My delegation would like to thank the Secretary General for his report on the agenda item. Line after line, the report lists travesty and tragedy. It is unfortunate to note that there was no progress on the matter before us. Instead, we continue to see discrimination, violence, and detrimental policies by the occupying Power. The people in the occupied territories have suffered more misery, deprivation and injustice.
The Secretary General’s report, once again, highlights the numerous violations of international law and United Nations resolutions by the occupying Power, Israel, including killing of civilians, arbitrary arrests, confiscation of land, destruction of property, demolition of homes and restrictions on the movement of people and goods. Moreover, the report documents the occupying Power’s persistence in exploiting and endangering natural resources in the occupied territories. Israel’s actions had resulted in the deterioration of infrastructure, agricultural land, sanitation and environment. No wonder, the occupation has grave socioeconomic consequences to the people of these occupied territories.
At the beginning of this General Assembly session, we have seen a high level segment on the rule of law. We have also witnessed many countries pledging their firm commitment to the rule of law. The international community’s resolve was further strengthened towards promoting and upholding the rule of law. Unfortunately, the Secretary General’s report under Agenda Item 61 clearly shows the reflection of declared policies of a particular country as an entity above the law.
The Maldives believes that the only solution at hand is to end the occupation. One country cannot be exempt from the principles of international law. The Israeli occupying authorities must be held accountable for the violence, agony and discrimination in the occupied Palestinian Territory and the Syrian Golan. The international community must compel the occupying Power, to abide by international law, international treaties and the relevant United Nations resolutions.
My Delegation is firmly of the view that the only avenue available for any substantial measure of economic and social development in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, is through the formal international recognition of the State of Palestine. It is only through legally established statehood that social harmony, legal equality, economic opportunity and sustainable development can be realized. The Maldives reaffirms its solidarity with the Palestinian Authority and supports the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to their natural resources.
The socio-economic situation of the occupied territories is of great concern to the Maldives. The fact that basic infrastructure is unavailable, and basic needs are denied, is of utmost distress to my delegation, and is indicative of malice rather than neglect.
The Maldives believes wholeheartedly in a two state solution, with Israel and Palestine living side by side and at peace. The Palestinian people have a right to self-determination, the establishment of an independent State and sovereignty over their territory and resources. Security for Israel can be achieved only through respect for human rights and the rule of law. The United Nations must take effective action along these lines by promoting permanent peace based on a fair partnership and equality between peoples.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman!