Statement by the Maldives at Third Committee on
Crime; Information and Technologies; Drugs
By Ambassador-at-Large, H. E. Dr. Asim Ahmed
3 October 2019, New York
Thank you, Mr. Chairman,
The Maldives would like to express its sincere appreciation to the Secretary General for the comprehensive reports that have been submitted under the agenda items 106, 107 and 108.
The advancement of information and communication technologies has opened new avenues for criminals to conduct and expand their nefarious activities. In order to combat the new wave of criminality in the underworld and its effects on society, the Maldives along with its regional and international partners, will continue to cooperate closely to ensure that all efforts are undertaken to deter and prevent such activities.
The Maldives considers the world drug problem to be a serious threat to international and regional development, as well as to social stability. We are deeply concerned with the rise of opioid usage and the misuse of pharmaceutical drugs, as outlined in the Secretary General’s report A/74/129. Cooperation in the international and regional levels, particularly in the area of illicit drug trade is an important policy goal of the Government. The Maldives is strategically located at the crossroads of one of the most important and busiest transhipment routes in the world, making us vulnerable to drug trafficking operations. Although the Maldives remains vigilant, we need cooperation and support from our partners to ensure that we are able to effectively monitor and safeguard these routes.
The Maldives is keenly aware that, in order to reduce the demand for drugs it is important to raise awareness on their dangers and harmful effects, especially on our youth and future generations. The President of Maldives, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has stated that it is the responsibility of every Maldivian citizen to protect the current and future generations from drug abuse and addiction. The new administration is deeply committed to taking the necessary steps to increase the capacity of our health protection system to handle drug addiction and rehabilitation both at the local and national levels.
With over a thousand islands the Maldives faces significant challenges in instituting effective border control measures. Cognizant of these challenges, the Government is committed to increase the surveillance of our waters, and to strengthen our customs regulations, among others steps. We are hopeful that these measures would help restrict the use of our waters for drug trafficking and other transnational organized crimes.
In today’s technology-driven world, criminals are increasingly resorting to the use of information and communication technologies to further their activities. The Maldives is committed to working with international agencies and organizations to enhance our technological capacity to combat these crimes. Our police force is using modern technology and working closely with Interpol which has a National Central Bureau, to help counter and avert criminal activities.
Criminal justice is the cornerstone of a modern and just society. In order to increase the transparency and efficacy of the judicial system, the Maldives has passed the Drug Act, Anti-Trafficking of Persons Act, the Anti-Money Laundering Act, Combatting of Terrorism Financing Act, and the Counter Terrorism Act.
The Government is committed to ensuring that the long arm of the law will reach everyone engaged in transnational crime and illicit trade or distribution of drugs. As we work with our international and regional partners to combat criminal activities using information communication technologies, the Maldivian Government is making every effort to strengthen the capacity to counter such activities. The Maldives will continue to reform and strengthen our criminal justice system to meet emerging and new challenges that face our societies.