Deputy Permanent Representative of Maldives to the United Nations
At the Sixth Committee
On Agenda Item 114: Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism
6 October 2020, New York
Thank you, Mr. Chairman,
Our warm congratulations to you and to the distinguished Members of the Bureau. We look forward to working with you, and I assure you of my delegation’s full support and cooperation in the deliberation of the work of the Sixth Committee in consideration of its agenda items during this Session. I would also like to thank the Secretary-General for the Report submitted under this agenda item.
Terrorism is a global challenge; it knows no boundaries, and the ideologies behind its horrific actions have evolved beyond just politics. Violent extremism has destabilized entire countries and infiltrated every corner of the globe. The threat of terrorism cannot be tackled by military means alone, it requires identifying the propaganda being used to perpetrate these horrific acts, and eliminating the terrorist ideologies that brain-wash our youth and infiltrate our vulnerable communities. It is a global challenge that requires global action.
The Maldives condemns and denounces all acts of terrorism in all its forms and manifestation. We are fully conscious of the possible threats posed to our vulnerable tourism-based economy due to violent extremism. For this reason, the Maldives has passed the legislation on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Act in 2014, and the Prevention of Terrorism Act was passed and ratified in 2015, leading to the establishment of the National Counter Terrorism Centre in 2016. The National Counter Terrorism Centre serves as the principal adviser to the President and the National Security Council on issues related to terrorism and violent extremism. It acts as the national focal point in all anti-terrorism and counter terrorism matters. It is a serious criminal offense for any Maldivian to travel to fight in wars on foreign soil.
The Maldives aims to tackle the violent extremism through a “whole-of-society” approach, and we have developed a National Strategy on Prevention and Countering Violent Extremism. This strategy outlines efforts to prevent violent extremism in the Maldives, and aims to build a more cohesive society and strengthen and empower more resilient communities. It addresses miscommunication and stigma through increased positive messaging for solidarity, and enhances inclusive dialogue to counter the rhetoric of hate speech, xenophobia and related intolerances. We aim to enlighten our children through education which will empower our youth. It is of utmost importance that we provide our youth with opportunities to realise their true potentials.
To address the interlinked and evolving nature of terrorism, we need to build strong partnerships to counter the common threats to our security. The Government of Maldives has been working closely with UNODC in building capacity and sharing information and best practices in the region. Maldives is also in consultation on the “Roadmap on the establishment of a South Asia Network on Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism” (SAN-PCVE).
As a country where Islamic faith defines most aspects of our life and culture, we have always maintained a policy of moderation and openness. Islam has always preached peace and there is no place in Islam for such hatred and violent acts.
The fight against terrorism is a fight to defend the fundamental freedoms and individual liberties that we value so greatly. The Government of Maldives remains committed to working with our regional and international partners to suppress threats through increased cooperation and international solidarity.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.