Thank you Mr. Chairman,

Let me first of all extend our appreciation to the Special Rappoteur Ms. Gabriela Knaul for her report and its focus on judicial corruption and combating corruption through the judicial system. Let me also thank the Special Rapporteur for her comprehensive and informative briefing this afternoon.

Mr Chairman,

We appreciate the focus of the Special Rapporteur’s report, on the effects of judicial corruption on the rule of law, economic and social development and the ability of the judiciary to promote and protect the human rights of ordinary people. Indeed, an independent and accountable judiciary, free from corruption and coercion is a necessary ingredient of any governance structure for any Member State.

During the high-level meeting on the rule of law this September, my delegation outlined a number of  wide-ranging initiatives that would strengthen the independence of the judicial sector, enhance the safeguards against judicial corruption and increase the capabilities of the judiciary in the administration of justice.

I wish to use this opportunity to highlight that the Maldives is currently formulating a comprehensive strategy for the judicial sector, that would include the establishment of Judicial Training Institute and the development of a central law reporting database by 2014. We also hope to expand the scope of the judiciary implement out alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, and to provide effective delivery of justice in the banking and commercial sectors.

Mr Chairman,

In light of on-going judicial and political reforms, my Government was planning to organize a national roundtable on the judicial sector in July this year, bringing together all national stakeholders to discuss the challenges and agree a way forward. We expressed our interest in extending an invitation to the Special Rapporteur to conduct a visit during this roundtable. However, due extenuating circumstances, we deeply regret that the round table meeting and the visit did not take place on these dates.

Mr Chairman,

The Maldives would like to reassure the Special Rapporteur of its keen interest in inviting her to undertake a mission to the Maldives on mutually convenient dates. In this regard, my Government will remain engaged with the Special Rapporteur’s Office, either through our Permanent Mission in Geneva, or in New York to finalise the details of the visit.

After all Mr. Chair, we believe her contributions and recommendations could be substantial as we embark on an ambitious reform agenda in the judicial sector. Such a visit will be highly appreciated by my Government.

I thank you Mr. Chairman.