H E Ms Thilmeeza Hussain
Permanent Representative of the Maldives
Plenary item 88: Advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the legal
consequences of the separation of the Chagos Archipelago from
Mauritius in 1965
New York, 22 May 2019
Thank you, Madam President,
As a member of Non-aligned movement, Maldives has always respected the founding principles of the movement and continues to do so. However, on this specific Resolution, the Maldives disassociates itself from the statement delivered by the representative of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, who spoke on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.
We have always supported all UN processes of decolonization of territories and the right to self-determination. Maldives is not opposing this Resolution because of a change to these principles, but for us, the Resolution does not provide clarity on the issue at hand that is of great importance to the Maldives.
The resolution before us today will have serious implications for the Maldives. While we fully respect the advisory opinion of the ICJ, on this matter, the resolution before us, prejudges the implications on the submission by the Maldives to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, which was done in July 2010. Without due process and clarity on the legal implications of a contested matter, Maldives is not in a position to support the resolution solely as a matter of ‘decolonization’. For the Maldives, any uncertainty concerning the issue of the Chagos Archipelago will have serious implications for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and to the wider security of the Indian Ocean region.
We would like to note that our vote today, should not be construed as a vote or a position taken against the co-sponsors of the resolution, with whom we have excellent relations with.
I thank you