UAE begins UN Security Council presidency

Lana Nusseibeh and other UAE diplomats will host three key events focused on issues affecting the Middle East and beyond

Members of the Security Council, which has five permanent members and 10 non-permanent, preside on a rotating, month-to-month basis. AFP
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The UAE will head the UN Security Council for the month of June, when it aims to “build bridges” in today's polarised world.

Throughout the month, Lana Nusseibeh, the UAE's ambassador to the UN, and other diplomats will host three signature events focused on core issues that align with the country’s priorities.

Ms Nusseibeh said the UAE was taking over the presidency at a time of “deep division and polarisation”.

The UAE would seek to play “a constructive role to build bridges and find space for agreement and consensus on the numerous important and critical files on the Security Council's agenda,” Ms Nusseibeh said at a press conference at the UN headquarters in New York on Thursday.

The Security Council meets regularly on threats to international peace and security and makes the ultimate decisions on resolutions to impose sanctions, authorise the use of military force and launch peacekeeping missions.

Members of the Security Council, which has five permanent members and 10 non-permanent, preside on a rotating, month-to-month basis. The UAE was elected to a two-year spot on the Security Council in June 2021.

It last held the presidency in March 2022, when the council issued four resolutions, including on renewing peacekeeping missions in Afghanistan and South Sudan.

The UAE will host several events focused on promoting peace in the Middle East and combating climate change.

On June 8, the UAE will host an event to boost collaboration between the UN and the Arab League.

The meeting, which will be led by Khalifa Al Marar, UAE Minister of State, is expected to address some of the challenges faced by the Arab world, including conflicts that continue to simmer in the region.

“We aim to reiterate the importance of Arab-led solutions for regional challenges and for regional solutions to regional challenges as a whole,” said Ms Nusseibeh.

Another key event on June 13 will explore the links between climate, peace and security, drawing on examples from the Horn of Africa, the Sahel and Iraq.

“We will have a discussion that is informed by accounts from peacekeeping and special political missions,” Ms Nusseibeh told reporters. “We aim to underscore how climate change has been, is and will continue to directly impact the council's ability to carry out its mandate.”

Climate change has been a historically challenging subject at the Security Council, said Daniel Forti, senior UN analyst at the Crisis Group.

“This has not been an easy topic,” Mr Forti told The National.

“There are lots of divisions among the council members about both whether the Security Council is the right UN venue for these kinds of discussions and the extent to which the UN Security Council-mandated entities should be engaging on climate support.”

Mr Forti said the UAE has an opportunity to try to help the council chart “new ground” during its presidency with how it frames some of the conversations around climate change.

A third event that will take place during the UAE's presidency will focus on combating intolerance, hate speech and extremism.

Updated: June 01, 2023, 7:11 PM