Articles: Final Communique: Joint Meeting between Arab League & Pacific States
“In response to the invitation of the UAE, heads of state and government and ministerial representatives of Pacific Small Islands Developing States and ministers and representatives of the League of Arab States met in Abu Dhabi on 24 June 2010, under the chairmanship of HH Sheikh Abdalla Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister of the UAE, the meeting’s host, in the company of HE Amre Moussa, Secretary General of the Arab League. The meeting was held in order to explore ways and means to invigorate cooperation between the two parties in the various political, economic, social and cultural fields, and to review prospects of future development of that cooperation.
The participants expressed appreciation of the support and assistance provided by the UAE to the Pacific region. They commended the initiative titled (The Partnership Program with the Pacific Small Islands States) launched by the UAE in the wake of the important visit of HH Sheikh Abdalla Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister of the UAE to the Pacific region in February 2010. The participants called for consolidating this initiative and for expediting cooperation between the Arab League and the Pacific Islands for the benefit of both parties.
The participants emphasized their interest in strengthening friendship and cooperation between the countries of both regions. They expressed their determination to steadily go forward with communication, dialogue, consultation and coordination with regards to regional and international issues impacting both regions. Cooperation should be intensified in political, economic, social and cultural fields, with a view to promote security, peace and development. Joint efforts should be exerted toward tackling the challenges brought about by the new international changes.
The participants reiterated their adherence to the principles and objectives of the United Nations, their commitment to maintain international peace and security, equal sovereignty of nations, respect for territorial integrity of countries, non intervention in the internal affairs of countries, peaceful settlements of dispute and the non use or threat of use of force in international relations.
The Pacific Small Islands Developing States noted the concern of Arab states regarding the conflict in the Middle East, in particular in Palestine. The two parties agreed on the need to settle all outstanding disputes and issues based on relevant Security Council resolutions and the principles of the Road Map. The Pacific Small Island Developing States undertook to give appropriate consideration to the Arab Peace Initiative, recognizing that the views of the Arab States were crucial to a just, comprehensive and permanent peace in the Middle East.
The two parties called upon Iran to respond to the initiative of the UAE and the effort of the Arab countries to find a solution for the occupation of the three Emirati islands: Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa, through genuine direct negotiations, or, resorting to International Court of Justice.
The participants emphasized respect of the cultures and civilizations of peoples, while working towards strengthening dialogue between the various cultures and civilizations, for the sake of achieving peace and development across the whole world.
The participants emphasized the importance of strengthening economic and commercial cooperation as well as investment between the Arab countries and the Pacific small Islands developing states, enhancing cooperation in the fields of oil and natural gas and all sources of energy, including renewable and alternative energy, and in the fields of human resources development, culture, education, science, technology, communications, tourism, transports, agriculture and irrigation. Arab companies and corporations should be encouraged to invest in the Pacific region and to coordinate positions with the Pacific Small Island Developing States at international economic platforms.
The states of the Arab League called for providing logistical and technical support to the Pacific Small Island Developing States so that they can transcend the fallout of the financial crisis, build their infrastructure, improve their economies and develop education and health services.
The participants upheld coordination of efforts in the field of environment protection, particularly in combating desertification and finding ways of standing up to the challenges posed by climate change. All members of the international community are called upon to provide help to the Pacific Small Island Developing States as they are the worst hit by the fallout of climate change.
In order to translate cooperation into tangible achievements, the two parties agreed upon the following steps:
1. Establishing a forum for cooperation and coordination between the member countries of the Arab League and the Pacific Small Island Developing States, the general secretariat of which will be in the UAE (Abu Dhabi), in coordination with the Arab League.
2. The Arab League to send an official delegation to the Pacific Small Island Developing States region to discuss ways of cooperation.
3. An office representing the Arab League to be opened at one of the Pacific Small Islands Developing States covering the whole region.
4. (a) Devising a guiding framework or a document for development and cooperation between the two parties in all fields: economic, cultural, educational, political and environmental.
(b) the meeting requested ministers of foreign affairs of Arab League states and the Pacific Small Island Developing States to meet within 12 months with a view to formulating a five year programme of action to deepen cooperation between the two regions.
5. Intensify periodic consultations between the two regions through mutual visits and regular meetings of the Arab and Pacific Small Islands Developing States foreign ministers on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meetings as well as other international gatherings.
6. The two parties reiterated their support to the efforts of the international community related to disarmament and prevention of proliferation, peaceful uses of nuclear energy hailing the results of the 2010 Conference of Reviewing the Agreement of Non Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. They specifically support the practical steps taken to realize the 1995 decision regarding the Middle East. They also agreed to support international efforts to establish a nuclear weapon free zone in the Middle East.
Finally, the participants expressed their deepest gratitude to HH Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and to the government and people of the UAE for their wonderful hospitality and for the impeccable organization of this meeting, hoping that cooperation and partnership will go forever forward”.
- Emirates News Agency, WAM, (Wakalat Anba'a al-Emarat), June 24, 2010