UAE bid for UN Security Council seat reflects state morals and principles, says foreign ministry

The UN General Assembly will vote on Friday to fill five available seats on the council

The UN's headquarters in New York City. AFP
The UN's headquarters in New York City. AFP

The UAE is aiming to secure a seat on the UN Security Council to build resilience, spur innovation, secure future peace deals and to enhance inclusion based on its methods at home, says the Foreign Ministry.

The UN General Assembly will vote on Friday for five countries to win seats at the council, the only UN body that can make legally binding decisions such as imposing sanctions and authorising the use of force. .

The Emirates served on the council once before, from 1986 to 1987, and is running again for a non-permanent seat for the 2022-2023 term. Its bid may have a clear and uncontested path, as seats at the chamber from the Arab world are usually unproblematic.

The 15-member council has five permanent, veto-wielding members – the US, Britain, France, China and Russia.

Since its official establishment in 1971, the UAE has been built on the foundation that unity means strength.

“Openness to the world has guided the rapid development of our country, defined our foreign policy, and shaped our contributions to the United Nations,” the Foreign Ministry says in its campaign brochure for the Security Council seat.

“Our track record speaks for itself,” Dr Anwar Gargash, diplomatic adviser to the President, Sheikh Khalifa, said last September after the UAE announced its bid for a seat on the council.

“We want to bring new thinking from the region to build on two things,” Dr Gargash said during an online meeting of the Council on Foreign Relations, an American think tank.

“To try in a very difficult international system to ensure it is more rule-based and on the other hand to bring optimism from a region that people don’t expect optimism from … this is something we will bring to our UNSC seat.”

Open society and inclusion

Among many things the UAE has to offer are its advanced inclusion of all religions and nationalities, the ministry said.

“More than 200 nationalities call the UAE home. In 2022, we will complete The Abrahamic Family House, a landmark interfaith complex in Abu Dhabi that will include a church, a synagogue, and a mosque,” it said.

The country hosts “dozens of Christian churches, two Hindu temples, a Jewish synagogue, a Sikh temple and a Buddhist monastery”, it said.

Securing peace

The UAE has offered residency to more than 100,000 Syrian nationals and delivered over $1 billion in humanitarian aid to assist victims of the conflict.

In Yemen, it has played a vital role in providing relief and medical goods for those in need.

It has “contributed more than $5.59 billion in aid to Yemen since 2015 in co-ordination with the UN,” said the ministry.

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the UAE has delivered Covid-19 supplies to assist more than a million medical workers in more than 65 countries, it said.

The country has also taken up a crucial role in supporting the World Health Organisation and World Food Programme during the pandemic.

Gender equality and women’s empowerment

For years the UAE has promoted gender equality at home by giving women a platform to shape and lead their community and societies.

The UAE’s Cabinet has 32 members, of whom nine are women. The country has also promoted equality through the UN system.

“The UAE has supported UN Women since its inception in 2010. We served as a member of the executive board from 2013 to 2018, and Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh, the UAE’s Permanent Representative to the UN, served as its president in 2017,” said the Foreign Ministry.

Between 2010 and 2018, the UAE provided more than $26 million in voluntary contributions to UN Women.

Gender equality and women’s empowerment are economic and moral imperatives, said Ms Nusseibeh.

“The UAE will do all that we can to empower women and girls because it is our national strategy, because it is a smart foreign policy, and because it is the cornerstone of a more sustainable economic model and a more stable political order,” she said.

Updated: June 11, 2021 10:27 AM

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