Distinguished Heads of States and Governments, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentleman;
75 years after the creation of the United Nations, I am privileged to speak as the President of one of its smallest constituent states, the Republic of Maldives. Since our admission the Maldives has been a proud member-state that has embraced the international order heralded by the UN. We proactively engage with our international peers on every major global issue, from climate change to counter-terrorism, to trade and regional institutionalism. We have carved out a piece for ourselves as a leading representative of small island states, such as those comprising AOSIS, in which capacity we continue to remind the international community of their moral obligations to the planet and of the existential risks posed by the climate emergency.
The Maldives is fully committed to the vision conceived by the UN’s founders and outlined in its Charter. The world immediately preceding the 1945 San Francisco Conference was an ugly one, ravaged by warfare and international strife. The United Nations was pivotal to leaving behind those dark chapters in history, and heralding the most peaceful and progressive era humanity has ever known; one founded upon the Charter’s principles of sovereign equality and self-determination, and imbued with the multilateral spirit of its founders.
We must keep alive that same multilateral spirit if we are to address one of the greatest global challenges since the creation of this organization, Covid-19.
The task immediately confronting the world-community is recovering from the disease’s impacts. Vulnerable countries such as the Maldives and other Small Island Developing States in particular will need the international community’s assistance to first, revive our economies, predominantly based on tourism, and concurrently to build our resilience by diversifying our means of income, and ensuring social protection. We are in turn committed to working with our international partners and standing shoulder to shoulder with the rest of the world community in confronting this and future challenges, as we have always done, as a proud member of the United Nations.