Delivered by: Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation
At the outset, I would like to thank you for organizing this important meeting. I would like to also thank His Excellency, the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Antonio Guterres, and His Excellency, Mr. Karim Khan, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, for their valuable briefings.
The outbreak of the war in Ukraine clearly generated different reactions across the international community.
For some, it warned of a paralyzed multilateral system; for others, concern over the rise of bygone existential threats; and finally, there are those for whom the war presaged a return of historical polarization with all its portents for the world.
Those differences were further illustrated by a divergence in States’ responses to this war – as this Council and Organization have heard, repeatedly.
Yet, those disparities existed alongside a unified expression of fidelity to international law and a need to respect it – a recognition of its function to separate a civilized international order from its antithesis.
International law, as the UN Charter articulates, regulates the conduct and practice of States according to the principles of sovereignty, independence, good-neighborliness, and territorial integrity – reinforcing, in the process, the security and prosperity of States, regardless of their size or might.
The UAE will not deviate from its unequivocal call, and its unwavering appeal, for all parties to this war to abide by international law – specifically international humanitarian law – to respect its limits, and to implement its provisions. In this context, the reports of daily violations are a cause for grave concern, especially regarding the war’s repercussions on civilians.
We also emphasize here the situation of women and children, especially those forced into displacement, who are consistently reported to suffer from sexual violence and exploitation, including by organized crime and human trafficking networks.
All of us are aware of the disproportionate severity and violence that war and conflict inflict upon women and girls.
Therefore, we welcome all ongoing efforts, including by UN agencies, to respond to the humanitarian situation while taking into account the unique impacts of the war on women and girls.
While the immediate imperative is a cessation of hostilities, peace remains our ultimate goal – and its sustainability requires comprehensive reconciliation predicated on accountability and justice for the war’s victims.
We also reiterate that the full, equal, and meaningful participation of women in conflict resolution and peacebuilding is crucial – not only to reflect their distinct experience of war, but also their centrality to building peace.
The UAE remains steadfast in its approach: urging dialogue, de-escalation, and calm and encouraging cooperation and consensus-building to ensure stability in and among States.
We are also reminded here of a critical observation: repeated deviations from the law, without consequence, normalize the practice and create a race to the bottom – in this regard, international law is no different from its domestic counterpart.
Finally, Madam President, I restate the UAE’s call to both parties, and all relevant stakeholders, to pursue a peaceful end to this war through constructive and inclusive dialogue, which necessitates open lines of communication and a viable off-ramp to preserve the prospects of a diplomatic solution.
It is evident that the world before us, in all its diversity, is concerned with consequences of this war on the international system, on food and energy security, and on the risks of an escalating confrontation.
Therefore, we must carry out the duties entrusted to us and cooperate to overcome the most pressing global challenges – rather than seeing war and conflict set us back further.
This approach, and our promotion of it, is the conclusion drawn from our experience in the Middle East, where people have been battered by a relentless insistence on zero-sum hegemony and the pursuit of narrow self-interest.
This has left, and will only leave, destruction.
Thank you, Madam President