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UAE Statement at High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace

Tuesday, 24 April 2018
H.E. Zaki Nusseibeh
United Nations

Mr. President,

The UAE appreciates your deep dedication to peacebuilding and sustaining peace, and we are pleased to participate in today’s High-Level Meeting.

The UAE supports the adoption of the resolution on peacebuilding and sustaining peace, and reaffirms our support for the Secretary-General’s reform proposals to enhance the UN’s peace and security pillar.

In this collective, multilateral, and multinational endeavor, we have learned that peacebuilding is not a one-time action, but a continuous effort combining and deploying the tools of prevention, sustainable development, humanitarian assistance, peacekeeping, and reconstruction in crisis-affected and conflict-riven countries, as well as post-conflict situations.

And an effective approach to peacebuilding and sustaining peace must be comprehensive and take into account the specific national context, regional dynamics, and international drivers of today’s conflicts, and must support national ownership of political, policy, and institutional solutions and reforms.

For the UAE, our approach to peace has always been long-term and multi-faceted with prevention at its core.

This extends:

  • To our military involvement, where the UAE has become an active contributor to our regional security architecture. We are the only Arab nation to have participated in six international coalitions in Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Bosnia-Kosovo, and the Gulf War, as well as in the fight against Da’esh;
  • To our obligation to reconstruction and aid provision in Yemen, as a member of the Arab Coalition. The Coalition launched the Yemen Comprehensive Humanitarian Operations campaign, an expanded relief program for Yemen with unprecedented humanitarian aid funding for distribution across UN agencies and international relief organizations.
  • To our extended commitment to Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons whom we have provided with more than 861 million USD in emergency assistance since 2012 to better integrate them into their communities.
  • And to our rebuilding of government institutions in Iraq by consolidating the rule of law, restoring services, and preserving heritage in areas liberated from Da’esh. This includes the UAE’s pledge to help rebuild Mosul’s Great Mosque and Hadba minaret, which were destroyed by Da’esh in 2017.

In all that we do to foster durable peace around the world, we remain deeply committed to political resolutions and the UN-led processes that underpin them, particularly in Libya, Syria, and Yemen. We know that to ‘surge in diplomacy for peace’, as the Secretary-General has called for, is a critical pillar of any conflict prevention strategy.

Furthermore, a key aspect of any effort to prevent conflict and build peace must be to focus multilateral efforts to end the financing and support of extremism and terrorism. That is why the UAE has taken measures, along with partners and allies, to stop these countries and to end the policies that have destablised our region.

And it is not just in our region that we are trying build peace: we are providing humanitarian assistance to the displaced Rohingya and remain gravely concerned with their persecution. 

Our peacebuilding efforts are also based on partnerships and supporting the empowerment of affected people – specifically of youth and women – in participation and decision-making. Our foreign policy is predicated on our country’s core principles of education, inclusiveness, and tolerance. To that end, we offer our experience – as a progressive, modern Arab country that empowers women and young people through dedicated institutions and concrete policymaking – as offering a unique model for developing peaceful societies that are resilient to nihilistic ideologies.

Mr. President,

In conclusion, the key to preventing, managing, and responding to conflicts will be to effectively scale existing efforts within the peacebuilding continuum. To that end, the UAE urges UN agencies and Member State partners to:

  1. Take collective action to identify countries that support and finance terrorism, and hold them accountable.
  2. Consult with national and regional actors to improve policy coherence and implementation.
  3. Use data to make evidence-based assessments for sustainable financing for crisis prevention and conflict management activities.
  4. Deepen global strategic partnerships as force multipliers for impact.

Thank you, Mr. President.