United Nations Security Council

Open debate on the Situation in the Middle East

Statement by His Excellency Mr Ahmed Sareer,

Permanent Representative of the Republic of Maldives to the United Nations

New York, 18 April 2016

Mr President,

It is an honour to speak before you today on an issue of profound importance not only to the Maldives, but also towards achieving international peace and security.

I would like to extend my appreciation to the Chinese Presidency of the Security Council, for convening this quarterly open debate in connection with the agenda item. I would also like to extend our appreciation to the Secretary General for his dedicated efforts towards a solution on the discordant situation in the Middle East. To some, peace in the region may seem to be a distance prospect if not an impossible prospect, with the rise of terror and conflict in this region, but we must envision peace as a journey of a thousand miles and it must be taken one step at a time.

Let us look at Palestine, a nation embroiled in conflict for decades, and as of now hope is dim for its people. We reiterate our call for a two state solution; which is deemed to be the one and only viable solution for enduring peace in the region. The Maldives yet again calls for the full realisation of the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people: the right of Palestinian people to establish their own State on the basis of the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Mr President,

As the death toll from the conflict in Syria now approaches five hundred thousand lives, we have witnessed the immense suffering of the people on both sides of the conflict. The sheer extent of the loss of human lives that of men, women and children compels us all to exhaust our options for a sustainable solution to peace in Syria. A political solution must be sought to end this bloodshed in line with the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people. We would like to underscore the importance of achieving an inclusive political solution in Syria based on the Geneva talks. As such, we call the United Nations membership to actively contribute solutions in the hope of finding an avenue to peace.

The situation in Yemen continues to be one of deep concern as this further contributes to regional instability. As more ill-fated civilians get caught up in the conflict, we see displaced people fleeing the country for their lives. We must strive towards peace in Yemen, and in the meantime we must ensure that humanitarian aid reaches all those who so desperately need it.

The Maldives condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and believes that terrorism should not be associated with any religion, race, culture or society. Islam promotes peace and the protection and preservation of life and unity. Islam also condemns violence and the Maldives does not condone the use of veil of religion as a pretext for inflicting terror and it is not a means to a political end.

Mr President

We see this region as a breeding ground of oppression, hatred and violence. This is the underlying cause of such instability in the Middle East. We need leadership. We need political will. But above all, we need courage: courage from the leaders of the region: leadership from the members of this council as well as the international community: the tenacity to do what is right, to take the right step forward towards creating lasting peace in the Middle East.

Thank You.