Plenary of the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly
Agenda Item 30: Report of the Security Council
Statement by Ms Farzana Zahir,
Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Maldives
New York, 12 November 2015
At the outset, my delegation wishes to thank His Excellency Gerard van Bohemen, Permanent Representative of New Zealand and his team for their efforts in drafting this year’s Report of the Security Council. I also wish to express my appreciation to His Excellency Matthew Rycroft, Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which currently holds the presidency of the Security Council for the presentation of the document here today.
My delegation takes note of the activities, initiatives and decisions taken by the Security Council during the reporting period, positively impacting a number of situations across the globe, which have and continue to pose threats to the maintenance of international peace and security.
The Maldives commends the efforts that have been made to enhance the accountability, coherence and transparency of the Council. The efforts made to acknowledge the greater dimensions of international peace and security are greatly welcome and form the foundation for a Council that is truly representative of this organization’s membership. The “Arria formula” meeting of the Security Council on the “security dimensions of climate change” in 2013 and the Open Debate on the security concerns of Small Island Developing States in July of this year are two recent initiatives which embody a necessary recognition of the vast array of security concerns faced by UN member States. It is important that the momentum these events generate are not lost.
The Report of the Security Council constitutes an annual exercise of summarizing past activities conducted by the Council. We note that it does effectively underline important priority areas. However, while debates in the General Assembly focus on closer cooperation between the Assembly and the Security Council and on the Council’s ability to foster international peace and security, my delegation would welcome a more analytical and reflective approach, with a view to making the Council more effective in its future work.
As a principal organ of the United Nations, the adoption of the annual Report should be an occasion for more comprehensive engagement from the entire membership of the United Nations. Non-members of the Security Council should be afforded the opportunity to express their suggestions and share their analysis on the efficacy with which the Council has represented the organization for the year. To this end, my delegation joins the call for an open debate of the Council to be held prior to the finalization of the Council’s report.
With regards to the substance of the document, the Maldives would like to highlight its deepening concern with regards to inaction by the Council on a number of issues which is of dire importance to international peace and security. The inability of the Security Council to take concrete action with regards to the situations in Palestine, Syria and in countering the impacts and proliferation of the so-called “Islamic State” represent one of the gravest failings of our time. That these issues have not been meaningfully addressed by the Council negates the principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and in international law.
It is imperative that the Report adequately reflects upon the work of the Council so that its shortcomings are acknowledged and that an opportunity is given for these shortcomings to be addressed in moving forward. The Council acts on behalf of the entire membership of this Organization and any inability to fulfil its mandate calls into question the Council’s legitimacy and relevance. Thus, any such inability also calls into question the legitimacy and relevance of the organization as a whole as well. The Member States of the United Nations deserve better. The people of the world, whom we represent, deserve better as well. The Maldives looks forward to continuing its engagement and advocacy of a Council that is both truly reflective and representative.