The UAE thanks the delegation of Niger for organizing today’s meeting on the important topic of the role of the International Organization of the Francophonie (OIF). The UAE is proud that its status was elevated from observer member to associate member by a unanimous decision of the Member States at the Summit of the OIF in Yerevan held in October 2018.
The importance of regional organizations in promoting peace and security and preventing conflict has been widely recognized by the international community. Regional organizations have a unique advantage and better understanding of peace and security challenges in their respective regions. The geographical proximity and close historical and cultural ties among their members give regional organizations a distinct ability to play a constructive role in the pursuit of peaceful solutions to conflicts. The UAE applauds the commendable efforts by the International Organization of the Francophonie in support of UN initiatives to tackle challenges in French-speaking countries.
In light of today’s discussion, the UAE would like to suggest three recommendations:
First, the Security Council should strengthen its cooperation with regional organizations on preventative diplomacy in accordance with Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter. In this regard, we have seen success stories of regional organizations in the African continent, including most recently the decisive role played by the Economic Community of West African States (ECWAS) in The Gambia. The swift action taken by regional organizations in response to early warning signs is not only one of the most effective ways of addressing peace and security issues, but also the most cost-effective considering the significant drain on United Nations resources when the organization is in “conflict management” mode.
Second, we encourage continued progress in enhancing consultation and coordination between the United Nation and regional organizations on peacekeeping. We welcome recent collaboration between the Department of Peace Operation, the Department of Operational Support and the OIF aimed at building the capacity of peacekeepers and promoting multilingualism in field operations. The OIF has been an important advocate for increased participation of women in peacekeeping and peacebuilding. To that end, the UAE has been playing its part by providing multilingual training to female military officers from countries in Asia and Africa including French-speaking countries. This commitment reflects our conviction that more women peacekeepers means more effective peacekeeping. The UAE was also proud to co-sponsor resolution 2538, which the Security Council adopted last month.
Third, we believe that regional organizations should step up their efforts to mainstream and highlight the positive work of young people in issues of peace and security. In this regard, we commend the work of the OIF in supporting youth networks involved in conflict prevention and peacebuilding. Indeed, the meaningful inclusion of youth in decision-making processes does not only lead to a more peaceful and dynamic society, but also provides alternatives to the cycles of extremism and violence that have ensnared many countries. The UAE’s record in empowering youth stands as a testament to how youth can form the cornerstone for an open, tolerant and thriving society.
Lastly, the UAE reaffirms its strong commitment to continue to support cooperation with regional and international mechanisms to achieve our shared goal of global peace, security and prosperity for the benefit of mankind. It is only through a truly global partnership that we can find political solutions to the world’s long and protracted conflicts.