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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 7 March 2021

Gargash: UN Security Council should 'unify' on Arab issues

UN needs to better understand crises in Yemen, Syria, Libya and Palestine

Dr Anwar Gargash, the UAE's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, has voiced hopes about a resolution of the Gulf crisis. Chris Whiteoak / The National
Dr Anwar Gargash, the UAE's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, has voiced hopes about a resolution of the Gulf crisis. Chris Whiteoak / The National

The UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr Anwar Gargash, on Monday called for reforms to the UN Security Council under which members would visit the Middle East more often and veto fewer decisions.

Dr Gargash told an online meeting of the council that Arabs should have a larger role in UN decisions involving their region.

The Security Council is often deadlocked by differences between its five permanent members, particularly over the war in Syria.

“It is important to unify the position on the Security Council on Arab issues, limiting the use of the veto, so that the position of the Security Council reflects the concerns of Arab countries on these crises,” he said.

Dr Gargash called for more co-operation between the UN and the Arab League, and for Arabs to be more involved in delivering solutions to conflicts in Yemen, Syria, Libya and the occupied Palestinian territories.

“It is important for more consultations and formal and informal meetings to be held with the Security Council and members of the Arab League so that we can exchange information and views on Arab issues,” he said, speaking on behalf of the League.

“The council could increase the number of visits it makes to the region because this would allow them to better understand and have a clear and deeper understanding of the council as to the nature of crises in the Arab world."

The UN’s 15-nation Security Council consists of 10 temporary members, who serve rotating two-year terms, and five permanent members – Britain, France, Russia, China and the US – who have the power to veto decisions.

China and Russia increased their use of the veto considerably since 2011, mostly in relation to the war in Syria.

The US has vetoed council resolutions that were critical of Israel or American policy towards it.

The UAE is running for a temporary UN Security Council seat for 2022-2023, saying its experience of helping to manage crises in the Middle East could help decision-makers in New York.

The council meets regularly on threats to international peace and security, and is the ultimate arbiter on resolutions imposing international sanctions, authorising the use of military force and sending peacekeeping operations.

Updated: January 19, 2021 12:43 AM

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