Statement by Ms. Shiruzimath Sameer, Representative of the Maldives Delegation to the United Nations General Assembly, 69th Session,
Intervention on the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders
Thank you Madam Chair,
The Maldives congratulates and welcomes Mr. Michel Forst on his appointment as the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders. The Maldives also thanks Ms. Margaret Sekaggya for the report submitted in December 2013.
Our Constitution guarantees the protection of fundamental human rights, including of the freedom to form associations and societies. The freedom of association has been further safeguarded through legislation ensuring the necessary protection for both individuals and organizations, such as political parties and other civil society actors. Internal and external oversight mechanisms have been created ensure the protection of all human rights defenders.
The Maldives acknowledges that human rights defenders play a key role in equitable development and the protection of all human rights. Given that climate change poses existential threat to the Maldives, Human Rights Defenders play a critical role in exemplifying this issue, which is linked to human rights.
I also wish to use this opportunity to pose a question to the special rapporteur:
(1) Given that so many Small island developing states face threat to climate change, how does the Special Rapporteur sees the international human rights mechanism acknowledging human rights defenders who advocates this issue?