H E Ms Thilmeeza Hussain, Permanent Representative
At the UNSC Open Debate on
Linkages between International terrorism and organized crime
9 July 2019
Thank you, Mr President,
I thank you for organizing today’s open debate.
Terrorism and organized crime remain one of the most complex and challenging global issues of our time; our ability to respond and comprehensively address these issues are growing deeper and becoming more difficult.
Terrorism transcends religion, race, or nationality. Therefore, combating terrorism requires a multi-faceted approach from direct action in dismantling the networks, cells, financing webs to preventing extremist ideologies from spreading, including monitoring hate speech both offline and in digital space.
Open debates such as this would help us understand this multi-faceted phenomenon as well as to learn from each other to gear our collective actions to detect, counter, intercept and prevent horrifying crimes.
The Maldives strongly condemn all acts, methods, and practices of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. Terrorism is an atrocious act that takes the lives of innocent people, destroys societies, forces people to move from their homes and regresses decades of development. Terrorism is a transnational threat that requires international and coordinated action. As members of the international community, each of us has a responsibility to collaborate more closely, to study its root causes and to work to prevent violent and extremist ideologies taking a foothold in our respective countries.
In recent years, we have witnessed a growing dependency between international terrorism and organized crimes where individuals are moving between their identities as terrorists and criminals. Their blurring functions are becoming harder for law enforcement officials to apprehend and prosecute them. As nations, we must understand these linkages and not only strengthen our national frameworks but ensure these frameworks function as they are supposed to. We must also ensure full implementation of all the relevant Security Council resolutions.
The Maldives had enacted the Prevention of Terrorism Act and the Prevention of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism Act in 2015. The Regulation issued by the Maldives Monetary Authority, the Central Bank, in 2015 under the Prevention of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism Act provides clear guidance to the banking sector and other financial institutions. Participating in terrorist activities or supporting such activities is a criminal offense in the Maldives.
I am pleased to report that the newly elected President Solih's government has accelerated efforts in countering terrorism and radicalization, as a priority. Work is currently being carried out to amend the anti-terrorism legislation to address contemporary threats better. During the first month in office, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih established the Presidential Committee on Corruption and Asset recovery. The purpose of the committee is to investigate cases of the misuse of government funds, money laundering, investigation of corruption, and abuse of power within State institutions that occur between Jan 2012 to 17 November 2018.
My country ratified the Convention against Transnational Organized Crimes in 2013 and its Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime in 2016, which led to the formulation of a national action plan on anti-human trafficking. More recently in February this year, a new anti-trafficking coordinating body was established to better coordinate anti-trafficking efforts.
The National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) of the Maldives, provides a common platform to facilitate information and intelligence sharing, and synchronize the inter-agency activities in our efforts to combat terrorism and violent extremism. The Maldives aims to tackle the phenomenon of violent extremism through a ‘whole-of-society’ approach. The NCTC, in collaboration with inter-agency partners and community stakeholders, are undertaking various programs to enable the community to resist radicalizing ideologies and to empower communities, especially women and youth leaders. It is the deep conviction of my Government that, if we are to prevent and counter-terrorism, the most feasible strategy is through community-based programs. We must undertake a multi-stakeholder approach to tackle global terrorism, extremism, and organized crime.
The Maldives reiterates its commitment to uphold its obligation to combat terrorism. As we continue to strengthen the frameworks and countermeasures to tackle the fight against terrorism and organized crimes at home; we will continue to ensure our efforts are part of a regional and global comprehensive approach.
I thank you.