Aminath Guraisha, First Seceretary,
Permanent Mission of the Republic of Maldives to the United Nations
Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism
02 - 03 October 2023
Thank you, Mr. Chair,
We would like to express our appreciation to you and to the distinguished members of the Bureau for diligently carrying out the important work of this Committee. I assure you that my delegation is committed to providing support and cooperation in the work of the Committee and look forward to working with you.
We would also like to acknowledge the Secretary-General for the Report presented under this agenda item and commend the measures that some Member States have taken in countering terrorism, as highlighted in the Report.
Terrorism poses a collective threat that spans across borders, endangering us all, regardless of geographical location. The ripple effect of extremist violence is widespread; it inflicts suffering on individuals, families, and entire communities. It also poses a significant threat to countries like the Maldives, with a vulnerable economy predominantly sustained by international tourism. For this reason, the Maldives remains resolute in its efforts towards countering terrorism and extremism. We have, time and again strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations through rapid actions.
In this regard, the Maldives passed key legislative instruments during recent years to counter the issue of terrorism. This includes the ratification of the “Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Act” in 2014 and the “Prevention of Terrorism Act” in 2015, which led to the establishment of the National Counter Terrorism Centre in 2016. The establishment of the Centre is a testament to the holistic approach adopted by the Government to address terrorism and violent extremism at a national level. The operation of the Centre continues to be guided by the “National Strategy on Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism” and the “National Action Plan on Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism 2020-2024”. Our efforts continue to be guided by a “whole of government, whole of society" approach.
Globally, we witness the distressing reality of young people falling prey to individuals who exploit their vulnerability, distorting religious tenets, and manipulating their impressionable minds. The rapid advancement of digital technologies and the widespread reach of social media have exacerbated such exploitation. It is imperative that we maintain vigilance and work collectively to protect our youth from such harmful influences.
At home, our approach is to keep building a resilient and peaceful society; by empowering our community leaders; by nurturing the potential of our youth; by recognizing the pivotal role of women in the preventative process; by adopting inclusivity; and by ensuring that no one is left behind.
The Maldives condemns terrorism perpetrated in the name of Islam—a religion of peace; a religion that promotes love, kindness, and peaceful co-existence. In the Maldives, the Islamic faith defines most aspects of our life and culture – we are moderate, progressive, and tolerant.
The Maldives believes that its counter-terrorism efforts must be part of a global, comprehensive approach. The Maldives will continue to work closely with its international and regional partners to overcome and combat terrorism, by eliminating its root causes such as racism, xenophobia and hate-speech.
Addressing the escalating issues of Islamophobia and hate speech necessitates concerted global action. In this context, we reiterate that the repeated and public acts of the desecration of the Holy Quran in some European countries cannot be justified under the guise of freedom of speech and expression, and express our grave concern over these incidences.
Terrorism and violent extremism present grave threats to international peace and security, human rights, and sustainable development. Addressing this menace necessitates a pressing enhancement of the capacity of the national criminal justice system. The criminal justice system must administer justice that is both fair and effective while also undertaking preventative measures in strict adherence to the rule of law.
Therefore, the Government of the Maldives maintains a close working relationship with UNODC and our partner nations. Through collective efforts in capacity building and information exchange, the Maldives has significantly strengthened its capabilities, enabling adept navigation of current security challenges, particularly in combating terrorism and violent extremism.
Let us stand united against the looming shadow of international terrorism. Together, we have the strength, wisdom, and determination to overcome this global threat. Through steadfast collaboration, shared values, and resolute action, we can pave the way for a safer, more secure world for today, and for generations to come.
I thank you, Mr. Chair