NEW YORK – 27 April 2021 – The UAE reiterated its commitment to upholding international humanitarian law and constructively addressing threats to objects indispensable to the survival of civilians during the UN Security Council’s open debate on the issue. These objects include food stocks, agricultural areas, crops, livestock, drinking water installations, and supplies.

“The UAE strongly supports an enhanced focus at the Security Council on preventative and reactive measures to protect infrastructure that enables civilians to survive conflict and recover from it,” the UAE said in a written statement to the UN Security Council.

The UAE underscored that the ultimate goal for protecting civilian objects is the cessation of hostilities. In this regard, the UAE renewed its support to the UN Secretary-General’s call for a global ceasefire to ensure the delivery of COVID-19 humanitarian assistance, including vaccines, to the most vulnerable.

The UAE stated that strengthening physical and social infrastructure and services prior to and during conflict can build resilience to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change. During the pandemic, the UAE has facilitated the global distribution of personal protective equipment and COVID-19 vaccines through bilateral and multilateral partnerships. This includes through the UN supply hub in Dubai and UAE pro-bono partnerships with the COVAX logistics facility.

The UAE advocated for UN and international financial institutions to prioritize spending in areas that are both climate-vulnerable and have had incidents of conflict and insecurity. The UAE also expressed support for greater focus on environmental stewardship and creating a positive infrastructure legacy in UN peacekeeping operations. Additionally, the UAE underscored that approaches to strengthening civilian objects must prioritize gender, age, and disability.

Noting the value of deconfliction mechanisms – the exchange of information between humanitarian and military actors to ensure the protection of humanitarian infrastructure and individuals – as a best practice, the UAE recommended using new technology, especially satellite data, to enhance the accuracy and comprehensiveness of the mechanisms.  

Furthermore, the UAE also called for the allocation of dedicated budgets for gender, age, and disability advisors across peace and security operations, as well as mandatory markers, in the UN system. The UAE also stressed that the UN and the Security Council must include planning for reconstruction, in particular the rebuilding of critical infrastructure, to manage the impact of armed conflict.