His Excellency Sheikh Shakhboot bin Nahyan Al Nahyan, Minister of State, expressed the United Arab Emirates’ deep concern over the impact of the illegal exploitation of natural resources by armed groups, organized crime networks, and transnational terrorist groups. His Excellency Sheikh Shakhboot bin Nahyan affirmed that exploitation impacts the lives of people who are suffering from unprecedented levels of violence and the denial of basic human rights, safety, and economic prosperity. The UAE’s statement was delivered during today's Security Council briefing on “Peace and Security in Africa: Strengthening the fight against the financing of armed groups and terrorists through the illicit trafficking of natural resources.”
His Excellency added, "Having chaired the Kimberley Process in 2016, the UAE has demonstrated its endorsement of strong regulatory frameworks as well as the need to coordinate between different mechanisms in order to collectively ensure communities across Africa – especially women and children – are protected."
He added: "The challenges facing the world today are steadily increasing, especially with regards to environmental degradation resulting from the irresponsible exploitation of resources and unsustainable practices. This environmental degradation allows non-state armed groups to extend their influence and manipulate resources in their favor. We have witnessed this in the Sahel, where the regions most vulnerable to climate change suffer from the scourge of terrorism at the same time.”
His Excellency noted the increasing examples of transnational terrorist groups diversifying their sources of revenue by participating in the illegal exploitation and smuggling of natural resources. He explained that these groups take advantage of the lack of sufficient understanding within the international community of the growing links between the illicit use of natural resources and terrorism financing.
“At a time when terrorist groups use new and emerging technologies to achieve their goals, existing regulatory frameworks are struggling to keep pace with these developments, which may prevent them from achieving their aims.”
He added: "The UAE strongly urges the international community to hold accountable all individuals, entities, terrorist groups, corporations, and other actors who partake in the illegal exploitation of natural resources.”
His Excellency stressed the importance of strengthening cooperation between countries and developing a collective response to stand against this threat. "In this Council, we must continue dialogue to enable the international community to take joint preventive measures and leverage the role of regional actors in adopting a proactive approach targeting terrorists, armed groups, and organized crime networks, as well as contributing to building the capacities of states in the sustainable management of their natural resources.”