Delivered on 12th September 2017
Delivered by H.E. Dr Hala Hameed, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Permanent Mission of Maldives to United Nations in Geneva
Thank you Mr. President,
My delegation acknowledges the oral update of the High Commissioner and commends His Excellency. Mr Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, for his thorough explanation of the OHCHR’s conduct in promoting and protecting human rights, underlining constant challenges but also its numerous achievements.
The Maldives has a history of continuous and constructive cooperation with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and with Human Rights Mechanisms. Today we reaffirm our welcome to relevant Special Rapporteurs and our willingness to engage in constructive dialogues across the breadth of human rights issues within our national policies, legislation and priorities.
However, it is important that United Nations Human Rights Mechanisms engage constructively with Member States.
The accusation that the Government is increasingly cracking down on critical views is inaccurate. In the Maldives, we have a separation of powers and independent institutions of horizontal accountability. Parliamentarians who lost their seats due to a decision of the Supreme Court, comes about from a constitutional issue deliberated by the respective arm of the State. Amidst diverging political differences, the Maldives, like any other infant democracy, experiences various challenges in consolidating democracy. Deeming political bias by the judiciary and law enforcement authorities misrepresent and undermine the continued efforts undertaken by various arms of the State to consolidate democracy. It is important that the international institutions respect the efforts undertaken by Member States to find its own solutions to difficult domestic questions. In this regard, we urge the High Commissioner’s office to engage with us to present a more balanced view of the democratic reality of the country We expect UN institutions to support democratic consolidation, and continue to welcome engagement to that effect.
Diversity is a strength, not a weakness. Cultural values and norms are not necessarily in conflict with human rights. The Human Rights Council is the most appropriate platform to embrace cultural diversity in the promotion and protection of human rights. We encourage the OHCHR to give equal attention and equal treatment to all States; irrespective of size geographically and population wise, development gains, and, political positioning in the community of nations.
The Maldives condemns terror, in all its forms and manifestations, wherever and by whomsoever it is committed. The horrific violations of human rights in Syria, Palestine, Yemen and Myanmar calls upon the international community to take immediate measures to alleviate the suffering of the peoples in these crises..
This Council must devise ways to be more effective to ease their suffering ensuring human rights of the most vulnerable must become this Council’s foremost priority. I thank you.