UAE to increase multilateral cooperation to combat terrorism, top official says

Country will also seek to build bridges between great powers on the UN Security Council, Dr Anwar Gargash says


Ismail Sebugwaawo

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Dr Anwar Gargash, diplomatic advisor to The President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. – Wam
Dr Anwar Gargash, diplomatic advisor to The President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. – Wam

Published: Mon 15 Nov 2021, 6:14 PM

Last updated: Mon 15 Nov 2021, 6:16 PM

The UAE will aim at increased cooperation to combat terrorism when it takes up its seat in January as an elected member of the UN Security Council, a top official has said.

“We will promote multilateral cooperation to combat terrorism and extremism, with a particular focus on combating the ways extremist ideologies flourish and holding terrorist groups accountable for their crimes,” said Dr Anwar Gargash during the eighth edition of the Emirates Policy Center’s Abu Dhabi Strategic Debate (ADSD).

The diplomatic advisor to The President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, said that the country would also work to enhance communication among Arab countries, and strengthen the role of regional organisations in the peaceful resolution of disputes.

Dr Gargash said that pandemic and post-pandemic geostrategic realities will inform the UAE’s approach.

He also said that the UAE will champion the role of women and girls in promoting peace. “We will seek to build bridges between the great powers on the Council. This will include engaging in dialogue to explore how to reinforce an open and collaborative world order. Across all our work on the Council, rest assured that we will always take a resolutely principled approach to our decision-making,” Dr Gargash said.

“Our votes will be aligned with the principles of the UN Charter. They will be informed by consultation with other Arab Group members and other relevant non-Council members. And they will be rooted in the consistent, long-standing principles of UAE foreign policy,” he said, expressing hope that all countries will see value in being able to depend on the UAE’s consistent, autonomous, and principled approach.

Zero emissions by 2050

Addressing the gathering, Dr Gargash said that perhaps the strongest sign of the UAE’s commitment to the future is its announcement of a target of net zero emissions by 2050 – the first in the region and in OPEC. “This is not easy for an economy that has benefited so greatly from oil. But it comes from both a sense of global responsibility and an innate confidence that with hard work and imagination we can become leaders in new economic sectors,” he said.

He said that the UAE has made an offer to host the United Nations’ climate change summit in 2023, known as ‘COP 28’. “At last week’s COP 26, I am delighted to say that our offer was accepted. This is both a humbling and an energising responsibility. We plan to make COP28 as inclusive and action-oriented as possible,” he said, adding that the UAE is still on a learning curve on climate change and continues to strengthen its knowledge and policies on this all-important file.

‘The Post-Pandemic World’

According to Dr Gargash, the UAE may have managed to successfully control the virus at home, but must stay vigilant. “We also know that too many people around the world are still waiting for a vaccination, and that we must work collectively and urgently to change this. But I nevertheless believe the title is appropriate because Covid-19 has already altered some of the geostrategic priorities, and in a way that I believe will have lasting impacts once the pandemic has finally been brought under control,” he said.

According to him, the pandemic has highlighted how critical our global supply chains are. “It is only when there were problems, that we truly realised how vulnerable they can be, and the important supportive role that the government can play in making them more resilient,” said Dr Gargash.

According to Dr. Gargash, the pandemic has contributed to reordering of the regional priorities. “The truth is that the region is not doing much better than it was before the pandemic: we still face similar challenges, from intra-state conflict to external interference in sovereign affairs, and from Islamist extremism to chronic poor governance,” he said.

He said the Arab regional system suffers from the erosion of fundamental tenets of the sovereign nation state, such as the possession of a shared national identity, the government exercising effective control over the entire state’s territory, and the absence of external infringements on a country’s sovereignty. “In almost half of the members of the Arab League, the institutions of the sovereign nation state are seriously challenged by internal conflicts based on sectarianism, failure of governance, and extremism, which are often made worse by external interference,” said Dr. Gargash.

Economic prosperity

Dr Gargash said that the pandemic has also reminded us that we cannot take our economic prosperity for granted. “We are placing a greater emphasis on the role of economic diplomacy in attracting foreign investment into the country, facilitating UAE investment overseas, and opening markets for trade,” he emphasised. “We are taking steps to make our business environment more attractive, and to enable people who can contribute to our nation to make the UAE their long-term home,” he said.

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