Statement by Mr. Ahmed Sareer, Vice-Chairman of the Maldives Delegation, at the Joint Debate of the General Assembly on items 9 “Report Of The Security Council’ and 122 “Question of Equitable Representation on and Increase in the Membership of the Security Council and Related Matters”, 13 November 2007
At the outset, my delegation would like to join the previous speakers in expressing our appreciation to the President of the Security Council Ambassador R.M. Marty M. Natalegawa, Permanent Representative of Indonesia, for his presentation of the annual report of the Council, covering the period from 1 August 2006 to 31 July 2007. We would also like to thank the President of the 61st session of the General Assembly, Her Excellency Haya Rashed Al Khalifa, for the exemplary leadership she demonstrated as the Chairperson of the Open-ended Working Group on the Reform of the Security Council, during the previous session. Our deep gratitude also goes to the tedious work undertaken by the Facilitators appointed by her to assist the process.
Maldives remain convinced that the United Nations is the only Organization that is capable of creating a more peaceful and prosperous world for humanity. The principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations are today as relevant and valid as they were formulated in 1946. But the challenges that confront the Organization in this globalized world are surely not the same as when it was created six decades ago. Reforming and restructuring the Organization to effectively address these challenges therefore, remains a major hurdle to cross. While we acknowledge with satisfaction the numerous reforms that had already been implemented over the past few years, it is disappointing to note that the proposed reforms of the Security Council, the principle organ entrusted with the primary task of maintaining international peace and security, still continues to elude us without any tangible results.
My delegation sincerely believes that reforming the Security Council remains central and should become part and parcel of the entire United Nations reform process if the United Nations were to remain a credible and effective Organization. The Council must be reformed to reflect the geopolitical realities of the modern world. While we recognize the difficulties we face, we sincerely believe that the reforms should be comprehensive and should include the expansion of its membership, both non-permanent and permanent categories, the issue of veto and its decision making process. Similarly, the issues relating to the working methods and its transparency and the relation between the Council and the General Assembly are equally important areas that need to be addressed in a comprehensive manner.
Maldives is convinced that any expansion of the Security Council should reflect the growth of United Nations membership and its present cultural diversity. We would like to see that the process result in reform which would make the Security Council more representative, democratic and transparent. We share the view that reforms of the Council should become an integral part of the United Nations reform process and that maintaining the status quo is not acceptable. We also value the importance of the need to enhance Member States’ access to the Council, both in terms of increasing their chances to serve as members and, while not members, to increase their involvement in the Council’s work. We also welcome the Working Group’s recommendation that any enlargement should address the under-representation of developing countries as well as small States.
Security priorities may vary from state to state. For the Maldives, and many other small low-lying island states in the world, peace and security is not only derived from the absence of war or conflicts. The threats posed by global climate change and related consequences have now become a threat that is linked directly to the sheer survival of some of these small states. In our view the issue of climate change is intrinsically an issue of international peace and security that requires the urgent and paramount attention of all the organs of the Organization including the Security Council. In this regard my delegation appreciates the historic step taken by the Security Council in convening on 17 April 2007 the first ever debate exploring the potential impacts of climate change on international peace and security. Maldives consider this as an important step in the right direction and we believe that close cooperation and coordination among all principal organs is indispensable in order to enable the Organization to remain relevant and capable of meeting such new and emerging threats and challenges.
Before I conclude, allow me to reiterate our firm belief that the lack of common ground on some of the major aspects of the Council reforms should not be used as an excuse for no action. Our decision to support the G-4 proposals is based primarily on our conviction that no action would be counter productive to the Organization. We sincerely believe that we should proceed with the enlargement of the membership, both in the permanent and non-permanent categories, and include in this enlargement, countries such as Japan, India and other member states, that have proved their commitment and capacity to serve as permanent members, and would represent the wider membership of the present day United Nations. After all, the aim of the reform process is the enhancement of the credibility, legitimacy, and the universal character of the Organization.
As a responsible member of the international community, I assure you Mr. President, that the Maldives will continue to play its role to uphold and promote the objectives of the United Nations.
I thank you.