. Foreign Direct Investment to African countries achieved a record $83 billion in 2021. And yet, this is only 5.2% of global FDI.
We cannot expect peace if we don’t invest in it. Sustainable development and peacebuilding go hand in hand. Supporting those efforts is much more cost-effective than paying the price of instability and conflict.
Silencing the Guns continues to be one of the best, most comprehensive representations of African visions on building and sustaining peace. It demonstrates that local and regional perspectives and practices are paramount for effective conflict prevention and resolution.
And, it is the duty of the international community to support African countries, communities, and citizens on their path to peace and prosperity.
I thank you.