Statement delivered by 

HE Dr Ali Naseer Mohamed, Permanent Representative 

on A Culture of Peace 

14 December 2018 

Madam President,  

The natural form of human culture is peace, not war. Governments, individuals, civil society organisations, and international organisations, including the un system, could work individually and collectively to restore the natural human relationship, to cultivate the values of respect, to promote mutual understanding, and to cherish our shared human identity. Yet, these ideals, and indeed the principles that underpin the Declaration on a Culture of Peace adopted by the Assembly in 1999, are under threat.   

The Declaration puts enormous faith, rightly so, on the power of education, propelled by extraordinary level of political commitment, to overcome such challenges. We are indeed quite encouraged to observe from the Reports of the Secretary-General, the progress that unesco has made, especially in incorporating the 2030 Agenda and the sdg targets in its work programme in promoting a Culture of Peace. We would encourage unesco to work more closely with Governments and education providers in various countries to ensure that the knowledge that is being transferred to students are built on values of inclusivity, tolerance, and respect. We need to ensure that the creative minds of children and the youth are taught to recognise and appreciate the mutual dependence we naturally have on one another, instead of factors that divide us. 

The Maldives believes that there is a need to overcome challenges that countries face in maintaining constant focus on the Culture of Peace Declaration. Among the most important such challenges, especially for small islands-developing States (sids), such as the Maldives, is climate induced threats. Vulnerable populations and their cultural heritage, which make up important sections of the global tapestry of diversity, need security. The changing climate, which is apparent from the disasters experienced in recent years, puts the sustainability of a culture of peace at risk.   

Madam President,  

Media, especially social media, is an important platform in disseminating information. At the same time, we have a collective responsibility to ensure that advances in technology are used to increase awareness and educate, not to incite hatred and intolerance. The Maldives condemns any and all attempts to promote violent extremism and terrorism. Terrorism is the antithesis of a culture of peace and therefore a stand against terrorism in all its forms and manifestation, must be taken with full conviction.  

Madam President,  

The newly elected President of the Maldives, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih believes that cultivating a culture of peace requires a policy shift towards tolerance, respect, acceptance, and unity; respect for democratic values and principles that can foster a culture of peace; eliminating all forms of prejudices, discrimination, and marginalization. At international level, it involves ending coercive measures to resolve conflict, and overcome issues through negotiations and dialogue.   

My Government hopes that today’s discussions and the Resolution we adopt will help accelerate our efforts in promoting the values and principles in the Declaration on a Culture of Peace; so that we could create a more tolerant global society for a more harmonious and peaceful world for generations to come. 

I thank you, Madam President.