Third Committee

Agenda Item 73(b): Promotion and Protection of Human Rights

Intervention by the Republic of Maldives to the Report by the Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, Mr. Philip Alston

United Nations, New York, 22 October 2015


Thank you Distinguished Chairperson,

The Maldives would like to thank the Special Rapporteur for the comprehensive analysis that has been presented on the current policies and operations of the World Bank. We appreciate the recommendations presented, in terms of how the Bank needs consistency and a clear focus in its application of human rights. We also welcome, recommendations set forth that the Bank needs to assist Member States in complying with their international human rights obligations.

Mr. Chair,

The Maldives adopts a people centred approach to development, that is fully supported by a rights based agenda. The Constitution of the Maldives guarantees, without any discrimination, the right to basic public services; such as education, healthcare, water, sanitation, communication, electricity, and a healthy, ecologically balanced environment. However hard it might be, to deliver on these promises to a population of close to 400,000 spread across about 200 island over 90,000 square kilometres, the Government is committed to succeed in this endeavour.

Despite these developmental challenges, the vulnerability of Maldives to the impacts of climate change cannot be stressed enough. As we increasingly witness, hard earned developmental achievements can be wiped away within minutes in island nations. This is why the Maldives have been continuously advocating for the link between human rights and climate change. Climate Change threatens the very existence of our nation and deprives us of our rights. For this reason, we say that reality should be reflected in the way we finance and invest in SIDS. Lack of access to concessionary financing in many cases limit governments in meeting their human rights obligations.

My question to the Special Rapporteur is, what do you see as the biggest challenge for the Bank, to take a new direction in its policy and how best can the Bank cater to Small Island States taking into account inherent vulnerabilities.