Delivered on 13 September 2017

Delivered by Ms. Aishath Shahula, First Secretary of Permanent Mission of Maldives to the United Nations Office in Geneva


Mr President,

My delegation acknowledges and takes notes of the comprehensive reports presented under this Agenda item and commend the work of the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Development.

Mr President,

Last September we marked the 30th anniversary of the UN Declaration on the Right to Development, a declaration that entitles everyone to participate in, contribute to, and enjoy economic, social, cultural and political development, in which all human rights and fundamental freedoms can be fully realized; a declaration which laid the groundwork for the major recent agreements, from Financing for Development at Addis Ababa, 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in New York and finally to Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

No doubt, the full implementation of the SDGs would be an enabler to the realization of the Right to Development as the Sustainable Development Goals explicitly recognises the right to development and opens a door for States to come in to a mutual understanding on how it should be realized- Goal 17; revitalizing the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development.

Mr President,

As a Small Island Developing State, with a geographically dispersed population with limited resources, we are highly dependent on the support of the international community on our development efforts. Though a middle-income country, our challenges have doubled due to being a frontline State in the face of climate change. As endorsed in declarations on development over the years, the right to development must be fulfilled so as to equitably meet developmental and environmental needs of present and future generations; and most importantly, the tangible link between the right to development and sustainability had been explicitly made in the 2030 Agenda.

Mr. President

The right to development is first and foremost about people; the billions of people who are in need of an enabling environment to enjoy their human rights; cultural, social, economic and political. Further, the Maldives firmly believes that development belongs to everyone, everywhere, without discrimination regardless of gender, race, nationality, population or geographic size of the country. My delegation emphasises the need for a shared effort with the international community, working together in partnerships with the Governments, the UN system, civil society and the private sector to enjoy the benefits of the right to development.

Thank you, Mr. President.