AZALI ASSOUMANI, President of Comoros, acknowledging the already difficult reality of managing the fallout from the pandemic which wrought serious damage upon the economy, he lamented the invasion of Ukraine, which displays the not only the fragility of multilateralism but also how quickly food insecurity and risk of famine can arise if that fragility is disturbed. He condemned the invasion in Ukraine in the strongest terms and lauded the Istanbul agreement to export Ukrainian grain as an example of dialogue as a tool to find solutions to avoid the world from “falling into chaos and misery”. Suggesting that the States continue to use dialogue as a tool, he expressed the need for a Palestinian State with its capital as West Jerusalem side by side “in peace and harmony” with the State of Israel. Comoros recognizes the “Moroccan nature” of the autonomous region of the Sahara and Morocco’s sovereignty over it and believes the conflict has lasted too long, he said, encouraging dialogue with its neighbour, Algeria, to achieve peace in the region. Furthermore, he expressed his country’s position that Taiwan is a province of China and called on all Governments to express sensitivity and restraint on the matter. Lessons from the Sahel region teach us that if tensions are allowed to develop on territories, they become fertile ground for terrorist activities, he said, adding that Al-Shabaab poses a threat not only to his Government but to all of Africa. He reminded the Assembly that as Islam is a religion of peace, he cannot consider these groups that threaten peace to be Muslims despite their claims.
Recalling the important role that diplomacy will play in future conflicts, he brought up his country’s own territorial dispute concerning the island of Mayotte. He maintained the position that, in accordance with international law, the island of Mayotte is Comoran in nature and that its sovereignty was removed during decolonization. Though this is a painful dossier that has been open for 40 years, he is glad that dialogue with France is open.
On climate change, he issued a warning that it would bring about the disappearance of whole regions while others would face climate phenomena such as floods, droughts, loss of coastline and acidification. Though all regions are affected, great attention must be paid to small island nations such as Comoros who are disproportionately affected. Other dangerous phenomena that threaten peace and order are piracy, illegal fishing, pillaging of marine resources and drug and human trafficking and reminded the Assembly that its strategic position in the Indian Ocean requires security and stability.
Focusing on social cohesion, Comoros held a national political dialogue which united citizens around the common goals of peace, security and lasting economic and social development. His country is committed to human rights, multilateralism and to finding solutions “to the problems of our time”, he concluded.