Statement by Mr. Abdullah Hameed, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Maldives, at UNGA Sixth Committee on Agenda Item 108: Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism, 11 October 2007.
Since this is the first time my delegation is taking the floor, allow me, at the outset to congratulate you on your unanimous election to the Chair. Let me also convey my felicitations to the other members of the Bureau of the Sixth Committee on their election. My delegation is fully confident that with your skills and expertise you will guide the work of the Committee to a successful conclusion.
We commend the Secretary-General for his report on the measures to eliminate international terrorism. My delegation also appreciates the work of the Ad-Hoc Committee established on the subject.
My delegation aligns itself with the statements delivered by Cuba and Pakistan on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement and the Organization of Islamic Conference respectively.
Twelve days ago, the spectre of terrorism visited the Maldives. An improvised explosive devise was detonated in a recreational park in the capital-city of Male’. Twelve innocent bystanders were injured. Naturally, our people are in shock and dismay by the first occurrence of its kind in the entire history of Maldives. The people are, therefore, unanimous in condemnation of this heinous crime. Equally, we are firm in our resolve not to allow such cowardly acts of aggression to undermine the peace and tranquillity that characterises the Maldivian society.
This unprovoked incident provides a stark reminder that no State, big or small, is free from the scourge of terrorism.
Terrorism knows no borders, no race and no religion. Terrorism perpetrated in one country to achieve certain goals, often crosses into the territory of the others. Maldives has experienced a similar incident in May this year, when a foreign terrorist organisation used a hijacked third country fishing trawler for smuggling of weapons and explosives using the Maldivian waters. We are determined not to allow any such illegal activity to operate within our territory. After an intense engagement, Maldives Coast Guard had no alternative but to sink the trawler before the perpetrators were captured.
Nineteen years ago, foreign mercenaries were involved in an armed aggression that threatened the national sovereignty of our country. Their aim was to secure a safe haven, training grounds, and a platform for launching their attacks in their home country. Their dastardly actions resulted in the loss of many innocent Maldivian lives.
These incidents that the Maldives experienced and many others elsewhere, clearly depict the fate of small states. With the limited resources and technological know-how at their disposal, small states are often unable to address these threats that may endanger their protection and security. My delegation believes that these threats can only be effectively addressed through greater international cooperation and action. Following the armed aggression in 1988, Maldives with the support of a number of friendly countries sponsored UNGA resolution on the protection and security of small states. It is imperative that the international community takes on the moral as well as political obligation of protecting the security of small states, as stipulated by General Assembly resolutions 44/51, 46/43 and 49/31.
The Maldives has consistently advocated international measures to effectively combat terrorism and reiterates its commitment to the international counter terrorism regime. Accordingly, we have signed a number of international conventions on terrorism.
Maldives is also firmly behind regional cooperation efforts in combating terrorism. We are party to the SAARC Regional Convention on Suppression of Terrorism and its Additional Protocol. In order to set up effective security arrangements that complement the efforts in the international level, my delegation believes that it is imperative to hold more and more interaction, consultation as well as forge closer cooperation at the regional level.
Before I conclude, let me state that my Delegation values the role played by the United Nations in the fight against international terrorism. My Delegation fully supports the early completion of the comprehensive convention on international terrorism.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman.