Statement by

Ms Farzana Zahir, Deputy Permanent Representative

at the General Debate of the First Committee

6 October 2017


Thank you Mr Chair,

My Delegation wishes to extend to you and the Members of the Bureau, our warmest congratulations on your election. I assure you that you will have my Delegation’s full support and confidence as you steer this Committee. We also express our appreciation and gratitude to the outgoing Chair and his Bureau.

The Maldives has never produced any armaments or weaponry of any type, nor do we have the desire to do so in the future. The Maldives believes that it is our moral obligation to pave the path towards strengthening and enforcement of a global disarmament and non proliferation regime. We will continue to express our opinions and concerns in this arena and we will always be ready to extend our support for those who stand up for non-proliferation and disarmament. The Maldives is a State Party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

The Maldives has consistently maintained that our goal for complete disarmament be achieved through engagement of major stakeholders. We are convinced that, we must work towards a world free from nuclear weapons. This can only be achieved through practical and concrete measures.

The Maldives applauds the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons on 7 July 2017. The Treaty is the most important pledge by the international community since the inception of the United Nations. It is a proof that the global community is ready for a world free from nuclear weapons. It may be a far fetched to achieve a nuclear free world, but it is possible; one, that can be only done through our moral and developmental commitments. The Maldives reiterates its call to all those countries to question the large amount of money spent on developing nuclear weapons. Instead we call upon those countries to spend it on social and economic development. That is the wise decision that we can make to fulfil our pledge to pursue the implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. The time is ripe for countries to come together to work towards full and complete disarmament and eliminating of nuclear weapons. While some meaningful progress has been made towards this goal during the past decades, we regret to see how the latest developments in the Korean Peninsula have threatened to compromise the progress. The Maldives strongly condemns the recent nuclear and ballistic missile tests conducted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in clear violation of international law and the resolutions of the Security Council. Such actions do not only pose a grave challenge to the international non-proliferation regime, but also pose a serious threat to the region as well as international peace and security. We must thus redouble our efforts to prevent any further tests and to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons. However, we must do this by finding a peaceful solution through the multilateral framework. In this spirit, the Maldives welcomes the firm action and unity taken by the Security Council on the matter as well as its efforts to find a diplomatic solution.

Mr Chair,

As the Secretary-General addressed in his remarks on the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons last week, “a world free of nuclear weapons is a global vision that needs a global response”. In this spirit, we need renewed international cooperation and commitment not just to the non-proliferation regime, but also to the 2030 Agenda, for the link between peace and security, and sustainable development is clear and well established. The Maldives believes that, if we are genuinely committed, the world can move firmly towards a nuclear-free, peaceful future for ourselves and for the generations to come. I thank you, Mr Chair.