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A Vote for Djibouti is a Vote for Africa

Friday, 06 December 2019

Statement by

H. E. Mr. Mohamed Siad Doualeh

Ambassador, Permanent Representative

 of the Republic of Djibouti

To the United Nations

During the official launch of Djibouti’s campaign in New York to run for a non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council 2021-2022

At the

Intercontinental Barclay New York Hotel

Thursday December 5, 2019

Excellencies, dear colleagues,

Distinguished guests,

Members of the Press,

Dear Friends,

Brothers and Sisters,

It gives me a great pleasure to welcome you to this event chaired by His Excellency Mahmoud Ali Youssouf, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Djibouti to officially launch in New York city, Djibouti’s campaign for a seat in the Security Council for the period 2021-2022.  Please join us in welcoming him and his delegation to New York. 

I also wish to acknowledge Mr. Aboubaker Omar Hadi, Chairman of Djibouti Ports and Free Zones and Police Commissioner Awale Abdounasir, who just received the “2019 Change Agent Award” by the Secretary-General. We are basking in the glory of his successes.

Djibouti believes that it deserves to serve as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for a variety of reasons which will be detailed in His Excellency’s address to be delivered later this evening.  At this stage, let me just point out a few:

1. Djibouti is a reliable partner and has worked in tandem with UN Member States, large and small, permanent and non-permanent members of the Security Council on ways to advance our common priorities.  Djibouti is by far, the FOSS member with the highest proportion of its national population deployed as peacekeepers.

2. Owing to its geostrategic position with regards to the Red Sea, Arabia Sea, Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Aden and its trade friendly location, Djibouti has become a hub for the fight against terrorism, maritime piracy and other transnational threats. It has also served as a hub for global shipping with positive consequences on economic growth and regional stability.

3. The last time Djibouti served in the Security Council was in 1993, more than 25 years ago – You would agree with me that 25 years is a long time! A long time!  Djibouti has never shown uncontrolled appetite. It has patiently waited its turn.

4. Djibouti has declared its intention to serve in October 2016.  Many of you would recall my meetings with you in an effort to get your countries’ support.  I wish to extend my profound gratitude to those who have expressed unconditional support to Djibouti from day 1.  My gratitude goes to all to the sizable number of countries that have accepted the proposed arrangement of reciprocal support. We also are grateful to the Arab League, the OIC and the Francophonie for their endorsement. For those who have signaled support but are in the process of reviewing candidatures before making their final decision, we are saying: Please consider Djibouti!

5. To select their candidates for the Security Council and other United Nations bodies, the African Group and the African Union have developed a set of principles and procedures. Candidates are selected on two paramount principles, rotation and frequency. Under these rules, it is undisputable that Djibouti should be the sole African Candidate for the period 2021-2022

6. In light of the above, and out of respect for the sovereign equality of States and the rules and procedures governing candidatures for the Security Council and other United Nations bodies, especially the principles of rotation and frequency, Djibouti respectfully urges all Member States to support its candidature for the Security Council for the period 2021-2022

Colleagues, Dear Friends,

Djibouti is interested in service.   It does not seek self-aggrandizement.  It Is genuinely committed to the ideals of the UN Charter. 

Djibouti will conduct a positive campaign.  However, though it is left with no choice but to fight against some sarcastic and obnoxious insinuations aimed at belittling and delegitimizing Djibouti’s bid.

7. Some claim that the principle of rotation and the rules of the AU are cosmetics.  We say this: No, they are not.  The rules are what binds us together.  And if they provided objective criteria in the past, there is no justification in abandoning them in the present. Why would small states be expected to dismiss and diminish themselves, they do have a role to play and a contribution to make.

8. Other outrageously suggest that Djibouti is not ready to serve in the Council.  It was ready in 1993 and it is ready now!  We are battle-tested, combat-ready, ready to fight for peace.  We hereby warn them Djibouti is ready. We are ready!