Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 20 October 2020

UAE announces bid for UN Security Council seat

The UAE served on the council once before, from 1986 to 1987

The UAE announced its candidacy for a non-permanent seat in the Security Council for the 2022-2023 term, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, said on Tuesday.

The minister confirmed the UAE’s bid for one of the two-year rotating positions during an online address to the UN General Assembly.

He affirmed the UAE's commitment to following the UN’s mandate to maintain international peace and security in co-operation with members of the Security Council.

Council seats from the Arab world are usually allotted from the regional group uncontested, meaning the UAE may have a clear path to the chamber. It has served on the council once before, from 1986 to 1987.

“Our track record speaks for itself,” Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Anwar Gargash told an online meeting of the Council on Foreign Relations, a New York-based think tank, on Tuesday.

“We want to bring new thinking from the region to build on two things,” he said.

“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.”

In his address, Sheikh Abdullah repeated the UAE’s rejection of the annexation of Palestinian territory by Israel and pointed to the UAE’s historic peace accord with Israel as a route to comprehensive peace in the region.

“With the signing of a historic peace accord with Israel supported by American efforts, my country was able to freeze the annexation decision and open broad prospects to achieve a comprehensive peace,” he said.

The minister also affirmed his belief that peace in Yemen can be restored but said that a political decision to resolve the crisis there “must be taken by Yemenis”.

On Libya, he highlighted the UAE’s deep concern about Turkey’s military interference, which he said has “undermined efforts to reach a peaceful solution and destabilised the entire region" and called for an immediate ceasefire.

The minister also raised concerns regarding the security threat in the region, calling for UN-led political solutions to confront the risk posed by terrorist groups such as the Houthis, ISIS, Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood.

"Today, some conflicts are becoming dangerously regionalised. There is also the growing influence of extremist groups. Threats of cyberwar are rising and the use of sophisticated weapons to attack strategic areas is increasing," he said, adding:

"Despite these mounting global threats, the UAE believes that we can transform unprecedented challenges into great opportunities by uniting our efforts and building international institutions capable of coping with current and emerging challenges."

Updated: September 30, 2020 11:33 AM

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