UAE Foreign Minister Address to 70th UN General Assembly

On October 2nd, 2015, UAE Foreign Minister, His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, addressed the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly. During his remarks, Sheikh Abdullah discussed the UAE’s support for the United Nations, the UAE’s continued commitment to addressing regional security challenges, and reiterated the UAE’s dedicated efforts to providing humanitarian assistance to those in need.  

See here for Sheikh Abdullah’s remarks as prepared, and below for key excerpts from the Foreign Minister’s remarks.

On the United Nations role to promote international security:

“Despite the progress made over the past seven decades, the United Nations must now play a greater role in addressing the grave security challenges that risk threatening its achievements. The challenges facing the Middle East today, particularly extremism, terrorism, interference in the internal affairs of States and non-respect for the sovereignty of States, demonstrate that this Organization has not yet fulfilled its primary objective of maintaining international peace and security.”

 

On the exploitation of Islam by terrorist organizations:

“…the UAE is deeply concerned by the escalating tension and violence in our region resulting from the terrorist acts committed by elements deliberately aiming at destabilizing the region and undermining its security. Since the Second World War, the world has not witnessed such an escalation in brutal and shocking terrorist crimes carried out by extremist organizations, most notably Daesh, Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, Ansar-Allah, and other groups, who exploit religion for political purposes. The UAE condemns the brutal methods used by these groups and organizations in the name of Islam. They have no connection with the tolerant teachings of Islam, which calls for peaceful coexistence and acceptance of others.”

 

On the UAE’s continued commitment to addressing regional security challenges:

“After five years of conflict and chaos, the regional forces have joined efforts to help restore security and stability in the region and help affected countries to confront these threats and to protect their people. The UAE has played an effective role in these regional efforts and positively engaged in maintaining peace and stability through political, security, humanitarian and development mechanisms.”

 “My country has been committed to supporting regional and international efforts aiming at combating extremism and terrorism through cooperation and coordination with regional and international partners, including the international coalition against Daesh and the Global Counterterrorism Forum. … The UAE host also the Muslim Council of Elders and the Global Forum for Promoting Peace in the Muslim Societies with a view to spreading a culture of tolerance and peace and promoting convergence between faiths. Recently, the UAE launched in cooperation with the United States, the Sawab Center with a view to countering the social media messaging of Daesh, and to allow moderate voices to reach the millions of people who reject terrorist practices and the misleading conceptions promoted by Daesh and other terrorist groups.”

 

On the UAE’s support for the Arab coalition in Yemen and humanitarian assistance for the Yemeni people:

“The UAE affirms its continued support for the Arab coalition led by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its commitment to enhancing the capacity of the Yemeni people to restore stability. We regard the liberation of Aden from the Houthis’ rebels a military and a humanitarian victory, with Aden now the logistical base for delivering vital humanitarian aid to the Yemeni people. Aden’s liberation has facilitated improvements in the delivery of humanitarian assistance and helped to alleviate the situation. The UAE is committed to supporting humanitarian efforts in Yemen. Total UAE humanitarian assistance extended to Yemen during the past four months has exceeded two hundred million dollars. We will continue working with the United Nations to deliver aid to meet the humanitarian emergency needs of the Yemeni people.”

 

On the UAE’s efforts to alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people:

“The UAE is increasingly concerned about the inability of the international community to reach a political settlement to the Syrian crisis and put an end to the violence and systematic mass atrocities committed by the Syrian regime against its own people, which have resulted in the displacement of millions of Syrians and the destruction of their properties. The crisis has also created serious humanitarian consequences, which have affected neighboring countries and led to a political and security vacuum exploited by terrorist organizations, especially Daesh and AlNusra Front, which have spread their extremist ideas and destructive messages in the region.

Therefore, the Security Council must fulfill its principal mandate and reach a consensus on a settlement for the Syrian crisis to ensure a political transition and the formation of a new government, which encompasses all components of the Syrian society. We also stress the importance of the international community continuing to deliver humanitarian aid to the Syrian people.

The UAE affirms its humanitarian commitment to supporting the Syrian people and alleviating their suffering. Since the beginning of the conflict, the UAE has received more than 100,000 Syrian nationals, and extended humanitarian and development assistance totaling more than US$ 530 million."