Her Excellency Thilmeeza Hussain, Permanent Representative
High-Level Plenary Meeting of the Assembly
to Commemorate and Promote the International Day
for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons
28 September 2021
Thank you, Mr. President,
Mr.President, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Assalam Alaikum, and a very good morning to you all.
I wish to express my delegation’s sincere appreciation to you Mr. President, and to the Secretary General, for convening this high-level meeting on this important issue relating safety and security of our existence in this world. The mere existence of nuclear weapons in the world poses a grave threat to us all and we must remain resolute in our commitment towards a total elimination of nuclear weapons and a nuclear weapons free world.
In the spirit of the President of the General Assembly’s inspiring and resilient message of hope, we must heed the wisdom that investment in the well-being of people and the environment is a wiser path towards peace, strength and security, than investment in weapons of mass destruction. This notion is captured in SDG 16 and goes to the very heart of the United Nations Charter.
In 1946,in the aftermath of the devastation following the unleashing of the destructive power of nuclear weapons, the world came together and established the Atomic Energy Commission, under the General Assembly’s very first resolution. Indeed, it is in times of crises that we see the best the world has to offer. In the spirit of hope, revival and cooperation, we agreed: Never Again.
Overthe years, our multilateral efforts to ultimately achieve general and complete disarmament have taken many forms. In 1959, nuclear disarmament became the first resolution of the General Assembly voted, unanimously, by the entire membership of the UN. It has been sixty-two years since this unprecedented step towards peace was taken, and yet the world's nine nuclear-armed countries continue to spend tens of billions of dollars a year on these weapons. These resources can more effectively be diverted to build more vibrant and thriving societies than to prepare to unleash unspeakable destruction upon others.
As we commemorate and promote the promise of the total elimination of nuclear weapons, we note that only 55 states have ratified or acceded to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The destruction of Nagasaki and Hiroshima have demonstrated to us all not just the devastating and gruesome deaths caused by nuclear weapons, but also of the catastrophic, long-term harm to the environment, climate and health, and the constant enduring strain these long-term impacts place on social, economic and human development.
The Maldives stands firm that the total elimination of nuclear weapons, including the destruction of existing arsenals, is the only guarantee to prevent their use. Since 2019, the Maldives has ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, the Cluster Munitions Convention and the United Nations Arms Trade The Maldives welcomes the entry-into-force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in January 2021.
Domestically, our stringent laws have ensured the prohibition of the illicit trade in arms either within the local population or with other countries. The Maldives also reports annually to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms. We consider the fulfilment of our obligations on disarmament made in the UN to be a cornerstone of our commitment to trust and to peace. We also look forward to continuing to work through strengthened, inclusive and renewed multilateralism towards our ultimate goal of world free of nuclear weapons.
Disarmament,and the elimination of nuclear weapons, is a crucial part of our collective well-being, peace and prosperity, and we take tremendous pride in participating actively in today’s event.
We are enthusiastic and hopeful, that these discussions will lead to greater cooperation and progress towards peace and prosperity and the achievement of our vision of a world free of nuclear weapons.
I thank you.