Distinguished Mr. Chairperson,
My delegation wishes to thank the Secretary General for his report on the right of peoples to self-determination. We would also like to express our appreciation to the members of the Human Rights Committee, the Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights, the Human Rights Council and all the special mandate holders for their contribution towards protection of fundamental and inalienable rights around the world.
Among our most inherent rights is that of self-determination. It is only through the realization of that fundamental basic normality that we can begin to address others such as dignity, justice, progress and equity. Whether this right is taken away by military intervention, aggression, occupation, or even exploitation, the world cannot condone its deprivation from any peoples in any region.
The Maldives is a party to both the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights that guarantees all the pursuit of development together with the freedom to determine their political status.
The Maldives acknowledges the recent reports of the Human Rights Committee and the Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights, that addresses the issues related to self-determination. We further take note of the report of the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, James Anaya.
The Maldives believes unequivocally that the primary focus of all States facing questions over self-determination is to create and engage in consultative mechanisms encouraging the exchange of information and ultimately, the incorporation of ethnic and linguistic groups into the decision making process. The right of those who govern can only be derived from the will of the governed. All nations have a communal responsibility to ensure the governing process is inclusive and adhering our most basic obligations.
Exploitation has and will be a mainstay of development. However, it is clear that short comings in consultative processes have left many peoples exploited in the name of development, and the natural resources in territories traditionally occupied or used by groups are used without regard to cultural integrity or preservation. While Maldives deplores excessive exploitation of natural resources and the potential for adverse impacts, we also deplore the abuse of peoples without regard to human dignity and national commitments to international law.
The Maldives also takes note of the report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Palestine, Richard Falk. While the Human Rights Council has passed another resolution earlier this year reaffirming the permanent and unequivocal right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including their right to freedom, justice, dignity and an independent democratic contiguous state, Mr. Falk’s report shows an ever worsening situation on the ground. The Maldives strongly believes that a two state solution with Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace is the only way forward, and therefore, calls upon United Nations to seek the right of self-determination for the Palestinian people.
There are few principles more central to the Charter of the United Nations, international conventions and covenants. It is the Maldives sincerest hope that we continue forward and strive for progress, forever keeping regression at bay.