USG Rosemary Dicarlo’s Remarks to the Informal Interactive Dialogue
between the Members of the Security Council and Representatives of the Arab Summit Troika
and the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States
New York, 21 September 2023
Thank you, Mr. President.
It is a pleasure to address the Security Council once again on the cooperation of the United Nations with the League of Arab States. It is a privilege to be speaking alongside His Excellency, Mr. Aboul Gheit, Secretary-General of the League.
Today’s geopolitical landscape is marked by the highest levels of tensions, fragmentation, and power competition in decades, coupled with a growing loss of trust between the global North and global South. Meanwhile, a series of threats – from the changing nature of armed conflict and the weaponization of new technologies to the climate emergency and rising inequalities – demand our urgent and united action.
The magnitude of today’s challenges demands greater international cooperation and collective action, as the Secretary-General’s policy brief, A New Agenda for Peace, stresses.
The longstanding and constructive collaboration between the United Nations and the League of Arab States is exemplary. And around the region, there is no shortage of crises requiring joint, coordinated responses.
The deadly conflict in Sudan, now entering its sixth month, continues to inflict unimaginable suffering on Sudanese women, men and children. Sudan’s neighbors have been generous in receiving those able to flee the violence, and we are grateful to them. But there is no sign that the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces are ready to silence their guns. Growing ethnic violence in Darfur remains alarming, while cross-border mobilization and the movement of fighters, alongside the flow of weapons and ammunition from the outside the country, pose growing risks for the entire region.
We are working with the League of Arab States, the African Union and IGAD to resolve this crisis.
I reiterate the calls we have made in this Chamber and beyond to the warring parties in Sudan to agree a true ceasefire leading to a durable cessation of hostilities and ultimately a political settlement. This will require political will, a robust monitoring and verification mechanism, and the ability to hold the parties to account. The role and influence of the League and its membership are critical in this regard.
We remain alarmed by the situation in the occupied West Bank and Israel, where the violence has reached levels not witnessed in decades.
We urgently need constructive steps by the parties – supported by the international community – to break the cycle of violence and restore a political horizon.
Only a legitimate political process will lead to a resolution of this conflict. Our shared goals remain the same: ending the occupation and achieving a viable two-State solution, with Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security, with Jerusalem as the shared capital, in line with international law, relevant United Nations resolutions, and bilateral agreements.
The Peace Day event convened by Saudi Arabia, the League of Arab States and the European Union, in cooperation with Egypt and Jordan, is testament to the international community’s commitment to the two-State solution.
In the immediate term, international cooperation and solidarity is urgently needed to confront the funding shortages plaguing key UN agencies serving the most vulnerable Palestinians.
In Syria, enhanced diplomatic attention from the region is welcome. Our Special Envoy is coordinating with the Arab Contact Group and key regional and international stakeholders towards a series of precise, verifiable, and mutual steps to unlock incremental progress toward the implementation of Security Council resolution 2254 (2015). The aim remains: to achieve a political solution that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people.
In Yemen, renewed regional momentum is encouraging, but will require sustained collective support to enable the resumption of an inclusive, Yemeni-owned political process under UN auspices. The continuation of concerted and coordinated regional support will remain critical to ending the conflict.
Turning to North Africa, the devastating effects of Storm Daniel in eastern Libya and the earthquake in Morocco require urgent humanitarian attention from the international community, as called for by the League. The United Nations has been delivering aid and support, to those in need, including in Derna, Libya. OCHA has launched a $71.4 million flash appeal to provide immediate life-saving assistance to over 250,000 people affected by the floods.
The disaster in Libya also highlights the urgent need for national institutions to unite in order to respond effectively to the mounting needs of the population. We must continue to work together to support Libyan leaders in the finalization of the electoral laws and the formation of a unified government to lead the country to elections. We are grateful to the League for its engagement, through the Libya Quartet and other processes to help find a lasting Libyan-led and -owned solution to the political impasse.
The United Nations and our special political mission, UNSMIL, will continue to intensify efforts with Libyan, regional and international stakeholders, to move beyond the roadblocks preventing progress towards elections.
The United Nations and the League have also deepened and harmonized our approach on climate, peace and security, particularly as the region grapples with the multiplying threats posed by climate change. The outcome of the upcoming COP28 in the United Arab Emirates will put the region squarely at the center of the world’s efforts to combat climate change.
We are also looking ahead to the launch of the new Arab Regional Youth, Peace and Security Strategy, which is premised on the importance of investing in Arab youth, who – as 60% of its population – are the region’s future. I encourage Member States – and young people themselves – to make use of this strategy and bring it to life. The United Nations proudly supported the League in this endeavor and is exploring ways to help implement it, including through our special political missions and other UN offices in the region.
The contributions of Arab women to peace and stability in the region are fundamental, yet more needs to be done to ensure their full, equal and meaningful participation in decision-making and political processes.
In that vein, we are expanding our support to the Arab Women’s Mediators Network, which was established by the League in cooperation with UN Women in 2020. The network can help operationalize Security Council resolution 1325 (2005) and the broader Women, Peace and Security agenda in the region.
We continue to look for opportunities to expand our growing collaboration with the League to promote this agenda.
The merits of deepening the partnership between the United Nations and the League are clear. Cooperation and solidarity are indispensable in these challenging times.
At the sixteenth biennial United Nations-League of Arab States General Cooperation Meeting in Geneva next July, we will have the opportunity to take stock of our joint accomplishments and agree on our overarching priorities for the future.
The United Nations Liaison Office to the League of Arab States, based in Cairo, has been spearheading our efforts to develop and strengthen our cooperation and will continue to play a key role.
Allow me to conclude by underscoring that regional frameworks and organizations remain critical partners for the multilateral solutions envisaged in A New Agenda for Peace.
In the Middle East and North Africa, building on our decades-long partnership, we have a head start.