Statement by

Dr. Ibrahim Zuhuree, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Maldives to the United Nations

at the Plenary Meeting on the Use of the Veto

9 January 2024


Mr. President,

My delegation thank you for convening this plenary meeting of the General Assembly at a time when we are still seeking a long-overdue solution to the devastation and misery continuously being suffered by the people of Palestine.

The Maldives welcomes the initiative undertaken by the United Arab Emirates in securing the adoption of resolution number S/2023/2720, on 22 December 2023, recognizing its capacity to deliver much-needed humanitarian aid and assistance to Gaza. This was a step in the right direction. The Maldives further urges the international community to take the next step in calling for an immediate ceasefire and the complete cessation of hostilities. We also expect the Resolution to be fully enforced.

It is disheartening that we must meet time and time again in this hall because the United Nations Security Council has repeatedly failed to uphold its mandate of maintaining international peace and security.

We are here today because, through a veto, the Security Council has once again failed to adequately engage with the ongoing conflict and address the blatant violations of international peace and security. The Maldives firmly believes that all members of the Security Council should maintain its Code of Conduct in not voting against resolutions intending to prevent mass atrocities such as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

The Security Council has, through its delayed inaction, enabled an unprecedented degree of loss, the exacerbation of destruction, and the prolonging of suffering inflicted on innocent civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Each day that the Security Council fails to take immediate and decisive action against the destruction and suffering will mark its record of credibility even further.

Mr President,

The Maldives vehemently reiterates its opposition to the double standards in upholding international law and international humanitarian law. Israel’s atrocities against innocent Palestinian civilians should not be allowed to continue without any accountability or repercussions. For this reason, the Maldives reaffirms its support for the application filed by South Africa at the International Court of Justice on 29 December 2023, requesting to declare that Israel is in breach of the 1948 ‘Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide’. We categorically reject any attempts to forcibly displace the Palestinian people from their historical homeland.

Mr. President,

The current conflict we are witnessing today, did not begin on 7 October 2023. The Palestinian people have been subjected to Israel’s brutal occupation and its apartheid-like policies for decades. The Israeli regime has been wholly dismissive of the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination. The Israeli military has been complicit in acts which are genocidal in character – plainly expressing their intent to destroy all Palestinians.

The deliberate and indiscriminate bombings in this recent escalation of the conflict have resulted in the death of over 22,000 Palestinian civilians, out of which at least 9,100 are children. More than 7,000 Palestinians remain unaccounted for under the rubble – feared dead, and over 4,700 Palestinians have been detained and subjected to various forms of ill-treatment and torture.

These figures must not remain only as statistics to mourn in remembrance. The Palestinian people need an immediate ceasefire, the provision of urgent humanitarian aid and

assistance, and a comprehensive and long-standing solution to the situation in the Middle East.

Mr President,

The Maldives reiterates its commitment to the people of Palestine and their inalienable right to self-determination. Tangible progress in the Middle East peace process can only be achieved with the establishment of an independent and sovereign State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, based on pre-1967 borders.

The Maldives will remain steadfast in its support for the Palestinian people and their right to peace, dignity, and justice.

I thank you.