SAYYID BADR BIN HAMAD BIN HAMOOD ALBUSAIDI, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Oman, said that, in his country, the uptake of preventative measures and the availability of COVID-19 vaccines helped strengthen a response to the pandemic and facilitate a gradual return to normal life. Urging the international community to enhance cooperation and solidarity, he appealed to vaccine-producing and donor countries to do their utmost to ensure a fair distribution for all countries and individuals, particularly in less developed regions with limited facilities and medical capabilities. Noting that Oman adheres to several key principles in its foreign policy — especially good neighbourliness, non-interference in the internal affairs of others, respect for international laws and norms, and support for dialogue — he said it also strives to contribute to peace in all regions of the world.
Turning to regional matters, he welcomed the positive developments stemming from the recent Al-Ula summit in Saudi Arabia, as well as successful reconciliation efforts led by Kuwait. He also reaffirmed Oman’s support for the demands of the Palestinians for independence and the establishment of a State with East Jerusalem as its capital. On the crisis in Yemen, he said Oman is working with both the United Nations and the United States envoys, with the aim of ending the war through a comprehensive, permanent ceasefire on all sides and the full resumption of humanitarian efforts. In particular, he underlined the need for medication, health care, food, fuel and housing. Regarding the Iranian nuclear issue, he expressed his hope that talks in Vienna will lead to desired consensus among all parties, while on Afghanistan, he voiced his expectation that the parties will give highest priority to the needs and aspirations of the country’s people.
Condemning terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, he called for efforts to end threats to international maritime trade, as well as full compliance with treaties, agreements and international law to ensure freedom of maritime navigation. Member States should fulfil their treaty commitments, in particular those relating to nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, in order to ensure global stability. He also noted that the road to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals remains “long and bumpy” and requires international cooperation. Expressing support for investment and economic diversification programmes, which his country and others are undertaking, he highlighted women’s crucial role in those efforts. In addition, more was needed to build a “social fabric that ensures the sound education of young people, on whom the hopes of nations are held,” he said.