Agenda Item 37: Situation in the Middle East

Statement by Ms. Moomina Ibrahim, Assistant Director at the Ministry of Foreign affairs of the Republic of Maldives

United Nations, New York, 30 November 2016

Thank you Mr. President,

The Republic of Maldives, wishes to express our deep appreciation to the Secretary-General and his Good Offices for the reports on this agenda item and to the continuing efforts towards finding a lasting solution to the various conflicts in the Middle East.

This debate is taking place at a timely juncture with regard to the situation in the Middle East, especially at a time when the world is at trepidation over the grave humanitarian situation in Syria, particularly the escalating violence in Aleppo.

The Maldives remains gravely concerned with the escalating situations of violence and conflict in the region as a whole. As the cradle of civilization, a center of deep knowledge, tradition and culture, peace in the Middle East is crucial for the region's people, and for the world as a whole.

Mr. President,

Peace, is both an enabler and a by-product of development: without peace there can be no development, and without development no peace.

The situation in the occupied Palestine illustrates this reality. The Palestinian people continue to suffer under the Israeli occupation. With no end in sight to conflict and violence, basic necessities such as food, water, employment, working institutions and systems remain compromised. Over the past seventy years, generations have grown up in the atmosphere of hatred fear and violence. Nonetheless, the occupation of the Palestinian territories and the incessant violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people continued unchecked.

The failure to realize the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people, epitomizes the inability of the international community to work together to bring an end to the Palestinian conflict. The countless UN resolutions, the Madrid Principles, the Oslo Accords, the Arab initiative, and Quartet roadmap which strive to overcome the Israeli occupation and apartheid system in place.

The perpetuating hostility and conflict in the occupied Palestine have compromised peace and security in the region for decades. And a solution is necessary. The Maldives reiterates its call for the full realization of the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people. The Maldives stand with Palestine in their quest to establish their own State, alongside Israel on the basis of the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Mr. President,

The Maldives also notes with grave concern the events which are taking place in Syria, particularly Aleppo, which the Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs stated as "our generation's shame" in his briefing to the Security Council.

For years now, we have watched the violence in Syria escalate, the death toll reaching thousands and now hundreds of thousands, with even more displaced, injured, and nearly a million under siege. The Maldives is raising its voice in the UN, doing all it can, in support of the Syrian people: of the men, women and children who are suffering endlessly. We call on all parties to leave politics aside, and take the side of humanity.

While Syria gets destroyed, the conflict is causing an unending web of violence and destabilization in the entire Middle East region. The vacuum in many parts of the region has led to the birth of the so-called Islamic State who uses the Islamic religion to falsely legitimize the barbaric and relentless violation of humanitarian laws.

The Maldives condemns attempts at attributing any terrorism to any religion, culture or tradition.  We condemn any such acts committed in the name of Islam. We condemn terrorism and terrorist acts in all its forms and dimensions.

Mr. President,

In todays interconnected world, the effects of conflict in one region cannot be contained, nor should they be. The international community has to "step up" to take action – present a united front, a unified voice against terrorism, against violence, against oppression.

We cannot stress enough, the importance of political compromise and the productive engagement of the international community to resolve the many conflicts in the Middle East. The Maldives looks to the United Nations and the international community to bring renewed effort towards lasting solution to a region that has been mired in strife for far too long. Thank you