Reem Al Hashimy delivers UAE address at 77th United Nations General Assembly

Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, during her address at the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York
Image Credit: WAM

New York: In her address at the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, stated that innovation is needed to strengthen the current world order and help crisis-affected countries play constructive roles in addressing global challenges.

Below is the text of the UAE’s address at UNGA 77:

“Mr. President, I thank Abdullah Shahid for his successful management of the UN General Assembly’s previous session, and I congratulate Csaba Kőrösi for presiding over the 77th session, wishing you all success.

We are on the cusp of a new phase in the international order. In the UAE, we are determined for this phase to be guided by peace, recovery, and prosperity as part of a global order based on solid international relations. Through these ties, we can explore new paths for joint cooperation in the fields of economy, sustainable development, advanced technology, and research. This is the approach that my country is pursuing while implementing its foreign policy, an approach that governs our bilateral relations and our participation in international multilaterals. An approach that defines our current membership of the UN Security Council.

We are aware of the magnitude of the grave challenges facing us today and the severe polarisation in the international system following the rise in crises and the emergence of new hotbeds of conflicts around the world. This is accompanied by a dangerous escalation in the activities of armed groups at a time when food and climate crises are afflicting peoples worldwide and threatening to undermine the gains of human civilisations. In addition, these threats have a severe impact on poor and developing countries and their ability to meet the needs of their peoples.

While all these issues have raised questions about the effectiveness of the current international system, it has transpired that this very system, which was built on the ruins of World War II, has contributed to the enhancement of international security and stability to a large extent.

Therefore, we must restore confidence in the international system and in the legitimacy of its institutions by enhancing its ability to address current crises and overcome the existential challenges of the 21st century. My country believes that we – the States present in this hall – have the ability to do so if we harness our capabilities to achieve a better future for our peoples.

From this standpoint, I would like to articulate a number of issues that we should focus on in the coming period: Recent years have underscored the need to respect international law, especially the Charter of the United Nations, so that it can be applied consistently and without double or selective standards. This is a prerequisite in ensuring a stable and secure international order based on respect for the sovereignty, independence, unity, and territorial integrity of all countries. In this context, we renew our demand to end Iran’s occupation of the UAE’s three islands: Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb, and Abu Musa. History and international law bear testimony to the UAE’s sovereignty over the three islands. We will never stop our legitimate claim to these islands, either through direct negotiation or through the International Court of Justice.

All possible efforts should be made to overcome the state of inaction that has become the defining feature of the current international approach to crises. In turn, we must move forward in finding permanent, comprehensive, and just solutions to escalating armed conflicts around the world while addressing the repercussions resulting from global turmoil.

Therefore, the next stage requires the adoption of innovative tools that enhance the effectiveness of our international system and helps crisis-affected countries and regions play a constructive role in addressing the challenges of our time. While the Arab world and African continent have suffered the majority of these crises in recent decades, we have learned difficult lessons about the need to prioritise diplomatic solutions, dialogue, and de-escalation and resolve tensions in order to avoid the emergence of new hotbeds of conflicts and extremism.

Within this context, we have seen recent positive developments in our region to build bridges in resolving differences, building new partnerships based on cooperation in various fields, supporting important sectors such as health, education, and industry, and strengthening women’s role in society.

Furthermore, we emphasise our firm position calling for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the June 4th, 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital in accordance with agreed international references. We also welcome the statement of the Prime Minister of Israel from this podium regarding support for a two-state solution.

Here, we are looking forward to advancing political endeavors in our region and overcoming obstacles on the path to peace. However, this should be accompanied by efforts to strengthen international rejection of interference in the internal affairs of Arab countries. This meddling in Arab affairs undermines all efforts aimed at resolving conflicts and drives extremism and terrorism in a blatant violation of the sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity of the region’s countries.

In light of the increased frequency of crises, it has become necessary to promote the role of regional and international organisations through increased consultation to provide them with the required tools, resources, and expertise that enable them to respond effectively to current challenges. Regional organisations are more familiar with the local context and have the tools to support mediation. In this regard, we commend their efforts including those by the African Union, whose initiatives we have supported.

As we all know, upholding international peace and security requires working towards a world free of weapons of mass destruction, especially in the Middle East and Korean Peninsula, while strengthening dialogue to defuse tensions and address regional and international concerns in this regard.

It is not possible to discuss a secure and stable world order in the absence of a firm international position that rejects terrorism in all its forms. We must work towards a world order that is committed to holding the perpetrators and financiers of terrorism accountable. Recently, we have witnessed a rise in the flow of weapons to conflict regions and in the number of individuals of different ethnic backgrounds embracing terrorism. This is coupled with the emergence of terror groups with high combat and military capabilities and the return of fighters to their homeland without efficient mechanisms to control them. This situation further escalates when terrorists use missiles and drones to launch cross-border attacks, reflecting the evolving nature of terrorism.

These developments require preventing areas of conflict from becoming a safe haven for terrorists while at the same time modernising our strategies constantly and adopting international regulations that prevent terrorists from acquiring advanced weapons and sophisticated technology.

This threat has manifested through the vicious and aggressive attacks launched by the terrorist Houthi militias earlier this year on the capital of my country, Abu Dhabi, as well as on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This came at a time when other terrorist groups such as Daesh, Al Qaeda, and Al Shabab are seeking to develop their capabilities and re-organise their ranks in a way that poses a direct threat to the gains attained through international cooperation in the war on terrorism.

As governments, we must represent the best model for our peoples in strengthening the values of tolerance and peaceful coexistence in the face of escalating attempts to spread hate speech around the world.

Given our shared destiny, we must recognise the necessity of forging joint action and harnessing all our capabilities to develop comprehensive solutions to current challenges, which are not confined to a specific country or region.

There is no clearer example of this than the consequences of climate change. Many peoples of the world are exposed to devastating floods, heat waves, and droughts, all of which intensify humanitarian crises and security threats, especially in regions most vulnerable to climate change. The fate of our planet is at stake, compelling us to build partnerships and promote joint action while bolstering our commitment to supporting climate action by promoting renewable energy, proper financing, and assisting developing countries in enhancing resilience.

Investing in renewable energy means investing in economic resources, international peace and security, and the future of coming generations. In this regard, we must leverage opportunities to forge practical, logical, and thoughtful solutions to the climate crisis. The 27th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP27) to the UNFCCC, which will be held in the Arab Republic of Egypt in November, is a prime opportunity in this regard. As we urge all Member States to actively participate in this session, the UAE is preparing to host COP28 next year. We are working to build partnerships, ensure inclusiveness, and focus on areas that will achieve meaningful outcomes.

The focus on climate action will also alleviate the global food crisis. In this regard, the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM for Climate/AIM4C) that the UAE has launched jointly with the US seeks to improve food production and reduce global hunger. At the same time, we must intensify food assistance and ensure global food supplies while searching for practical ways to secure supply chains against the backdrop of current geopolitical unrest.

Despite the seriousness of current challenges and the importance of addressing them, we must not lose sight of the need to anticipate the future and strengthen stability and prosperity. As such, the UAE is building a diversified knowledge-based economy guided by scientific and technological progress that allows peaceful and secure, stable communities to thrive. Now that two years have passed since the signing of the Abraham Accords, as well as other initiatives launched this year to enhance regional cooperation, development, and economic growth, we are witnessing notable progress in the Middle East that forms the basis of joint cooperation to address global challenges.

Moreover, we believe that youth are the best engine to drive these efforts. In the face of crises, they have proven their ability to withstand challenges and innovate, including by working with their peers around the world to identify sustainable solutions to global issues. Therefore, we will continue to invest in their capabilities as future leaders. We also believe in the full participation of women in efforts to achieve social development and ensure their current and future stability.

In conclusion, the UAE affirms that it will continue to forge ahead with its efforts at the humanitarian, diplomatic, and developmental levels to support peoples affected by crises and disasters, regardless of religious, ethnic, political, or cultural considerations.

We will continue to work with our partners to build capacity among governments and peoples in various fields to serve the greater good of humanity. This is our path that will remain a beacon of hope and inspiration for our efforts in the international fora in which the UAE participates.

Thank you, Mr. President.”