17th Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement
His Excellency Mr. Ahmed Sareer, Permanent Representative of Maldives to the U.N.
18 September 2016
Mr. President, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the outset, let me take this opportunity to express the profound appreciation of the Maldives delegation for the warm hospitality accorded to us from the Government and friendly people of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. I wish to congratulate you, Mr. President on your election to steer our collaborative work within the family of Non Aligned Movement and wish you success. I would also like to thank the Islamic Republic of Iran for their able stewardship of the movement over the last four years.
Last year, we witnessed the world entered into a glorious new era in our quest for human development and progress. One that envisions all of humanity through a lens which was never seen before. With the adoption of the 2030 Global Goals, the Addis Ababa Accords of financing for development and the Paris Agreement for Climate Change, we have embarked upon an era of sustainability and an absolute transformation for the prosperity of human dignity and welfare of our planet.
If the experience of the past fifteen years of the Millennium Development Goals serve as a guide to the future we want, it shall be defined by our ability to adapt to new realities. The pace of change and growth has not merely continued but has, in fact, accelerated.
In political, commercial and social spheres, we have witnessed organizations that were presumed enduring being swept away by the swift currents of change, in defiance of all expectations. But just as rapidly, new paradigms and innovative thinking have forged new alliances and strengthened others. Therefore, the challenge for the Non-Aligned Movement, and for each and every one of us, is to keep pace with this process of continuous reinvention and constant adaptation that the future demands of us. Complimentarily, this is required from other international bodies and institutions as well that serve us.
Make no mistake, the relevance of the NAM's mission is greater than ever, perhaps more so than any time since its inception five and a half decades ago. The world today is a place of unprecedented opportunities, but also remains a place of gross injustice, oppression, and inequality. Millions continue to be the victims of foreign occupation, subjugation, and devastation caused by conflict. As stunning advances are made in all material fields, not only does poverty persist across the world, the gap between societies' poorest and its wealthiest continues to grow ever-wider. However, we have now laid out the foundation to derive sustainable solutions to what we have deemed the most critical issues confronting the world.
It is in tackling these critical issues that the NAM can play the greatest role. No longer are we confined to balancing against two extremes or aiming to hold one power versus another to account. Today, we have the opportunity to serve as a forum for exchanging our diverse perspectives, to advance our common cause, and to act as a united force against our common enemies of injustice and inequality wherever and whenever it exists.
The Maldives may be counted amongst the ranks of the smallest, yet the impact that the trends and events in the world at large have on us are huge. The Maldives and other small island states remain uniquely vulnerable to the threats posed by climate change and other external shocks—of global economic crises, of terrorism and violent extremism. Ironically, it is our countries which are most underrepresented in the influential international organizations, which make the most critical decisions regarding these issues. This is precisely the reason why, the Maldives is presenting its candidature for a seat at the United Nations Security Council for the term 2019/2020. We wish to amplify the interests of the least represented, in line with the broader objective of attaining peace and security in the world. We count on all Your Excellencies' support and solidarity to the Maldives as we take this great leap forward for the first time in its 50-year old history of the UN membership.
As a blossoming democracy, with a long constitutional history, the Maldives has embraced this new era of enlightenment. Adhering to the principles of equity and objectivity, we are committed to enduring the rule of law. We strive to achieve equality of men and women, empower youth and expand the access to universal healthcare and education. We have enhanced efforts to combat terrorism and violent extremism to maintain internal peace and security. Our size has not hindered us in the battle to eradicate injustices, inequality and oppression from our shores.
While recognizing the various efforts to eradicate these issues internally, it is important to note that some of these issues stemming from within our countries do propagate across national borders, and have a far reaching impact on the rest of the world. In this regard, terrorism is one of the biggest threats to peace and security in our time, which is particularly significant to the members of the NAM. The Maldives sees the important need to holistically address the issue of terrorism within our movement, according to our terms, and catering to our needs.
It is our belief that the Non-Aligned Movement is rising to the challenge, and moving to assume its needed role in today's world, while remaining mindful to its changing realities. The NAM serves as an essential body where countries, no matter their size or their influence can share their experiences and best practices, in a spirit of solidarity, so that we may face the future with confidence. This will enable our countries to adapt, to grow, and to prosper. It is our belief, that if we remain mindful of our core goals—of ending inequalities, injustices, and oppression—we shall exceed our previous peaks and soar to new heights.
I thank you.