Third Committee

Agenda item 68: Human Rights

Intervention by the Republic of Maldives to the Report of the Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities

United Nations, New York, 26 October 2016

Thank you Madam Chair,

My delegation would like to express our full support for the important work that has been carried out by the Special Representatives. Maldives welcomes the recommendations presented by the Special Rapporteur, which sets out a useful guideline to develop and implement disability inclusive policies. This report is particularly timely, as we prepare for the implementation of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and commit to leave no one behind.

Addressing the needs of persons with disabilities is a priority of the inclusive development policy of the Maldives. While the Act on the Protection of Disabled Persons gives full effect to the equal rights guaranteed for persons with disabilities by the Maldives Constitution, there is conscious effort across all sectors to mainstream disability and to remove barriers that promote active participation in society. Emphasis is also placed on strengthening the disability inclusive policy of the Government. This is more evident in the disability inclusive education policy of the Government. Other initiatives include, priority housing and provision of free assistive devices and the provision of 'Disability Allowance', which is an allowance for persons with disability to enhance their financial abilities. While difficulties are manifold, we are proud of the progress we have made so far.

The inherent challenges of being a Small Island Developing country, have always restricted the capacity in which social services can be afforded to its people. The thinly spread population over 188 inhabited islands of the Maldives, with their population sizes ranging from a mere 100 to 100,000, only means that providing basic services is that much challenging and extremely costly. This is why, Maldives has always advocated that SIDS remain as a special case for sustainable development. My delegation, wishes to therefore highlight the need to recognize such difficulties associated with countries like the Maldives, especially in implementing such policies, and requests the Special Rapporteur to reflect her views on these challenges.

Thank you