Mr President,

I would like to thank you for organising this meeting. I would also like to thank the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, His Excellency Ahmed Aboul Gheit, and Under-Secretary-General, Rosemary DiCarlo, for their briefings. We particularly welcome the presence of Ms Omnia El Omrani. The Security Council and the League do well to give significant space to the views, needs and transformative power of young people in their deliberations.

The League of Arab States and the United Nations share not only the same founding year, but also a common mission: the promotion of peace and security through the pursuit of solidarity and unity. Like other regional organisations and in accordance with Chapter VIII of the Charter, the League is therefore an important partner of this Council.

Indeed, prevention, mediation and building lasting peace require the inclusion of regional communities in multilateral action. This was one of the main conclusions of the Council's open debate on 3rd of May. However, as Yemeni peace builder Muna Luqman recently reminded us: "there is a big gap between local needs and what is happening globally".

The League can help bridge this gap by bringing the Council and the people of its 22 member states closer together.

This is all the more necessary given the continuing challenges in the region:

With regard to Syria, Switzerland is following the current regional dynamics with interest. We welcome the willingness expressed at the recent meetings of the League of Arab States in Cairo and Jeddah to work together to implement Security Council resolutions, in particular resolution 2254, with the aim of finding a just and comprehensive solution to the conflict. We also welcome the attention paid by the League of Arab States to the continuation of the cross-border aid mechanism endorsed by this Council.

There is also an urgent need to find a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Credible dialogue geared towards a negotiated two-state solution is needed to enable the parties to break out of the spiral of violence. Such a solution would also constitute a central element of regional security. The League of Arab States, which has emerged in the context of this conflict, has an important role to play in this respect, for example through the Arab Peace Initiative. However, it is up to all the influential players to commit to a solution that takes account of the aspirations of young people in particular.

Finally, in Yemen, we have seen encouraging progress in the peace negotiations in recent months. Nevertheless, it is important to continue efforts to conclude a new truce agreement and to take steps towards an inclusive peace process.

Mr President,

Cooperation between the United Nations and the League of Arab States remains crucial in addressing the challenges that concern us all. This is also the case with climate change. The joint holding of a conference in December 2022 on drought, food security and climate resilience in Somalia showed the added value of this collaboration.

I would like to stress another important point, in relation to areas of public life in the Arab world: the full, equal, meaningful and safe participation of women. This can be stimulated by various mechanisms of regional and international organisations. These efforts must be accompanied by an enabling environment for women's participation at the national level, including legal frameworks that guarantee women's equal rights. Sustainable peace will either be built with women or it will never be built at all.

Switzerland supports efforts to achieve lasting peace and maintains close relations with the countries in the region. We therefore look forward to the next general cooperation meeting between the UN and the League of Arab States being held in Geneva in 2024.

I thank you.