Statement by H.E. Mr Ahmed Khaleel,
Permanent Representative of the Republic of Maldives to the United Nations, at UNGA Sixth Committee
Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism, 09 October 2008.
Allow me, at the outset, to congratulate you and the members of the Bureau on your election.
International terrorism and organised crime are continuing to menace the maintenance of international peace and security. It is once again re-emerging with uglier manifestations in the most unexpected places, killing innocent people, including women and children. It is imperative that the international community continue to accord its highest priority to our collective fight against this abhorrence. Identifying and addressing the root causes of terrorism will be the key to a successful strategy.
The Maldives is fully committed to the implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. We believe, this would greatly enhance our collective ability to prevent terror-related activities, strengthen our legal and judicial capacity to respond whilst upholding the fundamental rights of peoples and respect for the rule of law. We support the early adoption of the draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism. In this regard, we commend the progressive efforts achieved by the Ad Hoc Committee and hope that negotiations on the draft convention will soon reach a successful conclusion. Allow me also to commend efforts by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdulla, for his recent proposal to establish an international centre for combating terrorism.
The continued scourge of terrorism is particularly alarming when seen in the context of the spread of nuclear arms and other weapons of mass destruction. The threat of a terrorist organisation gaining access to such weapons is extremely disturbing. The Maldives supports the proposed convention on nuclear terrorism and wish to see it becomes a reality as soon as possible.
The Maldives has continued to advocate the need for effective multilateral co-operation to support small states in protecting their sovereignty and territorial integrity. Small states like the Maldives often lack the financial resources, military and intelligence capabilities to effectively meet the challenges in combating new and emerging threats posed by international terrorism and organised crime. As stipulated under UN resolutions 44/51, 46/43 and 49/31 on the protection and security of small states, we believe, it is the moral obligation of the entire international community to assist small states, regardless of strategic location economic significance or political importance of the state.
The Maldives condemns terrorism in al it forms and manifestations. We have consistently supported stringent measures aimed at combating international terrorism, and are now party to almost all major conventions and protocols of the international counter-terrorism regime. Efforts are well underway to ensure that our obligations in implementing the required measures are being achieved. The Maldives submitted its first report on counter-terrorism, under Security Council resolution 1267 in 2003 and its second report under Security Council resolution 1373 in 2004. Under the ongoing political, human rights and legal reforms in the country, measures are being taken to ensure that international obligations are fully addressed. In this regard I am happy to note that new legislation to further strengthen counter-terrorism measures has been introduced and comprehensive steps are being taken to prevent non-state actors from operating within our borders.
At the regional level, close co-operation is necessary to ensure effective security arrangements and legal frameworks that also compliment international efforts. We are presently working within the context of the South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation, as well as concerned regional and international agencies to strengthen our domestic anti-terrorism machinery. In this regard, joint training initiatives, exchange of information and high-level bilateral visits have positively contributed towards various areas of regional collaboration on security matters.
Before I conclude, my delegation values the role played by the United Nations in countering terrorism. I assure this Committee of our unwavering commitment and resolve to do our part in this endeavour.
Thank you, Mr Chairman.