Foreign Secretary H. E. Harsh Vardhan Shringla addressed the UNSC briefing on “Cooperation between the UN & Regional & Subregional Organisations (League of Arab States)”

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March 23, 2022

Mr. President,

At the outset, let me extend my felicitation to H.E. Mr. Khalifa Shaheen Almarar, Minister of State of the United Arab Emirates, for chairing today’s meeting on cooperation between United Nations and the League of Arab States. I also welcome the presence of the UN Secretary General and the Secretary General of the League of Arab States and thank them for their valuable insights. I would like to thank the representative of civil society, Ms. Razan Farhan Alaqil for her briefing.

2. Let me take this opportunity to congratulate the delegation of the UAE for their steadfast stewardship of the Council for this month, as well as, for successfully piloting the Presidential Statement in the Council on the UN- League of Arab States cooperation

3. For over a millennia, the Arab world has been a cradle of human civilization. Given its strategic location, developments in the Arab world have influenced our shared history and they continue to have a profound impact globally. The challenges confronted by the region today and how we address them will have a critical bearing on international peace and security.

4. India and the Arab world share a civilizational relationship, underpinned by our strong people-to-people relations and commercial and cultural ties. Trade between India and the Arab region through the Indian Ocean had flourished for several centuries even before the advent of modern commerce. The Indian rupee was legal tender in parts of the Arab world not very long ago.

5. Today, countries from the Arab world are host to more than 9 million Indians and India’s wide-ranging partnership with these countries encompasses every aspect of human endeavour – from agriculture, trade, commerce and education to clean energy, counter-terrorism and new technologies.

6. India and the League of Arab States signed an MOU two decades ago for institutionalizing a regular dialogue process to forge a partnership for the future. It led to creation of the India – League of Arab States Forum, during which progressive co-operation in several fields like energy, environmental protection, investment, food security, science and technology and human resource development were agreed upon. Several other initiatives to deepen our engagement with the League of Arab States have also been conceptualized including the Energy Symposium, Media Symposium and the first edition of the Arab India Energy Forum which was successfully convened a few months ago.

Mr. President,

7. The League of Arab States has contributed positively to security and stability in the region. Its Member States are significant troop and police contributors to UN peacekeeping forces. The Arab States are among the largest donors of humanitarian assistance to countries facing armed conflict in the region. The League has played an important role in the areas of mediation, conflict prevention and resolution in the region.

8. Today’s meeting provides us with a valuable opportunity to take a closer look at the cooperation between the United Nations and the League of Arab States. We underline that the League of Arab States can further contribute in our joint endeavour for peace, for the sake of the people of the region, in general and women and minorities, in particular. We take note of the positive trajectory of the cooperation, including through the UN Liaison Office in Cairo and the practice of annual briefings by the Secretary-General to this Council.

9. In this regard, I would like to submit four proposals; specific suggestions for consideration by the Council:

• First, there must be greater policy synergy between the two organizations. Regular and frequent consultations with the League of Arab States and its members on peace initiatives in the region would contribute towards achieving common solutions and meaningful outcomes;

• Second, efforts must be made to achieve comprehensive coordination at the field level, especially through regular coordination between the UN Special Envoys and Special Representatives and the League of Arab States;

• Third, engagement with the League and its members in post-conflict peace building through reconstruction and economic development is equally important; and

• Fourth, ensuring the stability of the countries concerned and the region, and the welfare of the people, especially women and minorities, should be at the forefront of all such efforts.

10. The cooperation between the UN and the League of Arab States is of critical importance when it comes to the Middle East Peace Process. Both organisations must take concerted efforts to support the reactivation of the Middle East Peace Process in line with the two-State solution, based on the internationally agreed framework and previous agreements between the parties. India welcomes the agreements for normalisation of relations between countries in the region, which we believe will contribute to greater peace and stability in the region.

Mr. President,

11. Let me conclude by expressing India’s steadfast support for a closer, meaningful and sustained cooperation between the United Nations and the League of Arab States for the benefit of the region. India will continue to partner with the Arab countries in their efforts to achieve regional peace, stability and prosperity and will continue to work with the League of Arab States in combating terrorism and in promoting tolerance and pluralism.

I thank you Mr. President.

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