Commemorative meeting on the
International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace
HE Mr Ahmed Khaleel, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs
24 April 2019, New York
Thank you, Madam President,
At the outset, I would like to express my Government’s condemnation of the terrorist bomb attacks in Sri Lanka last Sunday, which had already killed more than 350 innocent people and injured many more. The Maldives, as one of the closest neighbours of Sri Lanka, will always stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Government and the friendly people of Sri Lanka. In fact, before coming to New York, I visited Colombo as the Special Envoy of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and assured the Government of Sri Lanka of our solidarity during this critical time of national emergency and distress.
I wish to congratulate you for convening this important meeting to mark the first “International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace”.
There is no doubt, we mark this day at a very opportune moment. Never before has multilateralism come under such intense pressure as we are witnessing now.
The rise of ultra-nationalism, racial, and religious prejudices are being harnessed by populist authoritarianism. These ideologies seek to suppress the principles on which the United Nations was founded on and thrived for the last seven decades.
The very first foreign policy decision that the Maldives took after gaining independence in 1965 was to join the UN. We were convinced then, as we are now, that the common challenges that we face require solutions shaped at the global level. No country, no matter how big and powerful it may be, can single-handedly stop climate change – it would require us to work together and determine the best possible way forward for humanity.
No country, on its own, can prevent or stop, violent extremism and terrorism. Attacks, such as the bombings in Sri Lanka, require us to work collectively. In fact, almost all the key challenges require all of us to work together and achieve consensus, leaving no-one and no-country behind. Agenda 2030 shows us how.
When a country isolates itself from the global community, it becomes weaker, poorer, and unable to meet the aspirations of its people. The “twenty years crisis” that the world witnessed from 1919 to 1939 shows that isolationism and ultra-nationalism will inevitably lead to conflict and war.
Let us, therefore, renew our pledge to uphold and promote the values and principles of the UN Charter; to renounce prejudices of various types and take measures to prevent the spread of such dangerous ideologies; and to foster the common interests of humanity.
Thank you, Madam President.