Third Committee

Agenda item 69 (b): Human Rights

Intervention by the Republic of Maldives to the Report of the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living

Statement by Ms. Moomina Ibrahim, Assistant Director, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Maldives

United Nations, New York, 26 October 2016

Thank you Madam Chair,

The Maldives would like to thank the Special Rapporteur for her invaluable work in this area, and in particular for her report on the right to adequate housing as a component for adequate standard of living, and on the right to non-discrimination. The Maldives recognizes adequate housing as an integral component to a life of dignity, security and inclusion.

As a small island nation, the Maldives faces unique challenges to meet housing demands of increasing urban population. This is exacerbated by overcrowding caused by internal migration and inflow of migrant workers. The Government of Maldives has always accorded a high priority to improve the standards of living and under the National Housing Policy has undertaken ambitious programmes to relieve the shortages faced, through reclamation of new land for housing and development of urban centers.

The distinct geographical nature of our country makes the Maldives extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. As such, enhancing urban resilience and promoting sustainable urban development is of vital importance.

In this regard, my delegation would greatly appreciate it if the Special Rapporteur could shed some light or share best practices to improve urban planning, governance, and institutional mechanisms in the context of Small Island Developing States like the Maldives where housing and urban challenges are very unique.

Thank you.