Statement by His Excellency Dr Ali Naseer Mohamed,

Permanent Representative of Maldives to the UN

at the

UNSC Open debate on the theme

Maintenance of international peace and security,

United Nations, New York, 20 December 2017

Thank you Mr President,

At the outset, I would like to thank Japan, President of the Security Council for the month of December, for convening today's debate on the theme: Maintenance of International Peace and Security: Addressing Complex Contemporary Challenges to International Peace and Security. The Debate is most timely, for it gives an important opportunity to examine the emerging challenges, especially the non-traditional security threats to international peace and stability.

As we are approaching the end of the year, it is important to recognise that twenty-seventeen was an extraordinary year in the history of the UN. In its Resolution 2349 of 31 March 2017, the Security Council recognised that climate change has an adverse impact on security. With that Resolution, we have gone beyond the tipping point in the debate on climate change and security; the moment at which we put behind us, the question whether or not climate change poses a security threat.

Now it is time for the Council, and indeed the General Assembly, to clearly spell out how the UN can take practical measures in responding to climate change and other non-traditional security threats. That could include the Secretary-General preparing regular periodic assessment reports that would serve as a type of early warnings mechanism about both the proximate and long-term threats. The reports should be presented to both the General Assembly and the Security Council, and should contain cutting-edge analyses about the threats that a particular region or country faces.

The Security Council and the General Assembly could also consider examining the feasibility of establishing a regular coordination mechanism through which all the principal bodies of the UN, and the relevant UN agencies, such as the UNFCCC or the UNODC, could contribute in designing conflict prevention, peacemaking, and peacekeeping operations.

Another encouraging development in 2017 was the Council's increasingly progressive approach to its conceptualisation of security. That approach was most visible in the Council's decision to redefine the mandate of the Stabilisation Mission in Haiti to assist the Government in that country to maintain order and to uphold the rule of law. Strong institutions are the key in preventing internal conflicts and in resolving on-going conflicts. As such, if there is one thing that the peacekeeping operations can help the countries to create peace, it is a set of institutions that can deliver peace dividend to every corner of the country.

Small states are most vulnerable to the non-traditional and emerging security threats. That is a fact that the General Assembly has long recognised through its Resolution 44/51 of 8 December 1989, which the Maldives sponsored. As the Security Council takes a more progressive view in considering such threats, it is absolutely necessary that small States, in particular, the Small Island Developing States, have a seat at the Council. Yet, in the past seventy-two years, there have been only eight SIDS that have served on the Council. The Maldives is determined to change this and give a voice to the SIDS. We hope to get elected to the Council for the term 2019-2020, to represent the SIDS on the Council, to contribute in shaping decisions that affect the smallest members of the international system, and to help the Council in forging meaningful partnerships that can result in crafting shared solutions for a shared destiny.

I thank you, Mr President.