Sunday 29 January 2023 - 6:51:23 am

Local Press: UAE's push for diplomacy at the UN

ABU DHABI, 26th September, 2022 (WAM) -- A local newspaper has said that the UAE has made its stance clear on a number of issues when it was the country's turn to take the stage at the 77th UN General Assembly.

In an editorial on Monday, The National said that Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, covered a broad range of topics in her address at the UN but the unifying message was clear: diplomacy comes first and is an unarguable case for building bridges. The country has always committed itself to this forward-thinking approach. Two years since the Abraham Accords were signed between Israel and the UAE, Bahrain and Morocco, regional integration has become increasingly evident.

Al Hashimy told fellow representatives in the assembly hall on Saturday afternoon of the UAE's stance to resolve tensions and conflicts by engaging with other nations, illustrating how effective dialogue has been for the country and remains its preferred approach to de-escalate tensions in the region.

"The Arab world and Africa have been hit the hardest by different crises," Al Hashimy said. "As a direct result, we have learnt difficult yet critical lessons: we must prioritise diplomatic solutions, dialogue and de-escalation in order to settle tensions, prevent conflicts from emerging and combat extremist ideologies."

There are a number of areas in which overcoming historic differences and building new partnerships bear fruit and can be seen, most clearly across "critical sectors, such as health, education and industry, as well as in strengthening the role of women".

"Not lost on the assembly, perhaps, Al Hashimy herself was the first woman delivering a speech for the UAE at the UN," the paper added.

"It is not just a matter of Arab women being unequally represented. Since its inception, women speakers have been far fewer than men at the UN, due to international diplomacy traditionally being the preserve of men. The fact that in the 77 years of the UN, a mere four women have been elected president of UNGA speaks to this imbalance. India's Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit in 1953 was the first. Decades later, in 2006, Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa of Bahrain was president of the 61st UNGA, the first woman to hold the position since 1969 – and yet only the third woman since the UN was founded. Such discrepancies make it all the more important that the UAE reiterated its stance that "a full, equal and meaningful participation of women in various fields contributes to building societies," the daily continued.

The overarching agenda for the UAE remains to strengthen bilateral ties and multilateralism, indispensable tools to maintain regional and global stability. At the UN this past week, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, met several of his counterparts in the interest of working together to maintain peace in the region, including Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, to discuss bilateral relations and enhance co-operation.

Sheikh Abdullah was understood to be holding more than 70 bilateral meetings, as ambassador Lana Nusseibeh, the UAE’s Permanent Representative to the UN, told The National last week.

The Abu Dhabi-based daily concluded by saying, "With a day more to go for this year's UNGA to wrap up, there is hope that the high-level meetings that have taken place will chart a new course in helping the world cope with threats of climate, terror and conflict. As the UAE prepares to host Cop28, as next year's UN climate summit is called, it is clear that the country's priorities are oriented towards strengthening existing partnerships and building new ones. They remain the key not just to stability in the region but to a stable future."

WAM/Rola Alghoul/Esraa Ismail