LONDON – Wednesday, 15 November 2023 (APS) – During his current visit to the United Kingdom, Minister of Foreign Affairs and National Community Abroad, Ahmed Attaf, has highlighted the priorities on which Algeria will focus during its next term on the United Nations Security Council, in particular issues relating to the Arab world and the African continent.

Attaf took part on Tuesday evening in a consultative meeting on the Security Council at the prestigious Wilton Park institution, as part of his working visit to the United Kingdom, and gave a speech at the event.

Here’s the FM’s speech:

Good afternoon to all,

Excellency Minister of State, Lord Ahmed Tariq,

Excellencies Ambassadors and Heads of delegations,Ladies and gentlemen,

First of all, let me tell you how much I am delighted to be here in this prestigious institution of the Wilton Park, which has amply proven its relevance over the years in terms of promoting constructive dialogue among international policy makers and providing invaluable inputs to crucial debates on issues of global importance.

Special appreciation goes therefore to my good friend Lord Ahmed Tariq, for arranging this important discussion with the current, outgoing, and incoming African members of the United Nations’ Security Council. Let me stress how grateful we are to the UK Government for extending a helping hand in preparation of our joining of the Security Council.

As far as Algeria is concerned, we see this exercise as a good opportunity to gain deep understanding of the Council’s heavy work, of its complicated working methods, and of the different sensitive matters in which it is currently involved.

Algeria has already served three times as a non-permanent member of the Security Council, the last being in 2004-2005. Since then, the work at hand has gained in magnitude and complexity, the challenges ahead of us have diversified and become harder to meet, and the promises of the United Nations’ system have proven to be more difficult to fulfill. Therefore, joining the Security Council is rewarding, but also hugely demanding.

We sincerely aspire to bring new perspectives to the table, being fully aware of the particularly difficult context in which our mandate is taking place. This context deserves, in our view, to be considered in its double dimension:

On one hand, it has become abundantly clear that deepening geopolitical divergences and divisions among the permanent members have intruded all deliberations of the Security Council and inhibited the latter’s capacity to act and to react. This situation has reignited again the global demands for a comprehensive reform to help the Security Council overcome its internal difficulties and provide adequate responses to the challenges of the moment.

On the other hand, it is equally clear that threats to international peace and security have recently gained in intensity, scope and lethality, overloading the agenda of the Council with no concrete results in sight. The risk that such situation entails is the threat to reinvigorate and embolden self-centered and unilateral approaches at the expense of the multilateral system, and the UN Security Council in particular.

To say the least, we believe that these are unprecedented times with unprecedented challenges, and that stakes could not be higher. But, we also believe that we have no alternative to the Security Council, and that we ought to make it work and rise up to aspirations and expectations that our peoples have collectively placed in it.

This is the spirit in which Algeria is preparing itself to join the UN Security Council in about a month and half, fully motivated to bring its fair share to the collective endeavor of preserving international peace and security.

Our priorities include first and foremost working to revive the Security Council’s interest and engagement to address conflicts and crises waging in the African and the Arab regions, in close partnership with the African Union and the League of Arab States.

In Africa, the Sahel region has become home to the heaviest concentration worldwide of hotspots of armed conflicts and multidimensional crises extending in the form of an “Arc of fire” that goes all the way from the Red Sea to the Atlantic Ocean, from Sudan to Western Sahara. In just few years’ time, this region has become the global epicenter of terrorism and transnational organized crime, amidst growing political instability caused by the recent resurgence of unconstitutional changes of governments.

In the Arab region, the ongoing tragedy in the Palestinian occupied territories, particularly in the besieged Gaza strip, has come as a horrific reminder of the urgent need to properly address the Palestinian issue in accordance with the two-State solution agreed on by the international community decades ago.

In pursuing these priorities, Algeria will strongly advocate for the need:

First, to overcome the business as usual approach;

Second, to tackle the root causes of conflicts and crisis situations;

Third, to dedicate more attention to the role of women in peace processes and to the plight of children in armed conflicts;

Fourth, to come-up with a new model of peace operations that is more fit for contemporary contexts;

Fifth, to work hand in hand with the regional organizations, in particular the African Union and the League of Arab States.

This brings me to the end of my remarks, and as I conclude I would like to assure you, once again, that Algeria is looking forward to working closely with all of you to make a genuine contribution towards fulfilling the mandate entrusted upon the Security Council at the service of the entire humanity without any discrimination. I thank you.