UAE diplomats ready for first business day at UN’s top table

Emiratis will be seated between envoys from Britain and Russia in the 15-nation chamber

Lana Nusseibeh, centre, the UAE’s permanent representative to the UN, said her country's term will focus on a 'firm commitment to peace, stability and multilateralism. Wam
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Emirati diplomats were on Monday gearing up for their first day of business on the UN Security Council, releasing details of their policies as they take their place at the chamber’s famed horseshoe-shaped table.

UAE diplomats said they would sit between the UK and Russia in the 15-nation chamber, as seats are allocated alphabetically, and they vowed to use their two-year term to advance “peace, stability and multilateralism” around the world.

The UAE, Albania, Brazil, Gabon and Ghana on Saturday began their two-year terms on the council, which has the task of addressing threats to international peace and security. Each was elected unopposed by UN members in June.

UAE ambassador to the UN Lana Nusseibeh said her country was “honoured to take our elected seat” on the council for a second time — a position that “comes with enormous responsibility”. The UAE served on the council previously from 1986-1987.

“The UAE’s term will be based on our firm commitment to peace, stability and multilateralism across the globe,” Ms Nusseibeh, who was elevated last week to the rank of minister, said in a statement.

Ms Nusseibeh will on Tuesday join envoys from the council's other 14 members to agree on the meeting schedule for January. Later, she will speak at a flag-raising ceremony for council newcomers.

The mission reported that the January agenda features “important discussions” such as having more women serve in UN peacekeeping missions and protecting civilians in the world’s war zones.

In a separate posting on Monday, the mission released details about its “new home” on East 46th Street — a 10-storey, energy-saving building less than a block from UN headquarters in midtown Manhattan.

The UAE’s route back to the council was years in the making.

Its candidacy was endorsed by the Arab League in 2012 and by a group of Asia-Pacific nations in 2020. It has taken the seat typically reserved for Arab nations, replacing Tunisia.

The Security Council has 10 seats for temporary members but it is dominated by its five permanent members — Russia, China, the US, Britain and France — which hold the power of veto.

It 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.

Its case file includes hotspots such as Ethiopia, Myanmar and Afghanistan as well as the decades-old Palestinian-Israeli conflict and Iran’s nuclear programme.

Members take turns holding the council’s rotating presidency each month, during which they manage the agenda, preside over meetings and decide on topics for debate. The UAE will assume that role in March.

Updated: January 07, 2022, 6:40 PM