Delivered by: Mrs. Ameirah AlHefeiti, Deputy Permanent Representative
I would like to thank Ms. Rugwabiza for her valuable and detailed briefing. We also welcome the participation of Her Excellency Sylvie Valérie Baipo Temon, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Central African Republic, as well as the representative of the Republic of Rwanda to this meeting.
The Central African Republic is experiencing several important developments that require the Council’s sustained attention. At a time when the country is preparing to hold local elections, it is constantly facing armed attacks, experiencing damage caused by floods, and worsening humanitarian and economic conditions. In the context of the upcoming discussions on the renewal of MINUSCA’s mandate, which remains critical to CAR’s security, we believe it is important to take these developments into account and for the Council to send a clear message to the people of CAR that we stand by them and support them in their plight and in their quest for stability.
We all agree that the primary goal is to protect innocent civilians. Accordingly, we regret the continued activities of armed groups that target civilians and disproportionately affect women and children. Armed groups also seek to spread hate speech among communities, which in turn fuels intercommunal violence – especially in rural areas.
As such, it is important to work towards de-escalation and address these challenges in a sustainable manner, through a ceasefire and continued dialogue between the Government and armed groups. We are aware this is not an easy endeavor, but it remains essential. Further, in building on the gains made so far in the area of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration also remain key to help prevent the re-recruitment of ex-combatants. We continue to appreciate the good offices of MINUSCA in supporting the efforts made in this regard.
In view of the Presidential endorsement of the new national security policy and the draft national security sector reform strategy, we hope that this step will contribute to strengthening the country’s security capabilities. We emphasize the importance of strengthening regional and international support for CAR, especially in building its institutions and extending State authority throughout the country.
On the political front, and as the stakeholders aim to reach a working consensus over the necessary political and security arrangements, it is important that this endeavor remains nationally-led and owned, especially as the country prepares for local elections. We reaffirm that the commitment to revitalize the Political Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation through the Luanda Road Map remains a basis for the political process to progress. This also requires continued regional and international support to the country in its quest for security and stability. We must also emphasize here the need to ensure the full, equal, and meaningful participation of women in these efforts. Needless to say, this requires providing protection for women in order to enable them to play their role in various areas.
Finally, Mr. President, we appreciate the efforts of the peacekeeping forces and their courage in the face of danger. The UAE regrets the continued targeting of peacekeepers and humanitarian actors, which we – along everyone in this Council – continue to condemn. Addressing these attacks requires taking measures to protect peacekeepers and humanitarian workers so that they can carry their vital role, especially in terms of the delivery of humanitarian assistance to those in need. We reaffirm our support for the tireless efforts of the Special Representative and the work she is doing with her team in support of the Central African Republic.
Thank you, Mr. President.