Ms. Lauza Ali, Counsellor,
At the Plenary of the Seventy Sixth Session of the UN General Assembly:
Question of Palestine
01 December 2021
Thank you, Mr President, for convening this important General Assembly Plenary meeting on the Question of Palestine. My delegation welcomes the Secretary General’s report under this agenda item and notes that these reports reflect the heart-breaking realities of the day to day lives of Palestinian people living under occupation. The suffering of civilians in these territories is immense, inhumane and inexcusable.
The question of Palestine remains the longest unresolved issue on our agenda.
For the past seven decades, several meetings have been held in this hall and countless resolutions have been adopted to ensure that the Palestinian people’s historic, and legal rights are respected.
On this issue, the voice of the vast majority of the international community has been firm and clear. Yet, as we gather here today, nothing has changed, and one may argue that things are indeed worse. The occupation continues. We have seen the acceleration of unlawful settlement activities and annexation threats. We have witnessed excessive and escalating use of force against civilians, including women and children. In short, the situation of human rights is deteriorating day by day.
This sustained occupation and continuous aggression has deep and far-reaching consequences. Palestinian people have lost access to employment opportunities, natural resources, basic legal protections, and essential needs and services such as food, water, health and education. And the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has only worsened their living conditions and have made the Palestinians more vulnerable.
During the General Debate, President Solih reaffirmed the Maldives’ resolute position on the Palestine issue. We have believed steadfastly that the best solution is an independent and sovereign State of Palestine, established on the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its Capital, living side-by-side with Israel, in peace and harmony. However, we must be clear eyed. It is both plain and depressing to see that this solution, to which all sides in the conflict once agreed to in the past, seems to move further and further away from becoming a reality.
When we agreed to the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, we made a promise to leave no country behind. So, when we speak of achieving the SDGs, we must not ignore the plight of the Palestinian people and their development aspirations.
Additionally, across the occupied territory, Israel has continued to restrict freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, arresting and prosecuting Palestinians for exercising their fundamental right to express their political beliefs. This fact is too often ignored. We have witnessed countless violations of international law by Israel, going back decades, with no accountability. The impunity with which the Israeli forces operate in the occupied Palestinian territory is a serious threat to the rules-based international order and deeply offends one’s sense of justice and decency.
The Maldives supports a peaceful solution to the situation in Palestine. The Maldives continues to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people and advocate for their full statehood and right to self-determination. The Maldives reiterates its call for an internationally agreed two-state solution with an independent and sovereign State of Palestine, based on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its Capital, living in peace, and prosperity. We must recommit ourselves with renewed urgency to a two-state solution which recognizes the full rights, freedom, justice and equality of the Palestinian people.
I thank you, Mr. President.