I should like at the outset to thank the friendly Republic of Peru for convening this important debate and to express our thanks to Ms. Rosemary DiCarlo, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs and Peacebuilding, for her thorough briefing this morning.
My delegation aligns itself with the statement made by Uganda on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
The issues of the Middle East are, without doubt, of utmost importance to the Council. We have heard briefings by United Nations officials about the gravity of the situation in the region and the need to take decisive measures, as new crises and challenges have emerged and existing ones have been exacerbated. This calls on the international community to act to reduce tensions and ensure the maintenance of regional security and stability, and to reach political solutions to the long-standing crises in the region particularly the Palestinian issue, and to strengthen the role of national institutions.
The UAE calls on the international community to assume its responsibilities to end the suffering of the brotherly Palestinian people, and to establish an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, in accordance with the relevant international resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative, which is an important reference to solve the Palestinian question. We emphasize the need for Israel to cease its illegal practices of Judaization, creating new facts on the ground, expanding settlements and demolishing Palestinian property, the latest of which was the demolition of 70 houses in East Jerusalem yesterday. We emphasize the need for the international community to take all measures to end these grave violations, because of their grave implications on the security and stability in the region as a whole.
In our quest for a just and comprehensive solution, we must not lose sight of the worsening humanitarian situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, and the importance of continuing and intensifying humanitarian assistance. Based on my country's long-standing and historic commitment to the Palestinian people, the UAE provided in 2017 and 2018 more than $ 364 million to our Palestinian brothers and to the UNRWA. We further reaffirm our continued support for regional and international efforts to advance the Middle East peace process.
The UAE reiterates its continued support within the Coalition for the Support of Legitimacy in Yemen to the efforts to reach a political solution based on the relevant Security Council resolutions, including resolutions 2216 and 2451. We reaffirm our support for the efforts of the UN envoy to Yemen to implementthe Stockholm Agreement and relaunch the political process. We also stress that there is no military solution to the conflict and that the political solution is the only way to end the crisis.
The UAE condemns in the strongest terms the attacks by the Houthi militias on the territory of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with ballistic missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles, and its continuing threat to navigation in the Red Sea. This requires the Council to take decisive measures to put an end to these violations, and to prevent the flow of Iranian weapons to Yemen which are a flagrant violation of Security Council resolutions 2216 and 2231. These Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia undermine the prospects for progress in the implementation of the Stockholm Agreement and the ceasefire in Hodeidah, at a time when the UAE and the Arab Coalition are providing an opportunity for peace by redeploying their forces in Yemen and giving priority to the political effort to reach a comprehensive solution in Yemen.
On the humanitarian front, my country strongly condemns the practices of the Houthi militias, which have exacerbated the humanitarian crisis through the looting of humanitarian aid and the denial of access to intended beneficiaries - as confirmed by the UN humanitarian agencies. The UAE will continue to work with the United Nations and key partners to improve the humanitarian situation and meet the needs of the brotherly Yemeni people. The total UAE assistance to Yemen since 2015 has reached $ 5.5 billion.
My country follows with great concern the latest developments in both Syria and Libya, and stresses that a political solution is the only way to end these crises. We call upon all concerned parties to sit at the negotiating table and find a solution to the protracted crises within the framework of the relevant Security Council resolutions. In this context, we would like to express our concern at the exploitation by terrorist groups of the security vacuum in Libya and the growing migrants’ tragedy in the Mediterranean, which makes it more difficult to find a peaceful solution to the crisis. We call for concerted international efforts to get out of the crisis and restore stability in Libya.
As an international community, we share a collective responsibility to avoid conflicts and further tensions in this region and prevent any parties from attempting to undermine the security and safety of maritime navigation and global energy supplies. Sabotaging and threatening commercial ships and the lives of their crews is a serious development that threatens not only maritime trade but also the broader regional stability. The UAE emphasizes the importance of ensuring freedom of navigation and energy supply lines and safeguarding the security of sea lanes and straits particularly the Straits of Hormuz and Bab al-Mandab. My country also stresses the need for patience, wisdom and good judgement, and calls on all parties to prioritize diplomatic efforts to restore stability in the region.
In conclusion, we reaffirm that the gravity of the situation in the Middle East requires the international community to pay serious and credible attention, and on the Council to bear its responsibilities to put an end to all destabilizing acts and practices, including acts of violence by extremist and terrorist groups with the support and funding of certain States, and to hold accountable those parties responsible for the outbreak and continuation of conflicts in the region.
Thank you, Mr. President.