There is no simple fix to the rising number of divisions and disputes engulfing the global community at the moment. But the UAE offers a masterclass is how an influential small state can navigate through the chaos in a skilful manner.
The Gulf state’s approach to foreign diplomacy has placed it in the valuable position of being able to speak to different sides on numerous issues. It offers a notable case-study of diplomatic practice at a time of global instability, according to Modern Diplomacy.
Pressing issues facing the global community
Currently, the raging Gaza conflict in the Middle East isn’t the only chaotic situation troubling the global population. The Russian invasion of Ukraine is sadly approaching its second anniversary on February 24 and the US’s and China’s unrelenting rivalry is also in focus.
To top it off, humans are also required to pay much more attention to the energy transition, as the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service recently confirmed 2023 as the hottest year on record. Temperatures in January 2024 also surpassed records, it has been concluded.
Furthermore, researchers at the C3S have also confirmed that the mean temperature for February 2023 to January 2024 remains the highest on record and 1.52 degrees Celsius above the 1850-1990 pre-industrial reference period.
Climate change is a raging issue. The aforementioned number does not imply a permanent breach of the 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold set by the 2015 Paris agreement, as it considers long-term global heating over several years, according to India’s national daily The Hindu.
Instances of UAE playing the role of bridge builder
Raging Israel-Gaza crisis in Middle East
On December 22, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2720, proposed by the UAE, which called for increasing the flow of life-saving humanitarian aid to the Palestinians in Gaza. It was approved by 13 of the 15 members, highlighting the Emirates’ influence.
On the ground in Gaza, the UAE has opened a field hospital to alleviate the sufferings of Gazans – supporting its notable Gallant Knight 3 humanitarian operation. The nation has also launched an initiative to transfer injured Palestinians to UAE hospitals for medical treatment.
Russian invasion of Ukraine in focus
In addition, UAE mediation efforts have helped facilitate three prisoner exchange deals this year alone between Russia and Ukraine, highlighting the Gulf state’s global status as a trusted partner on the international stage.
The Emirates is committed to continuing efforts aimed at finding a peaceful solution to the brutal conflict. Its focus on diplomacy, dialogue and de-escalation has been prominent, and so has been its support for humanitarian initiatives.
UAE joining BRICS+ grouping
There is another major diplomatic development: in January 2024, the UAE became one of the new entrants to the BRICS+ club, besides the neighbouring Saudi Arabia. Being in the global grouping is a way of maximising a nation’s reach to different parts of the world.
UAE’s focus on sustainability at COP28 Dubai
Furthermore, it hasn’t been long since the UAE hosted the COP28 Summit at Expo City Dubai, inviting participants from across the globe. The annual climate conference marked a number of achievements from the first day itself.
COP28 Dubai saw participants reaching a historic agreement to operationalise the landmark Loss and Damage Fund to compensate vulnerable countries for consequences of climate change. Finally, they acknowledged the need to “transition away from fossil fuels”.
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