I would like to convey my appreciation to you for convening this important meeting and to the Secretary General for his unwavering commitment towards achieving the goal of the total elimination of nuclear weapons.

The annual commemoration of the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons is a stark reminder of the imminent threat to humanity, posed by nuclear weapons and the pressing need to find common solutions. Seventy-five years ago, in a show of unprecedented multilateral cooperation, the world came together with the noble aspiration to eliminate nuclear arsenals and weapons of mass destruction. That it was the subject of the very first resolution of this organization demonstrates the importance attached to this issue.

We all know too well that failure carries a heavy price. We are also aware of the catastrophic consequences of the use of even one single atomic bomb. Yet, today the world is in possession of 15,000 nuclear weapons. As long as these dangerous weapons exists, so, too will the risk of its proliferation and use.

When it comes to our common goal of nuclear disarmament, we cannot be complacent, nor lag behind. We must remember that every effort towards nuclear disarmament is a step towards strengthening international peace and security. It would foster greater economic development and enable more prosperity.

Mr. President,

The Maldives is not a producer of any weapons, nor do we have any aspirations to do so in the future. We have remained unwavering in our efforts to strengthen the global architecture on international peace and security. Last year, the Government of the Maldives ratified the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and acceded to the Convention on Cluster Munitions and the UN Arms Trade Treaty. We believe these instruments are critical for the nuclear non-proliferation legal framework.  We urge those states that have not ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons to do so as soon as possible, so that it may enter into force.

We welcome the convening of the First Session of the Conference on the Establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and other Weapons of Mass Destruction according to the General Assembly Decision 73/546.

The Maldives firmly believes that security and strength is achieved not through weapons, but through investment in the well-being of our people and our environment. We improve our welfare by reducing poverty, investing in sustainable development, guaranteeing fundamental human rights, strengthening democratic processes, and increasing our resilience to the impacts of climate change. Disarmament is essential if we are to have peaceful and inclusive societies, as envisaged in Goal Sixteen of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

I thank you.