New York: The UAE has called on the international community to strengthen mediation efforts as part of a comprehensive approach to prevent and settle disputes peacefully.

Amira Al Hefeiti, Deputy Permanent Representative of the UAE to the UN, underlined the importance of peaceful resolutions at the UN Security Council Open Debate, on the mediation and peaceful resolution of conflicts.

Al Hefeiti identified the Middle East as a region that could benefit from greater mediation efforts, especially as long-term conflict in multiple countries continues to unsettle the region.

To this end, she reiterated the UAE’s commitment to political resolutions and the UN-led processes that underpin them, particularly in Libya, Palestine, Syria and Yemen.

“We know that the ‘surge in diplomacy for peace’, as Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for, is critical not only for achieving lasting political resolutions to these and other conflicts, but also preventing conflict from breaking out in the first place,” the UAE official emphasised.

She outlined the UAE’s diplomatic efforts to establish peace throughout the region, highlighting the success of the recent peace agreement between Eritrea and Ethiopia. It will have a far-reaching positive impact on the whole Horn of Africa and neighbouring regions, she noted.

Additionally, Al Hefeiti underscored the need for inclusiveness — particularly of women — in mediation efforts: “Fundamentally, when peace negotiations include women, peace lasts longer. Women must not just be at the table during negotiations: women must also be the mediators themselves.” She also urged the Security Council and UN-led mediation efforts to work closely with regional organisations towards lasting political resolutions.

She also provided recommendations, including giving full effect to the legal framework for the peaceful settlement of disputes established by Article 33 of the UN Charter. The Security Council should stand ready to do what is necessary and appropriate, to support the efforts of Member States, she said, praising the vital role the UN has and continues to play in peaceful dispute settlement.

she voiced the UAE’s firm support for the Secretary-General’s High-Level Advisory Board for Mediation.

Al Hefeiti also stressed that while dispute settlement procedures are instituted, parties to the dispute must engage in the procedures in good faith and not seek to undermine or abuse them for their own political ends.