Mr. President,

Allow me to extend to you my Delegation's sincere congratulations on your unanimous election to the high office of the President of this august Assembly. Your election not only represents a well deserved tribute to your personality as a distinguished diplomat with a long association with the United Nations, but also to your country, Tanzania, which has played in the past, a significant role in the promotion of the aspirations of the peoples of the Third 'world and Africa in particular, in the international arena. My delegation is confident that your vast experience in the work of the United Nations will provide you clear insight and guidance in the proceedings of this important Session of the United Nations General Assembly. We pledge to you, Mr. President, our full cooperation in making our deliberations a success.

I would also like to express our deep appreciation to your predecessor, His Excellency Mr. Indalecio Lievano of Columbia, who presided over the Thirty-third session for the efficient and dedicated manner in which he conducted the work of the General Assembly, which won him our admiration and great respect.

I take this opportunity also to extend to His Excellency Dr. Kurt Waldheim the Secretary-General of the United Nations, our sincere gratitude for his unremitting efforts to promote peace and international understanding and thank him for his most comprehensive report in which he evaluated the work of the organization giving us the guidelines and the hopes for a better accomplishment of the objectives and the ideals of this organization, and the realization of a better life, based on justice and freedom for the millions of people who are plagued by poverty, hunger, disease, aggression, oppression, and subjugation.

My delegation is extremely happy to see our organization grow every year enabling us to achieve the objective of the much desired universality of our community. We are particularly pleased this year to welcome Saint Lucia amongst us representing a small country like ours, which has determined to come forward and share the responsibility according to its means for world peace and justice and express the will of an independent nation contributing to the progress of mankind as a whole.

Mr. President,

While we focus our attention on the issues and problems inscribed in the agenda of this Session, we feel conscious of the grim background of increasing political and economic tensions in the present world which could have a negative effect and might even frustrate our unceasing efforts to formulate the process towards the establishment of a new pattern of international relations based on friendship, mutual respect and the spirit of peaceful co-existence, and a more equitable infrastructure for international cooperation. In this context, it is heartening for us to see that despite severe constraints, sustained and determined efforts are being maintained to process the aspirations and hopes for the establishment of a new international economic order.

My delegation is confident that this organization with its lofty objectives, which no one can dispute, will be able to stand up firmly and victoriously to the challenges that humanity faces today, as it has done before. We remain convinced more than ever before, that this great organization will continue to justify the hopes and expectations of mankind for peace, security, progress and prosperity, even ii' all forms of colonialism, imperialism and racial discrimination are putting up a fierce struggle before their death. We are confident that this great community unity of nations of the world can and will uphold the great principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations. On our part, in all humility, we pledge our support to all efforts made towards the achievement of the noble objectives of this august Assembly.

Mr. President,

Mlaldives continue to be guided by the policy of non-alignment and has always endeavored to humbly contribute to its modest share in order to strengthen the unity and the character or the Non-Aligned Movement, in all sincerity for international peace, friendship and cooperation. We fully support the concept of establishing zones of peace in different parts of the world with the conviction and trust that such achievements will constitute a major contribution for the consolidation and preservation of global peace and security.

Turning to our region of the world, I confirm our full endorsement of the proposal of transforming the Indian Ocean into a Zone of Peace, not only because of our strong opposition to the presence of foreign military bases and facilities to foreign military presence in the context of great power rivalry in our part of the world, but also due to our awareness of increasing sing tension there. This situation forces us to divert our attention to and exhaust our energy and resources on progressively greater security measures, while the promotion of the welfare of our peoples most urgently require our unimpaired efforts and every available resource.

We welcome the outcome of the meeting held in July by littoral and hinterland states of the Indian Ocean, and look forward with greater hope for the United Nations Conference on the Establishment of a Zone of Peace in the Indian Ocean. In this connection, we appeal to the major powers of the world to sincerely cooperate with the littoral and hinterland states in order that the aspirations of our peoples for peace, stability and progress may be realized.

Mr. President,

We firmly support the initiatives and the efforts sponsored by the United Nations towards world disarmament. We remain convinced that disarmament can never be a reality until the production and sale of all conventional weapons are all brought under control .

As a small and unarmed country, we always look forward with hope and confidence to a positive and a favorable outcome of the negotiations on disarmament at various levels. We were greatly encouraged to see the birth and maturity of a second treaty on the limitation of strategic arms between the United states and the Soviet Union.. Although we share the view with many others in this Assembly that the SALT II has not solved the problem of the reduction of nuclear arsenals and the development of more destructive weapons to the extent desired, we feel that it is a positive step towards the realization of the cherished hope of the entire human race. It is our fervent hope that this step will pave the way to the achievement of eventual genuine disarmament .

Mr. President,

We in Maldives are very distressed with the turn of events in the Middle-East. We find that the aggressor backed by international Zionism, flagrantly and persistently is refusing to bow to the demands of justice and human values. Instead or finding a solution for the grave dilemma or a people who have been subjected to untold misery, humiliation, expulsion from their own homeland, and extermination, and instead of finding a solution to a situation created by aggression and occupation by force, we find that the atrocities and inhuman treatment to the people of Palestine is continuing at the hands of Israelis, and the lands illegally occupied by force are being destroyed and distributed among the population of the invader. This great international community condemns those atrocities and aggression, and deplores the occupation. While we in the United Nations pass resolutions expressing the feelings and decisions of this community, the situation has deteriorated further by the encouragement given to the Israelis under the provision of the Camp David accord which appeared, at the first instance, to be a bold initiative to find a lasting solution to the Middle-East problem. But because the framework of peace envisaged by that approach did not contain the solution to the heart of the problem, namely the attainment of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to self-determination and the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state, as expressed clearly by the Palestinians themselves, and by the vast majority of the international community, the Camp David accord has turned out to be not only an abortive act, but also a source of serious damage to the cause of justice, freedom and international peace contrary to the notion entertained by the optimistic advocates or that Peace Treaty.

The Israeli practices clearly show that it is bent on territorial expansionism and is not interested in peace. This has been demonstrated clearly by their recent activities of establishing new Jewish settlements in the occupied territories, and persistent refusal to accommodate a comprehensive solution and the denial of the rights of the Palestinian people, the legitimate owners of the land.

Mr. President,

We all agree that the settlement of the Middle-East question cannot be achieved through resolutions which do not embody a settlement of the problem of the Palestinian people. And this could not be achieved through any partial solutions which entertain only the interest of an individual country or the views of a particular group of people . We are convinced that peace, security and stability will not be attained in the Middle-East and in fact even in the whole world, unless there is a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian problem which ensures the recognition of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people including the right to establish a state of their own on their national soil. Any deliberation aimed at the fulfillment of this objective must be conducted in consultation with and involving fully the Palestinian people themselves, represented by the Palestine Liberation Organization, whom we all recognize as the legitimate and authentic representative. We also reiterate that any settlement that does not lead to the restoration of Jerusalem to Arab sovereignty and the custody of the Muslim World, as it always has been, is totally unacceptable. The question of Jerusalem is for many of us here, more than a question of a part of the occupied territory but also a question of historical facts prestige and security for believers and worshippers of three great religions. The solution itself should be a comprehensive one in the sense that it should lead to the complete withdrawal of the Israeli forces from all Arab lands, return of Jerusalem to Arab custody and fulfillment of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination.

We fully endorse and support the resolutions adopted by the United Nations on the question of Middle-East, which are truly an expression of the world opinion. We also endorse what has been declared by the Heads or State of Non-Aligned Countries in their recent Conference in Havana and join the other countries in the Third World in rejecting all attempts being made to jeopardize the deliberations or this international community for the purpose of finding a lasting solution to this great problem.

Mr. President

Over the past few months, South East Asia has been in the limelight as a tragically troubled area of the world. I do not believe that it is necessary for me to go into the details of this unfortunate situation. However, my delegation views it with serious concern. For we believe in the absolute freedom for the people of any country to decide and resolve their own political issues without any foreign military intervention. We must recognize the principle of respect for the independence of all the states in any region and the sovereign rights of all states to define their national policy. They must be left alone to solve their own problems in accordance with their aspirations and national interests. Resort to military intervention by one country in the affairs of another inevitably increases international tension, and endangers the security and the independence of the peoples of the region, and carries with it the added grave danger of impairing international peace and security. Such interference makes it impossible to build a strong and vibrant region whose states and their governments can devote their efforts to the economic development or their respective peoples. We cannot condone the imposition of foreign will on any sovereign state by military intervention. And we must not allow such situations of the violation of the principles of non-intervention in the internal affairs of other states to become precedence in this great organization.

Mr. President,

We do believe that one of the most pressing issues on which we should have consultations and reach agreement is the elimination of the remnants of colonialism, particularly in Africa. I do not intend to repeat, at length, the details that have already been stated here by the distinguished representatives of so many peace-loving nations on the subject or Southern Africa. But it is evident that the question of Southern Africa has become one of the most serious issues which the world community has faced upto now. It constitutes a challenge by a minority regime with a record of continued violations, openly and flagrantly, of all human values by subjecting the majority or the South African people to untold forms of humiliation, repression, torture and even murder. The situation is a continuation of colonial interests and racist ambitions.

We would wish to reiterate our continued support to all measures to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination and oppression and we shall continue to abide by the universally accepted measures or sanctions against the racist minority regimes of Southern Africa.

Mr. President,

In observing the International Anti-Apartheid Year, Maldives joins those who struggle to eliminate the scourge of Apartheid - a crime against humanity and a defiance of conscience and dignity of mankind. We express our opposition to all policies of Apartheid and continuation or all forms of colonialism.

Mr. President,

Namibia is a characteristic example of injustice which remains resistant to the human conscience and demands of the civilized world. The case itself stands as a symbol of the failure of the collective will of our community in applying adequate measures for implementation of what we resolve and act with more determination, against the regimes which deploy the policies of racism and apartheid. Maldives will continue its consistent support for the just struggle of the Namibian people under the leadership of their National Liberation Movement, SWAPO, until total liberation and independence of Namibia as a whole is achieved. In this respect I wish to reiterate our opposition and condemnation of South Africa's efforts to annex Walvis Bay in clear violation of International Law, Charter of the United Nations and particularly Security Council Resolution 385 of 1976. We also stand in solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe and with the leaders of the Patriotic Front, in their struggle for a genuine majority rule and true independence. The recent developments regarding the issue of Zimbabwe, both at the Commonwealth Conferences at Lusaka and London, have strengthened our hopes that the prospects for a negotiated peaceful solution or the problem have not yet been exhausted.

Mr. President,

Mlaldives, whose main industry is fishing, is relieved to note that the Third United Nations Conference on the Law or the Sea approved, during its last summer Session, a program of work which provide for the adoption of a new and comprehensive convention on the law of the sea next year. My delegation wishes to express its appreciation for this significant decision. Such a convention will enable us to initiate the exploitation of deep sea resources. We hope that the Ninth Session, which is scheduled for next year here in New York, will complete the negotiations despite the fact that the Eighth Session did not achieve its goal of finalizing a formal text. Mr. President,

As we focus our attention on a new development decade, it is essential that we have a clear perception of the great disparities that exist between the so-called developed and the developing countries. The economically advanced countries have a very apparent stronghold on the resources of the world. And unless some meaningful results become the outcome of the North-South Dialogue, it will not be possible for us to evolve a viable and dependable infra-structure to base our hopes for a new system or world economy The developments of the past few years have shown us very clearly that protectionism and monopoly exercised by the developed countries will not assist anyone to find a solution to the profound crisis of the international economic system that we face today. This instability results in the building up of political tensions throughout the world, often leading to catastrophic results.

Inspire of sustained efforts in the various fora of the United Nations to evolve structural changes in the world economic order for the past several years, it is most disheartening to see that no real progress has been achieved. This is due, mainly, to a lack of political will on the part or some of the most developed and advanced countries of the world. It is in the face of such critical and adverse developments that we now have to seek new initiatives and approaches in order to achieve solid and practical results, aimed at long term solutions or common interest, in the relentless endeavors for the establishment of the basic infra-structure of the new international economic order.

In this connection, we must all bear in mind that the world economy today does not provide for economic independent units, either on a regional or global basis. The world has become extremely inter-dependent. Thus, if the developing countries are ever to succeed in their search for a more equitable economic system, those countries that are most developed industrially and technologically and thus possessing the greatest economic and financial potentials, must demonstrate more positively their willingness to cooperate with the developing countries.

We sincerely feel that the decision of the Group of 77 to initiate sustained negotiations on international cooperation for development at the Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly in 1980, is a novel and bold initiative in an effort to overcome the present stalemate in the North-South Dialogue .

While, we are in the process of formulating new ideas, plans and strategy, towards a new global system of economic relations, I reel I should mention for records that the situation particularly in the least developed countries, need special consideration by virtue of the fact that there is an extreme dearth of natural resources to exploit. I have no doubt that the situation in the least developed countries is receiving due attention by the appropriate organs both in this organization and the international fora.

In conclusion, Mr. President, I would like to reaffirm our faith and trust in this Organization as the most effective instrument for peace progress and prosperity of Mankind. For this reason my country is determined to enhance the scope of its modest contributions and cooperation for the work of the United Nations.

Quite undeniably we are bound by constraints. However, our aspirations encourage us to make renewed efforts in our search for greater means to extend more support to the United Nations efforts in its search for a more peaceful, just and a better world for the generations to come. We are determined to do this because we believe that the effectiveness and the strength of the United Nations as a universal instrument to better the prospect of Man, lie in the extent of the sincerity and devotion of every one of its Members to the noble principles and objectives enshrined in its Charter.

Thank you