Delivered on 25 September 2017

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

Mr. President,

The Maldives appreciates the insightful discussion provided by the panellists on this important topic.

Mr. President,

This time in history where we have converged the human rights principles with that of the Sustainable Development Goals, the Maldives believes that promotion of human rights for women and girls continue to be impinged by the acts of intolerance and discrimination women and girls face by the dark legacy of racial dominance.

The Maldives is concerned with the increasing pattern of discrimination; hate speech and forms of violence faced by women and girls in the context of racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia as a result of hate-filled and ill-informed rhetoric, in the guise of culture and tradition.

Mr President,

In this increasingly globalised world, both challenges and opportunities persist in relation to the struggle to eradicate racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related tolerance.

Awareness, behaviour change communication strategies and education is amongst the key for eliminating such discrimination and hence developing educational materials to teach young people in the importance of tolerance and respect is instrumental. The responsibility lies in all our hands, States, all the actors including the UN bodies and the civil society needs to act together to take concerted measures by incorporating gender equality in policy dialogue irrespective of the race, religion or ethnicity across multiple levels. In the same vein remain committed to the international declaration including the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action and the Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action to stem away from the acts that continue to divide the world and subjugate half its population than unite it

Thank you, Mr. President.