Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at UNSC briefing on cooperation between the United Nations and the League of Arab States

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June 8, 2023


We welcome you in the President’s seat of the Security Council. We thank USG DiCralo and Secretary-General of the League of Arab States Ahmed Aboul Gheit for their insights and assessments. We also thank Dr. Omnia El Omrani for the briefing.

Russia has consistently supported enhancement of UN cooperation with the League of Arab States (LAS). The two organizations are of the same age and were created in the interests of peace and security on a global and regional scale.

To our regret, the situation in most states of the Middle East and Northern Africa remains complicated due to the numerous hotbeds of instability in the region. There is tension in Syria, Libya, Yemen, Sudan, and Western Sahara. Efforts are required to promote stability in Lebanon and Iraq. Palestinian-Israeli settlement, which is currently stalled, needs urgent steps that could take the situation out of the deadlock. The complex socio-economic situation in a number of Arab states exacerbates the radical sentiment and conduces extremist and terrorist manifestations.

In these circumstances, further advancement of UN-LAS interaction at all levels is a pressing need. Within the framework of cooperation under Chapter 8 of the UN Charter, issues of ensuring collective security, countering emerging challenges and resolving crises in the region are of particular importance. We are convinced that such cooperation would help resolve existing problems and disputes peacefully, without external interference, while respecting the interests of all parties involved and on the basis of the norms and provisions of international law.

In order to sustain this interaction, the United Nations opened a Liaison Office to the League of Arab States in Cairo in 2019. We believe this channel should be used effectively and welcome annual informal meetings of the UN Security Council with the Council of the Arab League, which allow to address the current problems of the region and discuss prospective joint efforts for early prevention. In view of the tense situation in some Arab states in Africa, we think it’s essential to boost coordination between the United Nations, the Arab League, and the African Union.

In this context, we reiterate again that Russia traditionally stands for a more active engagement of the Arab League in international formats for settlement of regional crises. In particular, we consistently supported the idea of involving LAS representatives on the work of the Quartet of international intermediaries for resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, which has been blocked by our colleagues on the Security Council.

We proceed from the understanding that crises in the Middle East and Northern Africa can be resolved in a reliable and lasting manner only if collective agreements are made with participation of Arab states and without attempts to impose some pre-cooked scenarios from the outside. Therefore we welcome the long-awaited decision of the Arab League to re-admit Syria to the Arab family. In our contacts with Arab capitals, we have been calling on them to recover full-fledged relations with Damascus. We are convinced that such step would promote consolidated stability and security in the Middle East, and also send a crucial signal that Syria has been and remains an integral member of the United Nations, League of Arab States, and other associations contrary to Western attempts to isolate representatives of the Syrian government. However, despite the objective reality, the West sticks to this approach. Damascus has not been invited to the Seventh Brussels Conference on Syria. We look forward to the Arab states enhancing their support for the Syrians in resolving tasks related to post-conflict recovery, which is obstructed by the illegitimate unilateral sanctions that Damascus is exposed to.

We believe that the decision of the LAS Foreign Ministers Council demonstrated the willingness of the Arab world to strengthen coordination to resolve current regional and international problems, confirming their commitment to pursuing an independent international policy based on their fundamental interests.

In conclusion, we reaffirm our readiness to contribute in every way possible to the process of normalizing the situation both in our national capacity and collectively, including through cooperation LAS-UN cooperation. In this context, we recall Russia’s concept of collective security for the Persian Gulf, which is aimed at rejection of confrontational approaches and promotion of a constructive unifying agenda. Our initiative is an invitation to dialogue, in which the LAS and the UN can play an important role.

Thank you.

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