Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, delivered the United Arab Emirates’ statement during the General Debate of the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

Al Hashimy addressed important topics, which were raised at a time when the international system is witnessing escalating crises. H.E. Al Hashimy said: “The UAE declared this year the Year of Sustainability, under the theme "Today for Tomorrow” to honour our shared responsibility to present and future generations, who deserve to live in safe, and prosperous environments. We also seek to honour and build upon the efforts of our founding fathers, who strived for the advancement of our nations. Our responsibility is to preserve our planet, our natural resources as well as our cultural heritage.”

Al Hashimy stressed the importance of that approach in the midst of the existential challenges facing the world today, whether in terms of confronting armed conflicts, climate disasters, and our shared human values, including the unrelenting waves of extremism, racism, and hate speech dominating the world. H.E. Al Hashimy added: “Fortunately, more than any other time in history, today we are capable of overcoming these challenges. We have reached the highest level of advancement: today we possess the technology required to find innovative solutions to complex challenges.”

In the UAE’s statement, Al Hashimy pointed out the importance of maintaining an international order based on respect for the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of states. “Resorting to the use of force instead of relying on political solutions and dividing the world into an ‘us against them’ mentality is a zero-sum game. This will only lead to more chaos and wither our diplomatic tools. We underscore the importance of respecting diversity, political differences, and development disparities.”

Al Hashimy stressed that the best way to resolve crises is through peaceful means. She said: “Our region is ravaged by armed conflicts and extremist ideologies. The UAE continues to exert efforts to reduce escalations and call for dialogue and diplomacy to resolve differences. We have been focusing on creating a new status quo to strengthen economic integration among the countries of our region. This would benefit the economies and people of the region and will enhance regional stability and prosperity.”

Al Hashimy renewed the UAE’s demand that Iran end its occupation of the islands of Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb, and Abu Musa. She said: “Our legitimate right to these islands has not diminished and time will not diminish nor extinguish our sovereignty over these islands. We will continue to seek a resolution, either through direct negotiation or through the International Court of Justice. This has been our firm stance for decades.”

Al Hashimy spoke about the climate, food, energy and water crises, stressing that the climate change crisis is an important juncture in our history. “To keep 1.5 within reach, we need transformational change. Some may see this as impossible... but the UAE disagrees.”

Al Hashimy referred to the UAE’s preparations to host the 28th session of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in two months. “The action plan of the conference will focus on four main axes: accelerating an orderly and just transition in the energy sector, advancing climate financing mechanisms, and enhancing the livelihoods and protection of individuals according to a transparent and inclusive framework.”

On the issue of water scarcity, the UAE is expending great effort to find new models of international cooperation in the field of water and make this challenge a top priority for multilateral action. “The UAE seeks to find effective solutions by working with international partners to address this important issue. Today, the UAE’s Foreign Ministry has published a report, which we hope will contribute to achieving this goal.”

The UAE believes that collective action is no longer simply an option, but an urgent need, and that today’s decisions will have far-reaching impacts for decades to come. Al Hashimy said: “Peace is our choice, development is our path, and a stable future is our destination. We see the potential of future leaders in our youth. A leadership that will bolster our achievements and usher in a promising future.”

Finally, in her speech, Al Hashimy once again expressed the UAE’s sincere condolences and sympathy to the governments and people of the Kingdom of Morocco and the State of Libya after the recent disasters that hit the two countries.