UNDER-SECRETARY-GENERAL ROSEMARY A. DICARLO’S
REMARKS TO THE SECURITY COUNCIL ON
COOPERATION BETWEEN THE UNITED NATIONS
AND THE LEAGUE OF ARAB STATES
New York, 8 June 2023
Thank you, Mr. President [H.E. Mr. Khalifa Shaheen, Minister of State and Foreign Affairs]
I am pleased to have the opportunity to address the Security Council on our cooperation with the League of Arab States. And I am honored to be speaking alongside His Excellency, Mr. Aboul Gheit, Secretary-General of the League.
In recent years, multilateralism has come under great strain. Trust in institutions and processes has been sorely tested, most recently by the uneven response to the Covid crisis. Defiance of international law and the norms that bind us is making international and regional cooperation to maintain peace and security ever more difficult.
In such a fraught context, it is heartening that the relationship between the United Nations and the League remains robust.
As the Secretary-General reminds us in the report before you, cooperation with the League of Arab States, consistent with Chapter VIII of the Charter, serves to enhance collective security.
In that report, the Secretary-General reviews the areas of cooperation and engagement of our two organizations across the region.
Today, I would like to highlight issues of common concern and some additional developments since the report was prepared.
On Sudan, where fighting is devastating the lives of civilians and destroying the future of the country, the Jeddah Agreement —- brokered by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States on 20 May — gave rise to much hope.
Unfortunately, the parties have failed to implement the Agreement. Furthermore, the Sudanese Armed Forces announced the suspension of their participation in the talks, citing the Rapid Support Forces’ violations of the ceasefire.
It is critical that the parties remain committed to the ceasefire agreement. But this will not be enough. We need a permanent cessation of hostilities and, eventually, a resumption of the political process.
In that regard, we commend the League, as well as the African Union, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and Sudan’s other partners, for their efforts to support peace in Sudan.
Coordination of our various efforts is essential to maximize our impact in support of the Sudanese people. The role of the region will be key to end the conflict.
The situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory keeps deteriorating. Last month, we witnessed yet another devastating escalation in Gaza, with tragic loss of life on both sides and further damage to fragile infrastructure.
Tensions also continue to simmer, and regularly boil over, in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
Unilateral actions, including settlement expansion and violence against Israeli and Palestinian civilians, continue to undermine our collective efforts to realize a two-State solution.
The acute financial and institutional challenges facing the Palestinian Authority, and lack of progress on advancing intra-Palestinian unity and the holding of general elections, must all be addressed.
I echo the Secretary-General’s call to ensure full funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).
The Agency plays a critical role for Palestine refugees and regional stability. The World Food Programme also needs immediate financial support to continue vital assistance to Palestinians.
We share a common goal with the League: the two-State solution that realizes the legitimate national aspirations of Palestinians and Israelis, in line with international law and UN resolutions. This is the only path to sustainable peace between the two peoples.
We followed the outcomes of the 19 May Summit of the League of Arab States closely, taking note that many of the adopted resolutions highlighted issues of mutual interest, as well as our ongoing cooperation in numerous areas.
We welcome, among others, the Summit’s resolution  on developments in Libya. This is a demonstration of the League’s engagement on this issue, including as a member of the Libya Quartet along with the UN.
We commend, in particular, the League’s expression of support for ongoing UN efforts to find a political solution for Libya.
In the coming weeks and months, the international community will need to remain united behind elections in Libya by the end of 2023.
Libyans want to elect their leaders, restore legitimacy to their institutions and end the cycle of endless political transitions. They have already had to wait too long to do so.
Regarding Syria, we take note of Arab meetings in Amman and Jeddah, and the resolution adopted at the Jeddah Summit, which reflected the importance of Security Council resolution 2254 (2015), the only internationally agreed roadmap to resolve the Syrian conflict.
If the renewed regional attention on Syria is translated into action, we could see momentum build towards a negotiated political settlement of the conflict.
Addressing the fate of the detained, the disappeared and the missing is essential to move closer towards sustainable peace. We call on all parties to take meaningful steps to this end. We urge Member States to support the establishment of an institution dedicated to the missing.
Regarding refugees, protection concerns need to be addressed more visibly, transparently and systematically.
We will continue to work with all, as the United Nations facilitates a Syrian-led, Syrian-owned political process.
We cannot do this alone. We need the support of all key actors, in particular the Member States of the League.
The Arab region faces a range of urgent challenges related to peace and security, development, and climate change.
But the region also possesses immense potential, particularly in its young men and women. 60 percent of the population is under 30 years old.
Together, we continue to encourage Member States to engage with and invest in Arab youth. That is not only the right thing to do; it is also the sensible thing to do for the region’s future.
Earlier this year, we supported the League in the development of an Arab regional youth, peace and security strategy.
This involved a consultative process that enabled the voices of over 300 young people from 13 countries to be heard, achieving a level of outreach and public engagement unimaginable not so long ago.
We are now looking at ways the UN can support the implementation of this strategy.
We encourage the League’s Member States to use it to guide regional, subregional and national implementation of Security Council resolution 2250 (2015) and other relevant aspects of the Youth, Peace and Security agenda.
As highlighted in the Secretary-General’s report, we also continue supporting, through the UN Liaison Office and in close cooperation with UN Women, the League’s efforts to implement Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) as well as the Arab Women Mediators Network and the Action Plan for Women Peace and Security in the Arab region.
These are but a few examples of how our ongoing cooperation deepens and expands to address new and emerging priorities, including through the UN Liaison Office to the League of Arab States.
The Office continues to strengthen our communication and cooperation, while facilitating regular contacts between UN Special Envoys and the League.
And, as always, we stand ready to work closely together with the League on various mediation efforts in the region, through joint, coordinated and focused action.
Next year, we will organize our sixteenth United Nations – League of Arab States General Cooperation Meeting to review our biennial framework, take stock of our accomplishments and open new avenues for cooperation.
This meeting will bring together all the departments, agencies, funds and programmes of our two systems, acknowledging the significance of the peace-humanitarian-development nexus.
We are committed to meeting our common challenges – and seize the opportunities before us – in the Arab world and beyond.
Together, we can achieve what neither organization could achieve on its own.