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"When elected to the Security Council, the Maldives will build a reservoir of hope, of trust, of credibility": says Maldives Ambassador at the UN General Assembly

Photo_-_UNSC- "We may be small, but we do have the strength in our shoulders, grit in our bones, to carry the lofty ideals and aspirations that define this organisation"

New York, 7 November 2017: The Permanent Representative of the Maldives to the United Nations Ambassador Ali Naseer Mohamed said that when the Maldives is elected to the Security Council for the term 2019-2020, the country will, in collaboration with its partners, "build a reservoir of hope, of trust, of credibility, that will redefine the ordering principle in multilateral diplomacy, to one where right will become the might". Ambassador Mohamed delivered the Statement at the debate at the General Assembly today on the "Question of Equitable Representation on and Increase in the Membership of the Security Council and Other Matters Related to the Security Council".

In his Statement, Ambassador Mohamed noted that the UN and the Security Council "were structured according to the needs, and the realities of the time. Yet, that reality has changed most profoundly. The world has changed. The UN has changed. The way we understood security, the means to sustain peace, have changed. We have new members. New approaches. New dimensions. Yet here, in the United Nations Security Council, we persist in our old ways."

 

Ambassador Mohamed outlined the Maldives position on Security Council reform. 'The number of permanent members in the Council must be increased. . . . We must make the permanent members – those holding the veto – more representative. We believe that every continent must get at least one permanent seat, reflecting the political and the economic realities of our time. This principle of equal geographical representation must be the underlying principle for our work to find a feasible formula, going forward in the IGN.". Continuing to highlight the Maldives position, Ambassador Mohamed further stated that there has to be an increase in the number of non-permanent seats as well. "We believe that the membership of the Security Council should come from both developing and developed countries, including from the small island developing states, to reflect the diversity of the UN membership.

 

"That is the spirit of the formula devised in the Charter, which sets out two criteria: first, contribution of members to the maintenance of international peace and security and to the other purposes of the Organisation, and second, equitable geographical distribution.

"Non-traditional and emerging threats are increasingly gaining traction across the world. Pandemics, extreme frequency and intensity of weather, climate change impacts, scarcity and associated competition over resources such as food, water, fuel, and other developmental challenges. These are the new challenges to international peace and security. These are the new frontiers of security.

"Equitable geographical distribution is the cornerstone of the United Nations. . . . The Maldives, for example, was the hundred and seventeenth country to join the UN. Hundred and four countries that joined before us, have already served on the Security Council. We may be small, but we do have the strength in our shoulders, grit in our bones, to carry the lofty ideals and aspirations that define this organisation."

Ambassador Mohamed also highlighted on the need to bring reforms to the way campaigns are conducted for the Security Council elections. "If a country wishes to undertake an effective campaign for a seat on the Council, the country is expected to spend enormous amounts of money and resources to secure the votes. Smaller countries can no longer campaign on an equal footing. Which means, countries that need to be heard, that can bring unique perspectives and fresh, new ideas end up not being on the Council. Equitable geographical distribution increasingly looks like a principle with a financial price tag.

"The Maldives can and will change that. The Assembly can accelerate the reforms by creating opportunities for every country; by upholding the principles of fairness and equitable geographical distribution; and by joining hands with the Maldives in crafting shared solutions for a shared destiny".

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