Statement at the UNSC Briefing on Cooperation between the UN & the League of Arab States
Statement23 March 2022
Thank you Mr. President, Minister Shaheen, and sincere thanks also to the Secretary General and the Secretary General of the Arab League for their remarks, and to Ms. Alaqil for bringing the perspective of young people and women to bear to our deliberations. We have heard your important messages here to us today. As you said, our future hopes lie with you, and I have to say if there are one hundred million out there like you, I think our hopes will be well looked after, so thank you.
Chapter VIII of the UN Charter recognises the crucial role of regional organisations in the maintenance of peace and security. Ireland’s own history and national experience means that we deeply appreciate the vital contribution of such organisations in building and sustaining peace. Our membership of the European Union was central to our development and growth. Moreover, the European Union played a key role in the journey to peace and reconciliation on the island of Ireland.
Ireland attaches the highest importance to the role of the League of Arab States and we look forward to the adoption of the PRST this morning on cooperation between the UN and the LAS. Our commitment to the LAS was reflected in the programme of our own Council Presidency last September, when our Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defence Simon Coveney was pleased to chair the Informal Interactive Dialogue between Members of this Council, and the Arab Summit Troika. The United Nations and the League of Arab States have much to learn from each other as they work on the vital task of the maintenance of peace and security in the region.
Ireland welcomes the recent appointment of Ms. Tamara al-Zayyat as Head of the UN Liaison Office to the League of Arab States. As we heard, she is doing valuable work in helping to create synergies between the two Secretariats on a range of important issues. One of these issues, both for the region and indeed beyond, is the relationship between climate change and insecurity. This is an area where we see potential for increased cooperation, and we welcome the Secretary General’s remarks that this will be the subject of a sectoral meeting between the League and the UN.
Ireland firmly underlines the urgent need for lasting political solutions to disputes and conflicts in the region. We echo the UAE’s call for innovative approaches to strengthen conflict prevention and mediation in the region in support of the Council’s own efforts.
In Libya, the deterioration of the situation on the ground since the postponement of elections last December is of grave concern. All actors have a responsibility to safeguard the progress that the Libyan people, supported by the international community, have worked so hard to achieve.
In Yemen, innocent civilians have suffered for far too long and only a negotiated political solution will bring peace. Negotiations towards peace can only take place when there is a serious effort towards de-escalation in violence. All parties to this conflict are bound by their obligations under international humanitarian Law. I also want to reiterate here Ireland’s condemnation in the strongest terms of the cross border attacks against Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
This month marks eleven years of devastating conflict in Syria. It is critical that now more than ever, the parties adhere to a permanent nationwide ceasefire, in line with resolution 2254. This remains the only basis for a sustainable political solution.
As a leading troop contributor to UNIFIL since 1978, Ireland remains resolutely committed to the stability of Lebanon, as its people grapple with complex political and economic challenges. We urge the holding of elections as scheduled on 15 May this year, and the full implementation of relevant resolutions of this Council.
In these countries and others in the region, we are sadly seeing an increasingly grave humanitarian and food security crisis. As the Secretary-General has told us, “Ukraine alone provides more than half of the World Food Programme’s wheat supply”. Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine has driven up food and commodity prices, which will compound the humanitarian misery for millions of people.
Finally, Mr. President, a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains a key element for regional and global security. In the absence of positive political progress, we must guard against the potential for disillusionment and despair to take hold, especially among young people. International and regional actors must recommit to the imperative of a two state solution, as the only way to guarantee a stable, sustainable peace between Israelis and Palestinians. This would be to the benefit of all people in the region.
Thank you Mr. President.