Delivered by Ambassador Mohamed Abushahab, Deputy Permanent Representative and Chargé d’Affaires, a.i.
At the outset, I would like to congratulate China for assuming the Presidency of the Security Council this month and to thank Brazil for its able stewardship during its Presidency last month. I would also like to thank Ambassador Bankole Adoeye, the African Union’s Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace, and Security, Ms. Cristina Duarte, the Special Advisor on Africa, and Ambassador Muhammad Abdul Muhith, the Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission, for their comprehensive briefings.
The UAE commends China for dedicating its first signature meeting to this vital topic. The focus on capacity building for sustaining peace in Africa requires us to actively engage with African perspectives, practices, and voices. Since its founding, the UAE has steadily expanded its relationships with partners across the continent. Today, our partnerships have flourished into dynamic cooperation in critical fields such as renewable energy, food security, counterterrorism, and public health. These ties are built on a rich connection between our two regions, as exemplified by the welcome an ancient African state extended to the first Muslims from the Arabian Peninsula, who came seeking safety from persecution. Against this historical backdrop, we strongly believe that discussions like ours today can and must be enriched by centering African experiences. With that in mind, the UAE would like to share three key points.
First, one of the most consistent conclusions that can be drawn from over 75 years of this Council’s work on peace and security, is that local contexts must shape all efforts to sustain peace. This truth is repeatedly affirmed by experience in Africa, the Middle East, and beyond. For instance, the “restorative justice” approach at the heart of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission reflected the “ubuntu” tradition – with its emphasis on community, empathy, and cooperation. The AU’s Panel of the Wise is rooted in the customary institution of a Council of Elders that has been central to resolving conflict and keeping the peace throughout history. African solutions for African challenges must begin with engaging the continent’s repertoire of conflict resolution and peacebuilding practices.
Second, while our immediate focus is on challenges in the continent, we must remember how often their origins, and implications, extend beyond its borders. Equally, this Council must recognize that African solutions, not just challenges, have global dimensions. Global Peacebuilding approaches which incorporate communal dialogue, women’s networks, and reconciliation, borrow extensively from African practices. Therefore, supporting capacity building to sustain peace in Africa is not charity: it is both a moral imperative, made more urgent by our complex and growing interconnectedness, and a strategic investment that directly benefits the entire world.
Finally, sustainable peace necessarily implies sustainable development. Multidimensional crises in different African settings risk reversing the hard-won progress on the Sustainable Development Goals and the AU’s Agenda 2063, which could in turn exacerbate security challenges and existing vulnerabilities. The pandemic, the food security crisis, and commodity price increases have placed public sectors and economies under immense strain. Protecting and ensuring access to basic goods and services and stabilizing food and energy prices must be central to any effort to sustain peace. It is crucial that the approach of the international community, including the Security Council, incorporate those dynamics – especially in light of rising global tensions.
In conclusion, Mr. President, to sustain peace in Africa, the UAE firmly believes in the importance of supporting all capacity building efforts that are grounded in the continent’s local, national, and regional perspectives.
Thank you, Mr. President.