This year, we observe the International Day of Peace standing at the crossroads between a changing planet and new and emerging threats to international peace and security. The COVID-19 pandemic is no doubt one of the biggest challenges faced by the world in recent times. It has brought to light how inter-connected and interdependent we are on one another. A crisis in one part of the world instigates equally tragic consequences for the rest of the world. It has not only strained our healthcare systems, but also had a severe impact on the world economy. Consequently, the COVID-19 pandemic has further fueled both economic and social tensions in conflict or post-conflict situations, with serious implications for the most vulnerable populations.

The world, however, has risen to the challenge. It has brought together all countries – big or small – to strengthen the multilateral system and to find a common solution to this global problem. The world has proven that together, we can build back better. As a member of the international community, the Maldives remains steadfast in rising to the challenges of our time in the pursuit of peace and solidarity.

Today also marks the 55th anniversary of Maldives’ membership of the UN. Maldives was one of the very first small state to attain UN membership. Yet, it has proven to be a responsible and active member of the organisation. Maldives has not only championed the causes of Small Island Developing States, but also has drawn attention to the plight of the poor and the vulnerable; it has been a leading advocate for global challenges facing the international community, such as climate change.

On the occasion of the International Day of Peace and our 55th anniversary, Maldives recommits to the ideals of a rules based and inclusive multilateral system built upon the principles of state sovereignty and equality of all States. In the spirit of multilateralism, the Maldives will continue to participate meaningfully, contribute constructively and remain a trustworthy global citizen of the international community.