Sixth Committee

Agenda Item 108: Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism

Statement by the Republic of Maldives

United Nations, New York, 04 October 2016

Thank you Chair,

Let me begin by congratulating on your election to preside over the work of this Committee during this Session. We look forward to working with you and the Bureau and assure our full support towards ensuring a successful and productive session. Let me also thank the Secretary-General for the Report submitted under this agenda item.

Mr. Chair,

In today's world, terrorism knows no borders. As modern innovations and evolution in political dynamics have resulted in international integration, it has also inadvertently enabled the propagation of these threats which were previously confined to specific countries and regions. Furthermore, the ideologies behind these actions have evolved beyond just a political dimension.

The Maldives is no exception to the threat posed by terrorism and violent extremism. As a country where Islam is woven into the very fabric of our society, our culture, and our way of life, we cannot tolerate the possibility of certain terrorist and violent ideologies to distort the tenets of our peaceful religion to their own ends. Therefore we join the international community in strongly condemning acts of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. We reject violent extremism, and especially denounce all acts of violence carried out in the name of Islam; for they are not only un-Islamic but anti-Islamic.

Mr. Chair,

Terrorism is a global threat requiring a global solution, which can only be derived from concrete actions, nationally, regionally and internationally. It requires cooperation between domestic agencies, States and international institutions. Counter-terrorism strategies at all levels should address the linkages between terrorism, organised crime and financing, and also facilitate capacity-building in relevant fields.

Domestically, the Maldives has taken a number of robust measures for the prevention of terrorism and violent extremism. A State policy to counter terrorism and violent extremism has been implemented, and specific laws on counter terrorism have been enacted. These legislative and policy measures are complimentary to the international measures at a regional and global level. They address the issue of Foreign Terrorist Fighters as well as Terrorist Financing, and provides the widest range of international cooperation through information sharing, mutual legal assistance and provisions on extradition.

In addition to policy and legislative measures, institutional measures have also been undertaken:  the Maldives has established the National Counter-Terrorism Centre, mandated to coordinate the inter-agency effort required to effectively counter terrorism domestically, and to liaise with international security partners. Later this month, the Center will be hosting an international symposium on countering terrorism and violent extremism.

Recognizing the need to address the root causes of this threat in our National Strategy on Countering Violent Extremism and Radicalism; we have revised our national educational curriculum with an emphasis on the values of moderation and civic responsibility, aiming to raise awareness amongst our younger generations about this global menace. In addition, anti-terrorism awareness programs are conducted focusing on specific sectors, religious scholars as well as the general public.

As mentioned before, domestic efforts alone cannot win this battle. The cooperation and assistance of the international community is paramount, especially for countries which lack the resources to address the evolving challenges posed by this threat. In addition to the sharing of information, support is required to cater to the capacity building needs of countries such as the Maldives, which have unique geographical and societal circumstances.

Mr. Chair,

The Maldives believes that there should be no place for terrorism and violent extremism in today's world. Such violence is without any conceivable logic or rationale, and as is too often the case. We strongly assert that these counter-terrorist measures should not target, marginalize or disadvantage people of any religion, ethnicity or nationality. This will lead to a vicious cycle of increased hostilities and aggression, breeding further ideologies leading to terrorism. It is often the innocent who suffer the most from these senseless acts of violence. Taking this into account, it is our belief that the strongest possible response to terrorist and violent extremist acts, groups, and ideologies should come through a united and comprehensive international effort against this threat to global peace and security.

Thank you.