Statement delivered by

Ms Fathimath Nuzuha, Second Secretary

on the Situation in the Middle East

30 November 2018


Thank you, Madam President,

The Middle East continues to capture the imagination of Maldivians, young and old alike. Not because we are in the Middle East or even in its immediate neighbourhood. But because, Maldivians care about the sufferings inflicted on the lives of so many innocent people, whose right to life is denied, whose right to basic human dignity is denied, and whose right to basic education, sanitation, and health care is denied. We care for the resolution of the conflict in Palestine, bringing an end to Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine, which remains at the root of the unending cycles of violence and conflict in the entire region.  

The Maldives has always believed that the establishment of an independent and sovereign State of Palestine based on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, living side by side and in peace with Israel, is the only solution to the conflict in Palestine. That is the solution that the un Security Council, in particular, Resolutions 242 of 1967, 338 of 1973, and 2334 of 2016, demand. The Maldives, therefore, calls on Israel to fully implement the relevant un Security Council Resolutions, to fully respect the legal obligations it undertook in the Oslo Accords, and to implement the Arab Peace Initiative and the Quartet Roadmap.   

And yet, the Question of Palestine continues to remain unsettled and without meaningful progress. As recent as September this year, Israel’s High Court rejected a petition to prevent the demolition of a village in West Bank, which will result in the displacement of hundreds of people. This will not only leave them homeless but without a livelihood, without a school for their children and without access to basic healthcare. This epitomizes the failure of the international system to bring an end to the suffering of the people of the Middle East. 

Today, we once again join many other countries, in calling for a permanent end to the unlawful occupation of Palestinian lands, and to accord the Palestinian people their legitimate right to self-determination.   

Madam President,  

The humanitarian situation continues to worsen in Syria, where we are in the seventh year in the conflict. The Battle of Aleppo left the country in rubbles. Currently, the entire world fears the outbreak of another conflict in Syria’s north-west Idlib Province, which could result in the worst humanitarian catastrophe of this century. In such an event, more than three million people will be displaced with nowhere to seek shelter, food or access to healthcare. We, therefore, call upon the international community, to take more assertive steps to bring to a halt, the tide of suffering in Syria. Humanitarian intervention is an absolute necessity; a permanent political solution is a must.   

The already dire situation in the Middle East is being escalated by terrorist groups such as Da’esh, who are inflicting destruction and imposing extreme social conditions, through barbaric acts of violence and bloodshed. They do not recognize borders, do not distinguish between the young, or old, women or men, nor do they respect any religion or culture. The Maldives condemns any attempts to attribute terrorism to any religion, culture, or tradition. We are also of the view that the factors of terrorism should be tackled through international cooperation that focuses on combating violent extremism.

Madam President,  

It is important that we rise above the shackles of the past, in order to move towards a promising future. It is a compromise that needs to be made by the people and the leaders of the countries, to save the region that has served as the cradle of human civilization and the place of origin for several early advancements in science and technology. The Maldives, therefore, stands ready, with full of hope, to work to find a lasting solution to the conflicts, for we believe, that hardships always accompanies a season of hope.  

I thank you.