Dr. Ibrahim Zuhuree, Deputy Permanent Representative,
Permanent Mission of Republic the Maldives to the United Nations on
Promotion and protection of human rights
17 October 2023
Thank you, Mr. Chair,
The Maldives aligns with the statement delivered by Egypt on behalf of the OIC.
As we speak here today, on human rights, we wish to remind the world once again of the plight of the innocent Palestinian people - being deprived of their fundamental rights and subjected to indiscriminate attacks day in and day out. The Government of Maldives condemns Israeli aggression on the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip. We reiterate our call on the international community to use all measures to put an end to these deliberate acts of aggression and to ensure unfettered access for innocent Palestinians to all humanitarian corridors.
The promotion and protection of human rights is one of the key pillars of the foreign policy of the Maldives.
Throughout our democratic journey, the Maldives has given prominence to upholding our international human rights obligations in line with international human rights law and the UN Charter. We are now proud to be a party to 8 core human rights Conventions, having ratified the Convention on Enforced Disappearances in July this year.
The Maldives firmly believes in our people’s right to basic services.
To ensure quality healthcare for our people, we have launched various programmes such as the National Social Health Insurance Scheme, Aasandha, which provides accessible and affordable healthcare, including mental health services, for all Maldivians.
We have undertaken more than 141 development projects to ensure access to safe drinking water and sanitation in our communities in our widely dispersed islands over the past five years.
We have also worked to ensure our people are more connected than ever. We introduced an affordable and reliable public ferry network to connect our islands and embrace the digital revolution by digitizing many government services.
The Maldives is committed to doing all we can to protect the rights of the marginalized and the underrepresented.
Our commitment to the protection of children remains unwavering. The new Child Rights Protection Act and the Juvenile Justice Act enacted in 2019, aim to strengthen the legislative framework governing child rights and better reflect our international obligations.
The Maldives recognises the role played by youth as catalysts of change. With our substantial youth population, we have been implementing multistakeholder initiatives across the atolls - to empower and inspire youth to become socially aware responsible citizens as well as to upscale their skills under various apprenticeship programmes.
A safe and conducive environment for women to live their lives is a prerequisite for the advancement of women. With this in mind, the Government of Maldives launched Geveshi Gulhun, a nationwide campaign to address gender-based violence. Further actions are being driven in line with the Gender Equality Action Plan - the roadmap for women’s economic, social, and political empowerment in the country.
The Maldives has prioritised the implementation of inclusive policies targeted at enhancing access to education and employment for persons with disabilities. The recently revamped financial support framework for persons with disabilities which raised the baseline allowance by 50 percent is a testament to our commitment to ensuring that their rights are protected.
Despite the significant milestones in our journey towards the full realisation of human rights, we cannot overlook the urgent and adverse impacts of climate change that pose an immediate threat to the well-being of our people and their fundamental rights.
In July last year, the General Assembly reaffirmed the right to a clean, healthy, sustainable environment. It is now up to us to make this right a reality at the global level. As a member of the Core Group of the resolution on the human right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment, we pledge to ensure work towards achieving this goal.
For the Maldives, China has been a reliable development partner, leveraging our steady progress on ensuring economic, social, and cultural rights for our people. Our bilateral relationship is centered on mutual trust, respect for each other’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and the right to embrace our path to national development. We, therefore, reiterate our firm commitment to the long-standing One-China policy. We are confident that, under the principle of One Country, Two Systems, the Chinese people will continue to prosper and enjoy economic benefits and universally accepted fundamental freedoms.
I thank you.