The Maldives thanks the Independent Expert on rights of older persons and Special Rapporteur on water and sanitation for their respective reports.
The Government of Maldives believes that to create a cohesive and progressive society, an equivalent emphasis needs to be placed on older and younger generations alike, and since 2007 the Government has taken progressive action to ensure the rights of older persons.
Recent initiatives include launching of a nation-wide campaign aimed at protecting and promoting the wellbeing of senior citizens, which facilitates special health screening and awareness raising targeted at the elderly population, capacity building for health and social workers, and interactive sessions targeted at youth to bridge the inter-generation gap between elderly and youth. The Government is also working with all stakeholders to develop the country’s first National Elderly Policy to enrich the lives of elderly persons.
With regard to water and sanitation, as a Small Island Developing State (SIDS) that is vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change, including saline intrusion into the groundwater aquifers and the thin freshwater lens on the geographically dispersed islands, the Maldives gives priority to enhancing its water and sanitation services in line with its commitment to achieving the Agenda 2030 goals. In this regard, by the end of 2016, 41 percent of the population had access to safe water supply and 48 percent of the population had access to sewer networks.
Furthermore, a project to enhance the rainwater harvesting and storage capacity for 45 islands had begun with assistance from the Green Climate Fund. Recent efforts include the National and Water and Sewerage Policy launched in August 2017 to ensure water security and adequate sewerage services using environment friendly technologies in the islands. .
As a SIDS we look forward to exchange of good practices of other countries to develop our programmes to ensure that the basic needs of the most vulnerable are achieved in order to streamline with our efforts to promote and protect human rights for all.
Thank you, Mr. President.