UAE Emphasizes Importance of Addressing Health Crises to Maintain Peace & Security

The UAE underscored the significant role of health in peace and security during the UN Security Council’s open debate on the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on global security matters.

In a written statement submitted to the UN Security Council, the UAE stated, “We have long viewed health and security as part of a nexus, with one affecting the other and requiring close multilateral attention and cooperation. This understanding has informed the UAE’s international response to COVID-19, including our endorsement of the Secretary-General’s call for a global ceasefire, contributions to the UN World Health Organization and UN World Food Programme, and bilateral delivery of more than 1,000 metric tons of medical supplies to over 70 countries, including many on the Security Council’s agenda. This understanding is also reflected in our domestic actions, where we have committed to transparent public data and free testing and treatment for citizens, residents, and visitors alike.  We believe in the adage that no one is safe until everyone is safe.”

The UAE welcomed the Council’s recent adoption of resolution 2532 (2020) which called for a general and immediate cessation of hostilities in all situations on its agenda and a durable humanitarian pause, echoing the call made by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the outset of the pandemic. The UAE was one of the first countries to endorse the appeal, citing the potential of ceasefires to limit the spread and impact of the disease, particularly by improving humanitarian situations. Resolution 2532 (2020) is expected to be a key precedent for future UN Security Council action on pandemics.

Additionally, the UAE recognized the important role peacekeeping missions could have in response to health crises, noting the precedent established during the response to Ebola when peacekeeping missions lent vital support to medical and humanitarian operations in West Africa. The UAE welcomed the steps taken to protect peacekeeping staff from the pandemic and recommended that medical commodities stockpiles for peacekeeping and other staff in the UN’s supply depots be used for quick, needs-based deployment around the globe.

The UAE also highlighted the importance of gender-mainstreaming in the Security Council. COVID-19 has led to increased rates of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) around the globe, as well as disproportionately affected women in conflict-affected communities.  The UAE accordingly called for the Council to be systematically briefed on the status of women and SGBV in the issues under its consideration, and for the Council’s peacekeeping and political missions to have sufficient resources and incentives to deliver results for women.

Furthermore, given border closures in many countries, the UAE underlined the crucial importance of humanitarian access in crisis situations, stressing that the Security Council can be in a position to encourage the flow of essential medical and humanitarian supplies to serve those most in need. The UAE plays a critical role in maintaining humanitarian logistics during crises, with Dubai International Humanitarian City having processed some 80% of personal protective equipment in the World Health Organization’s global response to COVID-19.

 

Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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