Comprehensive Review of Special Political Missions (Agenda Item 57)

Fourth Committee

Statement by the Republic of Maldives

United Nations, New York, 6 November 2015

Mr. Chairman,

My delegation wishes to thank and welcome the comprehensive Report of the Secretary General on Special Political Missions pursuant to General Assembly Resolution 67/123.

In recent years, the international community has witnessed an alarming increase in the number of civil conflicts, often born as a manifestation of underlying domestic political polarisation in countries. In accordance with the mandate of the United Nations, Special Political Missions target these root causes of conflict, by facilitating conflict prevention, peace-making and peace-building. They also play an integral role in democracy consolidation, strengthening of institutions and safeguarding the execution of the rule of law. Therefore, the Maldives recognises that Special Political Missions are an important instrument to not only sustain international peace and order, but also to promote democracy and rule of law.

Notwithstanding the importance of Special Political Missions, my delegation would like to emphasise the necessity of having defined, transparent and objective methodologies in the use of this instrument. We do not wish to see it being wielded in a manner that is inconsistent or even contrary to the purpose that it was conceived for. The United Nations is an organisation founded by the people to serve the people in the promotion of peace, progress and prosperity. Special Political Missions should not be used as a guise to propagate any politically driven agendas nor should it exert pressure from any section or sections of the international community, nor in a manner that is contrary to the principles of the UN Charter. Therefore, a robust, consistent and transparent mechanism needs to govern the operation of Special Political Missions, as recommended by the Secretary General's Report.

Special Political Missions should commence their operations through close consultation with the receiving State and all concerned stakeholders, and these consultations should be conducted in an inclusive and transparent manner. The Missions must have a prior approved and clear mandate, and work well within these parameters.

As the personnel deployed for these missions are under the authority of the Secretary General of the United Nations, it is essential for them to uphold the integrity of the United Nations during their service to the international community. Moreover, absolute impartiality and objectivity must be exercised at all times during their posting, to avoid undermining faith in the process, as well as the United Nations.

During the operation of the missions, and also when reporting and making recommendations, it is also crucial to take into account the specific requirements, limitations and capacities of the receiving State. At the same time, there should be consistency in respect of the receiving States in the principles and purposes that the Special Political Missions seek to attain, acknowledging that these are underpinned by the ideals of the UN. Their ultimate objective should be the promotion of peace and harmony within the divergent factions, rather than contribute to further divisiveness within the society.

Mr. Chairman

The operation of Special Political Missions is dependent on the support and trust of Member States, which can only be built and reinforced if these principles are consistently maintained.

My delegation believes that conflict prevention and maintenance of peace and security and sustainable development are intrinsically linked, as enshrined in Goal 16 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. There can be no development in where conflict prevails within a country. And similarly, when development is hindered in a country, it often results in circumstances leading to conflict. Therefore, we stand ready to work with the United Nations to prevent conflict, sustain peace and security, assist countries to progress and prosper, and transform the future for the betterment of the world.

Thank you for your attention.