Statement by HE Ahmed ATTAF
Minister for Foreign Affairs
and National Community Abroad
Candidacy for the UN Security Council
Tuesday, May 30th, 2023 – 18:00
Dining Room, UNHQ 4th Floor
Excellencies, dear Ambassadors and Permanent Representatives,
Excellencies, High Officials of the UN,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Good evening to all of you!
Let me, first and foremost, welcome you all most warmly and thank each and every one of you most sincerely for your presence here this evening at this reception organized in connection with Algeria’s bid for a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council, during the period 2024-2025.
Let me also convey to you all the warm and deeply felt greetings and best wishes of President Abdelmadjid TEBBOUNE who attaches great importance to the vital role of the United Nations, and who has always been a strong advocate of the UN’s efforts aiming at fulfilling the mandate of our organization in terms of promoting human rights, preserving international peace and security and advancing sustainable development.
It really is a great pleasure to be back in this vibrant city of New York and to experience once again the UN spirit within its headquarters. For me, it has been like 24 years since my last visit here during my first tenure as Foreign Minister of Algeria, and I believe many things have changed since then. Among other things, it is clearly noticeable that the hopes placed in the United Nations have not weakened, they rather have become more insistent and more demanding. The threats facing the United Nations have not receded, they rather have gained in intensity, scope and lethality. Many of the challenges that the United Nations used to be confronted with remain as they were decades ago. They were not met successfully and rather they have gained in acuity and complexity.
Many consider that the United Nations has not risen up to their expectations, that it has not fully met their legitimate aspirations, or that it lacked the needed political will to fulfill its long-awaited promises. But in spite of all their deeply felt disappointments and frustrations, peoples around the world still turn to the UN, as the beacon of hope and the everlasting depository of humanity’s best common ambitions and aspirations. The peoples we serve, those referred to in the opening line of the UN Charter “We the peoples”, are indeed calling for the UN to act, to act quickly, to act swiftly, and to act in a manner that is commensurate with the looming threats and challenges, in order to save what could be saved before it is too late.
Yet, we all know very well that the limits of the UN action or the scope of its inaction are defined by its Member States and that, in sum, the UN is the expression of the collective and agreed will of its Member States. Therefore, it is up to the Member States to rise to the challenges at hand by recommitting to the purposes and objectives of the Charter, because the vision enshrined therein is still and will continue to be fully relevant and fully valid.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Algeria continues to have great faith in the United Nations and in the multilateral system. It has always advocated for a stronger and more effective multilateralism, a multilateralism that guarantees equal sovereignty of all nations, equal security for all nations, and mutually beneficial interdependence in favor of all nations, and a multilateralism that is genuinely underpinned by the principles, values and ideals of which the UN Charter draws vigor and inspiration.
The confidence of my fellow citizens in the UN and their attachment to its role take roots in the history of Algeria itself. In fact, many historical landmarks of Algeria feature and explain this special bond to the UN and this unique and emblematic journey that started back in 1956 when the issue of Algeria’s decolonization was put on the UN General Assembly’s agenda.
Many other milestones followed this major event: the admission of Algeria as a full Member of the UN on October the 8th, 1962, few months after gaining independence; the oath we took on that solemn occasion to “spare no effort towards strengthening the authority and effectiveness of the Organization” ; the role that my country played later on in the fight against colonialism in Africa and beyond; as well as its role at the vanguard of the Third Worldist movement for restructuring global affairs in the post-colonial era.
All these historic developments have converged in shaping the identity of my country’s foreign policy. They have also nurtured its unwavering commitment to take its fair share of the burden of achieving the goals set out in the UN Charter and to contribute resolutely to the global efforts aimed at ensuring a better future for all mankind.
In the wake of this track-record of which it takes a legitimate pride, Algeria conducts nowadays a diplomacy for peace in its neighborhood and beyond, working in close coordination with the United Nations and the regional organizations, notably the African Union and the League of Arab States.
In this context, Algeria has focused its presidency of the 31st session of the Arab Summit on promoting the inter-Arab cohesion, the Palestinian reconciliation as well as reviving the peace process in the Middle East with the stated goal of contributing to the achievement of a just and lasting solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict on the basis of the relevant UN resolutions and the provisions of the Arab peace plan of 2002.
Furthermore, and as a founding Member of the African Union, Algeria’s efforts were always geared towards providing the AU with the tools and means necessary to effectively discharge its mandate by ensuring African solutions to Africa’s problems and by moving forward the political, security and economic agenda of the continent.
In this regard, Algeria continues to carry-out its mediation to help end crises, notably in Mali where my country leads the peace and reconciliation process. It also endeavors to harness regional efforts to combat terrorism and organized transnational crime in the Sahel region through strengthening the role of the Joint Operational Staff Committee (CEMOC). Algeria’s approach for peace in the Sahelian region has also fully integrated the development dimension, out of our firm belief that there could be no peace without development, nor development without peace. This belief has enabled the financing and the realization of many development projects in neighboring African countries, under the auspices of the Algerian Agency for international Cooperation for Solidarity and Development.
And, last but not least, being the biggest country lining the Mediterranean Sea, Algeria has always fulfilled its obligations in terms of contributing to peace and stability in this region, based on mutually beneficial cooperation, genuine understanding and strong commitment to the principles of good neighborliness.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Algeria’s candidature to serve as a non-permanent member in the UN Security Council is a natural extension of all these commitments to international cooperation for the sake of building a peaceful, stable and prosperous global order.
This vision is well articulated in the motto we have chosen for this mandate, which is: “Together to uphold the principles and purposes of the UN Charter to achieve a better future for all”. It is also reflected through the priorities my country aspires to carry forward if elected. These priorities evolve around the following beliefs and commitments:
- Promoting peaceful settlement of conflicts,
- Consolidating partnerships and the role of regional organizations,
- Moving forward the “Women, Peace and Security” (WPS) Agenda,
- And, providing an additional momentum to the international fight against terrorism.
As we get closer to the election date, I would like to reiterate our deep gratitude to the African Union, to the League of Arab States and to the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation, for having endorsed Algeria’s candidature, which is by the way a clean slate candidature.
I want also to thank most sincerely the so many friendly countries that have already assured us in writing of their support, and I highly encourage those who have not yet done so, to join in and to bless this noble endeavor with their invaluable backing.
May I conclude this address by reiterating the strong and firm commitment made by President Abdelmadjid TEBBOUNE that, if elected, Algeria will embrace this responsibility with a deep sense of humility, dedication and commitment and that it will contribute as a responsible and credible partner to enable global action in the face of global challenges, by presenting ideas and initiatives that would enhance the role of multilateralism in maintaining international peace and security, thus meeting the needs, the expectations and the aspirations of all mankind.
Ladies and gentlemen, rest assured that Algeria is a safe pair of hands that can be entrusted with this heavy, but still honorable and very rewarding, responsibility.
Thank you for your kind attention.