HE Dr Ali Naseer Mohamed
UNSC Open Debate on the Situation in the Middle East, including the
Question of Palestine
29 April 2019, New York
Thank you, Mr President,
My Delegation wishes to congratulate France and Germany for the successful joint presidency of the Council for the months of March and April. It is an example of how collaborative partnerships can help to strengthen multilateralism. I would also like to note with appreciation, the positive changes introduced in recent months to improve the transparency in the working of the Council, and thereby, helping to increase the legitimacy of its decisions.
And yet, the Council is failing to protect its legitimacy on the Question of Palestine, which is probably the most enduring issue in the Council’s history. Since the last debate on this topic held in January this year, more countries have announced their intention to move their Embassies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. And in recent weeks we heard the disturbing news that Israel’s illegal annexation of the Syrian Golan is also receiving recognition. Such decisions are illegal and in clear violation of the Resolutions of this Council and the UN Charter.
This Council has declared, null and void, through the Resolutions 476 and 478 (1980), Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine, the annexation of Jerusalem, shifting of the Israeli capital to Jerusalem, and the decision by any country to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Through Resolution 2334, the Council called upon all States to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the Arab territories occupied since 1967.
Similarly, any action by Israel to exercise sovereignty over Syrian Golan violates Resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), and 497 (1981).
The Maldives, therefore, requests the President of the Security Council to publicly condemn the decisions by any country to recognise Israel’s illegal annexations of Jerusalem and the Syrian Golan, and encourage these countries to return to the right side of international law and conduct themselves in a manner consistent with international norms of acceptable behaviour.
Israel’s seven decades-long illegal occupation of Palestine violates the basic human rights of thousands of men, women and children. Israel’s illegal seizure of Palestinian lands must stop! The illegal blockade of Gaza must come to an end. The racial and religious discrimination against the Arabs must end.
The Maldives reiterates its calls on Israel to stop the attacks on Palestinian civilians, including women and children. Palestinians must be treated with dignity and respect and their inalienable rights must be restored immediately.
The Maldives has always believed that an independent and sovereign Palestine, established on the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its Capital, living side-by-side, in peace and harmony with Israel, is the best, and the only solution to the conflict. The Maldives calls upon the Occupying Power, Israel, to fully implement the Resolutions of this Council and respect the legal obligations under the United Nations Charter. We also urge the Security Council and the international community to redouble its efforts, to end the conflict, to bring meaningful and lasting peace to the people of Palestine.
The conflict in Syria has already claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, including children. It has levelled entire cities and towns to the ground and reduced them to rubble. A lasting peace can only be created when the international community cooperate to be governed by international laws and norms.
In Yemen, my Government is encouraged by the Council’s decision to adopt 2452 on 16 January to establish a special political mission to support implementation of the ceasefire agreement of 13 December 2018. The Maldives calls upon all parties of the ceasefire to exercise maximum restraint and bring an end to the long suffering of millions of civilians and children in Yemen. The Council must expedite to bring all resources together to observe the truce that is still fragile.
My Government reassures its support to the Council as well as to the Secretary-General in all on-going efforts to bring a lasting peace to the Middle East. It is also our wish, as we begin to observe the Holy Month of Ramadan in May, that the people of the Middle East will be able to observe this Holy Month free from hardships of conflict, be able to perform their religious duties with dignity and be treated with compassion.
I thank you, Mr President.