اَلحَمْـدُ لِلّـهِ رَبّ العَـالَمِـين، وَالصّـلاة وَالسّلام علـى محـمَّدٍ وَعلـى آلـه وَصَحْبِـهِ أجمـعـين

Mr Chairman, Mr Secretary General, Excellencies, Distinguished delegates,

Assalam Alaikum Warahmathullahi Wabarakaathuh,

I bring with me, the warm greetings of my President, His Excellency Mr Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, the Government, and the People of the Republic of Maldives. I wish to thank the Government of Cote d’Ivoire and the friendly people of this country, for the gracious hospitality extended to my delegation and me, since our arrival. I wish to congratulate His Excellency, Mr Marcel Amon Tanoh Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cote d’Ivoire for being elected to preside over this important Council. I would also like to congratulate the outgoing Chairman, His Excellency Abdulaziz Kamilov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan, for the organized manner in which he has steered the Council this past year.

Mr Chairman,

On my flight to Abidjan I was quite delighted with the development I saw when my flight descended at the Felix Houphouet Boigny airport. From tall buildings to paved roads to newly developed infrastructures, I was impressed. The scale, and pace of development is immense, and the true credit undoubtedly goes to the hard working people especially the youth of this great nation.

Coming from a country that has graduated from the list of Least Developed Countries, only six years ago, we, and I am sure most of our friends here, share similar sentiment about development, especially by our youth. Our young people, our youth, are our future; they are our hope.

In the Maldives, the Government of President Yameen has a youth-focused approach to the socio economic development of the country. Young people comprises 47% of the population, hence the Government has launched a special youth manifesto: it is focused on engaging them in productive work, encouraging and enabling access to higher education opportunities, ensuring that their contributions are received, their social wellbeing assured.

While we are pursuing policies that enable and empower our youth, it is equally important that we create an environment of peace. For there can be no sustainable development without peace, and no peace without sustainable development. Which is why the humanitarian and political dimensions of the crises unfolding before our eyes in the Middle East and Africa are fast becoming development crises in fact.

Decades of conflict, subjugation, domination and oppression of our Palestinian sisters and brothers, by the Occupying Power Israel, have left generations of young people hopeless, with no prospects and no future. The crisis in Syria, shows no end in sight. This must stop.

The Maldives commend the efforts of the OIC to change the image of Islam, and the spread of terrorist ideologies. The Maldives stands by the efforts to combat terrorism, violent extremism and support the efforts targeted at Muslim youth.

Excellencies,

Our history shows, that despite the many hardships, the Islamic Ummah has always managed to find ways as a community, to join together, to bring change through solidarity. It is natural to have differences. But our approach should be to promote dialogue and peace, to cultivate a culture of respect, of meaningful solutions, for our shared prosperity.

The Maldives has always abided by the Islamic values of shura, and dialogue. We have promoted peace and tolerance over conflict, sought mutually beneficial, shared solutions, for our shared prosperity. We have been, in many instances, a bridge builder, a moderator- and these are the values we hope to bring to the United Nations Security Council, if we are elected, in the elections to be held in June next year in New York.

We hope that our sisters and brothers will stand beside us, as we seek to take the voice of the small states to the Security Council, and demonstrate our intent, our commitment, and our determination to make a meaningful difference. For we believe that every country, regardless of size or might, deserves a fair chance, an equal opportunity, as any other. We hope we have your support.

Thank you.