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Statement by H H Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Minister of Foreign Affairs of the UAE Before the the 65th Session of the UNGA
28 September 2010 / 04:13


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Mr. President,  At the outset, I would like to congratulate Your Excellency on your assumption of the presidency of the sixty fifth session of the General Assembly. We are confident that your expertise in international affairs will enable you to wisely and capably guide the work of the General Assembly and we wish you every success in your endeavor.

I would like to thank your predecessor, Mr. Ali Al-Treki, for his successful leadership of the 64th session of the General Assembly. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank H.E. Mr. Ban K-moon, the Secretary-General, for his great efforts towards re-energizing the role of this international organization in promoting peace, security and development in the world.

Mr. President, As we begin the work of this session, we would like to emphasize that the international community continues to face significant challenges that demand collective action in all fields. These challenges include the issues of international peace and security, stabilization of economic recovery, achievement of sustainable development, attainment of the Millennium Development Goals, combating the negative impact of climate change, responding to natural disasters, countering terrorism and regional instability, achievement of peace in the Middle East, non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and disarmament.

All these issues demand from us a genuine political will, collective international effort and persistent work in order to promote the principles and purposes of the UN Charter, uphold rules of international law, guarantee justice, and achieve common interests among nations, large and small.

In this respect, the United Arab Emirates calls for increasing the effectiveness of multilateralism within the United Nations system and enhancing and improving its effectiveness and management of its work. The United Arab Emirates supports the responsible and serious efforts aimed at reforming the United Nations and its principal organs, including the Security Council, the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, as well as other specialized agencies and development programs. We also emphasize the importance of strengthening and developing cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations. We underscore the role of the United Nations in the peaceful resolution of existing conflicts, in peacekeeping operations and preventive diplomacy and in promoting the culture of peace and international cooperation.

Mr. President, Achievement of security and stability in the Gulf region is a vital priority to the United Arab Emirates and its balanced foreign policy, which is based on the principles of the United Nations Charter and rules of international law, especially those calling for peaceful co-existence, consolidation of confidence building measures, good neighborliness, mutual respect, non-interference in the internal affairs of states and resorting to peaceful resolution of existing disputes.

On the basis of this, my Government reiterates in this forum its deep regret at the continued occupation by the Islamic Republic of Iran of the three UAE islands: The Greater Tunb, The Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa, and demands the return of these islands under its full sovereignty, including their regional waters, airspace, continental shelf and their exclusive economic zone, as integral parts of the United Arab Emirates. The United Arab Emirates also affirms that all procedures and measures taken by the Iranian Authorities since their occupation of these islands are null and void and do not have any legal effect regardless of how long the occupation may last.

We call upon the international community to urge Iran to respond to the peaceful and sincere initiatives of the United Arab Emirates, which call for a just settlement of this issue, either through direct and serious negotiations between the two countries or by referring the issue to the International Court of Justice to settle this dispute in accordance with the principles of the UN Charter and provisions of international law.

My country’s initiatives in this regard were supported and adopted by the Member States of the Gulf Cooperation Council and the League of Arab States and a large number of the members of the international community. We hope that the Iranian Government will respond positively and fairly to this sensitive and important issue, in order to strengthen neighborly relations and cooperation in serving the common interests of our two countries, and promote security and stability in the entire region.

Mr. President, With regards to Iraq, we are following with great interest the developments in Iraq. And based on our principled and supportive position for the Iraqi people, we look forward to seeing the Iraqi parties agree on forming a national government that continues to build its security, political and economic institutions, extend its authority over the entire territory of Iraq and achieve a comprehensive national reconciliation, that constitutes the real guarantee for stabilizing the political process in Iraq and for embracing all factions of the Iraqi society without exception or discrimination.

While we note with satisfaction the withdrawal of foreign troops from Iraq and restoration of its full sovereignty over its territory, we express our firm condemnation of all acts of violence and bombings that have targeted the Iraqi people. We also reiterate the necessity to respect the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Iraq, and to refrain from interfering in its internal affairs while safeguarding its Arab and Islamic identity.

Mr. President The United Arab Emirates believes that achievement of peace in the Middle East and resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict are central and vital to the achievement of peace and security in the entire region. And this cannot be realized without ending the Israeli occupation of the Occupied Palestinian and other Arab Territories and its withdrawal to the line of 4 June 1967, including East Jerusalem, the Syrian Golan Heights and the remaining occupied territories in Southern Lebanon, in order to achieve a just and comprehensive peace in accordance with the resolutions of international legitimacy, and based on the principle of “land for peace” and the Arab Peace Initiative.

The United Arab Emirates stands by the Palestinian National Authority and supports the Palestinian people in their quest for achieving their national goals and restoring their inalienable legitimate rights. We also commend H.E. President Mahmoud Abbas for his continuous efforts to realize the interests of the Palestinian people and the restoration their rights.

We reiterate our support for the position adopted by the Palestinian National Authority in the direct negotiations with the Israeli Government based upon international legitimacy, the Road Map and the statements of the Quartet, in order to ensure that the international community, especially the United States, fulfill their commitments and promises towards establishing an independent and viable Palestinian State living in security and peace side by side with Israel. We hope that these negotiations will lead to achieving positive and concrete results within the stipulated time frame.

We hope that the independent Palestinian State, with its capital Al Quds Al Sharif, emerges next year. We welcome the statement of H.E. Mr. Barak Obama, the President of the United States, before this General Assembly, and the strong commitment towards the achievement peace in the Middle East. We also welcome his emphasis on the importance of direct negotiations to lead into final results within one year, and seeing Palestine takes its seat among member states in the next 66th session of the General Assembly. In this context, we rely on an effective American role, and regional and international active support for the peace process in the Middle East.

Our commitment to the achievement of peace as a strategic choice makes it imperative for us to condemn the Israeli practices committed against the Palestinian People, including the collective punishment policy and the inhumane blockade imposed on the Palestinian people in Gaza, and its flagrant violations to international law, principles and purposes of the UN Charter and international humanitarian law, particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949. In this context, we emphasize that the continuation of Israeli settlements and confiscation and judaization of the occupied Palestinian and other Arab territories clashes with the pursuit of peace. Either choose to pursue peace or insist on continuing the settlements. Combining the two is incompatible with peace.

As we call for removing the Israeli atrocious blockade on Gaza, and condemning the Israeli aggression against the Turkish humanitarian ship “Fleet of Freedom”, we welcome the work of the international independent committee formed by the Human Rights Council in Geneva, to investigate the assault on the fleet of freedom. We hope that the independent investigation team formed by the UN Secretary-General submits its report to the Security Council soon. We also express our support for the Turkish position calling for paying compensations to the victims of that assault.

Mr. President, As we declare our support to the efforts of the Lebanese Government towards achieving security, stability and national unity, we call for respecting the sovereignty of the Lebanese state and for ceasing the repeated Israeli violations of the Lebanese airspace, waters, territories and regional safety in accordance with the Security Council Resolution 1701.

Regarding Yemen, the United Arab Emirates affirms its support for the Government and the people of the brotherly Yemen in addressing the present challenges and problems which face their country. Committed to the security and stability of Yemen and its territorial integrity and safety, my country fulfills its obligations in assisting the Government and the people of Yemen. The United Arab Emirates plays an effective role within the Group of Friends of Yemen, through its chairmanship of the Group 1 that is in charge of economy and good governance, in partnership with Germany.

In this context, we call upon the international community to stand by the Government of Yemen and extend to it the necessary assistance and support, in order to enhance its capacity to fulfill the requirements of fighting terrorism, restoring security and achieving stability and development.

As for the situation in the Sudan, we endorse the efforts and agreements reached between the Sudanese Government and major actors in Darfur aimed at achieving a peaceful settlement leading to stabilization of peace and security in the country, and advancing the process of development and reconstruction in the country. We hope that all Sudanese groups will join these efforts.

As for Somalia, we call all Somali parties to settle their conflicts, put an end to the suffering of the Somali people and stop all acts of violence and hostilities, in order to pave the way for reconstruction and combating piracy in accordance with the vision agreed upon at the conference held in Istanbul last May.

Acts of piracy in the Somali coast lines, and in the Gulf of Aden, the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman, do not only pose a threat to the maritime safety, but also constitute a grave security threat to the countries in the region and the rest of the world. Therefore, while my country condemns and deplores the acts of piracy, it plays an active role in regional and international partnership and initiatives to combat piracy. The United Arab Emirates will host an international conference in March 2011 to examine the strategies of combating piracy and maritime crimes. We look forward to further effective regional and international cooperation to put an end to piracy.

Mr. President, Our contributions to Afghanistan, including financial contributions totaling 1.5 billion dollars since the Tokyo Conference 2009 till now, are directed towards supporting the efforts of the Afghan Government to restore security and stability in the country and alleviate the suffering of the Afghani people. The United Arab Emirates will host an international conference by the end of October 2010 in Dubai to discuss ways and means of developing partnerships between private and public sectors to invest and execute development projects in Afghanistan. We welcome the declaration of Kabul Conference held last July, and we call all parties in Afghanistan to cooperate in implementing this declaration, with a view to advancing the national reconciliation process in Afghanistan and extending the government’s control over all its territories by the end of 2014, which will help in achieving comprehensive peace and security throughout the country, based on the promotion of economic and social development, strengthening reciprocal cooperation and ensuring full respect for the sovereignty of Afghanistan.

At the same context, we affirm the importance of supporting the stability of Pakistan, which is an essential element for the maintenance of security and stability in the whole region. We pledge to continue our multifaceted contributions in this regard, especially within the framework of the Group of Friends of Pakistan in order to support the efforts aimed at achieving permanent development and stability in this friendly country. The human tragedy that Pakistan endured due to devastating floods requires our solidarity with the Government and the people of Pakistan, and providing them with all assistance needed to overcome this crisis.

To achieve that, the United Arab Emirates launched a campaign, at the Government and people levels, to support the Pakistani people to deal with the aftermath of the recent floods. My country donated not less than US$ 60 millions, in addition to dispatching 3 military helicopters for transport and rescue. In addition to that, the United Arab Emirates, as a member of the Group of Friends of Pakistan, pledged to donate US$ 300 millions during the Tokyo Conference.

Mr. President, We reaffirm in this forum that the United Arab Emirates will continue its international policy guided by the purposes of the United Nations and the principals of its Charter, especially with regard to promotion of international peace and security, peaceful resolution of international disputes, non-interference in the internal affairs of states and compliance with the principles of international law.

The United Arab Emirates will continue to extend its distinct contributions to the regional and international partnerships aimed at building a more peaceful, stable and just world free of all forms of terrorism, violence, extremism, crime, discrimination, human rights violations, human trafficking, or any sort of humiliation or degradation of the human dignity. We look forward to a world that promotes the principles of dialogue, interaction, mutual understanding, cooperation and interactive civilized coexistence among all religions and cultures, without any form of discrimination, stereotypical images, hatred or denigration of religions. A world characterized by human peace, prosperity and development.

On the basis of this, the United Arab Emirates renews its condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, whenever and wherever. While we affirm that terrorism does not recognize national boundaries or religions, we stress the need to intensify regional and international efforts aimed at combating terrorism, implement relevant resolutions and recommendations issued by regional and international organizations and conferences, and reactivate the UN Global Strategy for combating terrorism. In the meantime, we welcome the positive results of the conference on combating nuclear terrorism held in Washington, and we look forward to the success of the next conference in the Republic of Korea, and we shall participate in the efforts towards the realization of that goal.

My country is an active member in the regional and international partnerships and efforts aimed at combating terrorism, including the global initiative for combating nuclear terrorism. We will continue our efforts to strengthen cooperation in the areas of intelligence exchange, capacity building, combating and drying up sources. Our efforts in this regard will continue until the world gets rid of this growing scourge.

Mr. President, Problems caused by Climate Change, including the devastating impact of earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, droughts and natural disasters, are of major concern to us. In facing these problems, we stress the importance of increasing international cooperation efforts in order to reach effective solutions to this problem before the forthcoming conference in Mexico. This, besides mobilizing the necessary financial and technical support needed for enabling developing countries to address effectively the challenges of Climate Change.

Such strategic cooperation should not be only at the international level, but also at the bilateral, regional and sub-regional levels. The United Arab Emirates translated its conviction in this regard into reality by introducing a new model for international cooperation through its partnership with the Pacific Islands States with a view to assisting these states to address their national, environmental, economic and other problems resulting from Climate Change. We hope that the international community will support this partnership, which has been expanded last June to include strengthening cooperation between the Pacific Islands States and the member states of the League of Arab States in various areas and in the interest of their peoples.
Mr. President,

We are pleased to see that the Convention on the Establishment of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has entered into force with the required quorum. The Convention has now 141 States parties, and ratified by 34 states. The United Arab Emirates continues to fulfill its obligations and commitments under the hosting agreement of the International Renewable Energy Agency in Masdar city in Abu Dhabi. We attach great importance to a balanced cooperation and partnership between the North and the South, between the developing and developed countries, under the umbrella of this Agency in order to achieve the major goals of this Agency, including the goals of developing and disseminating clean and renewable energy applications throughout the world to maintain the safety of our planet.

Mr. President, The measures undertaken by the United Arab Emirates for building its program for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy in order to meet its growing energy requirements in the future, rely entirely on the highest standards of transparency, nuclear safety and non-proliferation, and carried out under the supervision of the IAEA in full cooperation with the Agency and other friendly and responsible states with relevant experience in this field.

While we reaffirm our commitment to the requirements of non-proliferation, we wish to express our satisfaction with the positive atmosphere that prevailed during the last Review Conference of the Parties to Non-Proliferation Treaty, and the balanced and responsible recommendations issued by the conference. In this context, we reiterate our principled position which calls for making the Gulf Region and the Middle East a zone free of weapons of mass destruction, especially nuclear weapons. We also call for exerting pressure on Israel to implement the resolution adopted by Parties of the Treaty to join the NPT unconditionally, like all other States in the region, and subject its nuclear facilities to the comprehensive safeguards system of the IAEA. We are also looking forward to holding an international conference aiming at making the Middle East a zone free of nuclear weapons, as agreed upon in the final document of the Review Conference.

In this context, we urge the Islamic Republic of Iran to fully cooperate with the IAEA and the international community in order to allay regional and international fears and doubts raised on the nature of its nuclear program. We also call upon the respective parties to resolve the differences on Iran’s nuclear program through peaceful means.

Mr. President, With regard to the empowerment and advancement of women at the global level, we welcome the efforts of the Secretary-General in the area of the advancement of women and the establishment of a new international entity on women (UN Women). We are pleased to see that the Secretary-General has appointed Mrs. Michelle Bachelet as the Under-Secretary-General for the UN Women.

On our part, the United Arab Emirates has enacted numerous national legislations and decisions with the view to advancing women in the United Arab Emirates. Our Government will continue its efforts in this regard in order to ensure that all obstacles to the protection and advancement of women are removed, and increase their participation in the decision-making process at all levels.

Mr. President, We attach great importance to the issue of human trafficking, and we emphasize the need to strengthen our strategic efforts to contain this problem, which has a serious impact on the security and stability of human societies. We, therefore, have enacted legislations and developed national mechanisms to be compatible with the relevant international conventions and resolutions in order to prevent and penalize such crimes that violate human rights. We also call upon the international community to develop an integrated, coordinated global strategy to combat and protect against this phenomenon, and provide care, rehabilitation and raising global awareness of human trafficking in order to reduce its victims until complete elimination.

Mr. President, We welcome the efforts made by international organizations and initiatives to promote the spirit of reconciliation, understanding, peaceful co-existence, and cooperation among all religions and cultures. While we express our concern over the growing Islamophobia and campaigns targeting religions, we emphasize the importance of building a genuine global partnership for opening channels of communication and understanding, spreading culture of peace, promoting acceptance of the other, respecting other religious beliefs and closing the way to those who spread hatred, humiliation, stereotypes, and hostility among the followers of different faiths.

In this context, we support the activities of the Alliance of Civilizations Forum and welcome the holding of the fourth session of the Forum in Qatar next year. We also commend the endeavors of the brotherly State of Qatar to make the interfaith dialogue conference a permanent institution, and we welcome the decision of H.H. Amir of Qatar to establish a centre for interfaith dialogue in Doha.

We hope our deliberations in this session will lead to positive results.

Thank you Mr. President.  .... 
Arabic Text    

Mr. President,