Thank you, Mr. President,

I wish to thank the Dominican Republic, the President of the Council for the month of January, for convening this important debate. I would also like to thank the eminent experts for providing us with valuable insights in their briefing this morning.

Let me also take this opportunity to congratulate the newly elected Members of the Council: Belgium, the Dominican Republic, Germany, Indonesia, and South Africa, who assumed their membership on the Council this month.

 

Mr President,

As I left the Maldives to travel here, I met a 5-year-old little girl, Aisha, at the Male’ International Airport. She asked me where I was going and I told her that I was traveling to New York to speak at the United Nations Security Council, about climate change. We had a little chat and she hugged me and waved me goodbye as I walked away to board my flight.

I sat on my very long flight to New York and couldn’t stop thinking about the little girl who embraced me. The bright sparkle in her eyes and the joyous innocence in her smile, unaware of the kind future she may have ahead of her.  And I questioned myself. Can I really do something meaningful for this little girl? Can we all collectively help her realize the hopes and dreams that she carries in her young self? Can we deliver to her the future that she aspires for, the one that she deserves? A future that is safe, secure and healthy. Looking at the current state of affairs in the world, I must say “No”!

Mr. President,

Climate change is destroying our tiny island country for years. It’s eroding our beaches. Killing the coral reefs protecting our islands. Contaminating our fresh water with sea water, and we are losing our fish stock. But most importantly, climate change is going to take our home away from us entirely.

On 17 April 2007, when the Security Council held its first-ever debate on the impact of climate change on peace, security, I spoke in this very room on this very same matter. I reminded the Council on that day, that climate change is not only an everyday fact of life for the Maldivians, but an existential threat. I reminded the Council that a mean sea-level rise of two metres would suffice to virtually submerge the entire Maldives under water. That would indeed be the death of a nation.

And yet, today, in this Council, 12 years later, I am still repeating the same message. Prospects for our future are far worse than we ever imagined. While we are busy trying to decide which Forum of the United Nations must address which aspect of Climate Change, our lakes are drying up, depriving fresh water to tens of millions of people. Unseasonal draughts are leaving millions of people homeless. Hunger and displacement are leading to conflicts, and entire nations are sinking under water. What is a bigger security threat to us than this? 

Mr. President,

We are encouraged by the Paris Agreement with the aim to combat climate change and to accelerate and intensify the actions and investments needed for it. We also hope that the Katowice Rulebook will help improve our collective ambition to deliver on our pledges and keep global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, 1.5 degree Celsius if possible. But for the Maldives, waiting and hoping is not enough. We must drastically reverse the current trends in climate change to ensure that a future exists for little girls like Aisha and her friends.

We need solutions; solutions that are based on the principle of justice. Solutions based on the principle of common, but differentiated responsibilities, within respective capabilities. Solutions that are achieved through consensus and national ownership. The solutions we seek should narrow the gap between adaptation and mitigation. A larger share of funds must be reserved for adaptation. This will enable countries to build infrastructure to reduce the risks of climate-induced disasters, as envisaged in the Sendai Framework, and in the 2030 Agenda.

The solutions we seek should also aim to strengthen the capacity of the UN System to identify potential climate-related risks in conflicts and take mitigating measures early on. The Secretariat’s briefings to this Council should, in our opinion, include expert analyses of climate related risks and how such risks are driving conflicts.

Mr President,

The countries that are on the first line of impact, such as the Maldives, cannot afford to wait. We cannot wait until we can all agree with the facts on the ground: that climate change is a threat to international peace and security. We cannot wait until the impacts of climate-induced disasters destroy our economies and our livelihoods. We cannot wait for climate change to force us to abandon our identity and lose our homes. We need actions. Actions that are consistent with the commitments we have already made. If we don’t, we will extinguish the sparkle in the eyes of Aisha and millions of children like her.

I thank you Mr President.

Address to the UN General Assembly by H E Dr Ali Naseer Mohamed,

Permanent Representative of the Maldives to the United Nations 

1 October 2018, New York

Thank you Madam President,

Bismillahi Rahmani Raheem

Madam President, Mr Secretary General, and Ladies and Gentlemen

I wish to convey my Delegation’s congratulations to you, on your election as the President of the 73rd Session of the General Assembly. Your election to preside over this Assembly represents the progress we are making towards gender equality, a momentum we need to enhance at the global level. Yet, you being only the fourth woman to do so, shows, how far we still have to go. I also wish to commend the Secretary-General Mr António Guterres for his leadership, in steering the organisation during this challenging time.

Statement by Her Excellency Dr. Aishath Shiham, Minister of Education and Head of Delegation of the Republic of Maldives
At the High Level Segment of the 37th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council

27 February 2018, Genève

 

Mr. President, Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates,

As-salaam Alaikum, and a very good morning to you all,

As I address this Council, I cannot help but recall why we are here. As a bastion of ideals, the Human Rights Council is meant to promote global norms that safeguard the common heritage and futures of our respective peoples. This Council is meant to strengthen systems that guarantee inalienable rights. It is meant to promote governance mechanisms and institutions, created by the people and for the people.  

Thank you Mr President,

I wish to thank Kazakhstan in its capacity as the President of the Security Council, for convening today’s open debate on the situation in the Middle East. This is my first time, since assuming office in 2016, to address the Council, and it is only right that it would be on an issue that the Government and the people of Maldives, have historically attached particular importance to: the Middle East and the question of Palestine.

Distinguished Ministers, Colleagues,

Assalamu Alaikum,

Good evening,

Twenty-seven years ago, on an island not too far away from here, leaders of island nations and their friends gathered together, and agreed to work together to find shared solutions, to lobby for our mutual goals, and raise awareness about our common challenges. That was of course, as you know, the birth of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS).