Statement by

H E. Ms Thilmeeza Hussain, Permanent Representative

At the UNSC Open Debate on

The Situation in the Middle East, including the Question of Palestine

23 July 2019


Thank you, Mr President,

My Delegation wishes to thank Peru for organizing today’s quarterly open debate on the situation in the Middle East, including the Question of Palestine.

I would also like to thank the Special Coordinator, Mr Nickolay Mladenov, for his timely briefing.

The situation in the Middle East remains grim for the millions of people suffering in the aftermath of conflicts, terrorist attacks and other acts of violence. Despite numerous debates and calls for action, the situation in the region remains tense with a high probability of escalation into renewed conflict and unrest.

The lack of action by the international community is epitomized in the seven-decades old Question of Palestine, now one of the longest standing issues on the agenda of the Council. The peace initiatives offered by various interlocutors has so far failed to gain traction and to instigate genuine dialogue between the conflicting parties, thus, all the more reason that we must continue to strive for international consensus to resolve this issue.

Mr President,

The plight of the Palestinian people and their right to self-determination will always remain an international priority for the Maldives. Let me remind all Member States that this Council has declared, null and void, through Resolutions 476 and 478 (1980), Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine, the annexation of Jerusalem, shifting of Israel’s capital to Jerusalem, and the decision by any country to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Our position on the Israeli settlement policy and related activities in the occupied Palestinian territory remains clear and unchanged; we reaffirm UNSCR 2334 – all settlement activity is illegal under international law, and it erodes the viability of the two-state solution and the prospects for lasting peace.

Allow me to reaffirm our unwavering support to any resolution involving international consensus on a two-state solution, with an independent and sovereign State of Palestine, based on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. We urge the Security Council and the international community to redouble its efforts, to end the conflict so that the people of Palestine can enjoy meaningful and lasting peace and can live with dignity.

Mr President,

The aftermath of the conflict in Syria has presented Member States with new sets of challenges as refugees and foreign terrorist fighters continue to be held in detention facilities. This is especially true for family members, women and children left behind by foreign terrorist fighters, with no international consensus or framework to effectively deal with the situation. My delegation calls on the Council and the United Nations to facilitate and provide assistance to Member States whereby they can repatriate, rehabilitate and reintegrate these individuals back into society, after a thorough threat assessment. The Maldives looks forward to dialogue with its partners in exchanging information and views on what could be done, and what measures are most effective in the rehabilitation process. We must be united in our efforts, to avoid the impending humanitarian crisis in Syria, and must undertake efforts to ensure that hundreds of malnourished children and women do no perish in these refugee camps.

Today, the humanitarian crisis in Yemen remains one of the largest with over twenty million people requiring aid and tens of millions at risk of famine; the Maldives is hopeful because of the remarks made by the UN Special Envoy to this Council last week, expressing optimism that we may be "nearing the end of this war." Despite positive steps forward, we do recognize that the situation in Yemen remains fragile, and we need to find a comprehensive political solution including full implementation of Hudaydah Agreement and its mandate.

Mr President,

My Government will remain committed to work with this Council and to support the Secretary-General’s efforts to find a lasting solution to the many conflicts in the Middle East. It is our collective voice and our ability to act that will provide a safer world for all of us and our future generations. 

I thank you.