Delivered on 21 September 2015

Delivered by Ms. Geela Ali, Minister / Chargé d’affaires, a,i., Permanent Mission of the Republic of Maldives to the United Nations Offices at Geneva

Thank you Mr. President,

The Maldives expresses its appreciation of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic for its update and for its tireless work on monitoring and documenting the continuing violations of human rights by all parties to the Syrian conflict.

 

Mr. President,

Few weeks ago, the photograph of Aylan Al-Kurdi, a small Syrian boy who died at sea, and washed on the Bodrum beach, shocked the world. He had risked his life, and paid with it, in an effort to flee the war, died at sea, along with his brother and mother, while his father was helpless. This was just one story of more than 4 million refugees and 7.6 billion IDPs.

 

The Maldives, similar to many other States, has noted on many occasions at this Council, that the international community and the United Nations is failing when it comes to protecting the rights of innocent civilians. The photograph of the small Syrian boy is the proof that we have failed.

 

The Maldives condemns in the strongest terms, all violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, regardless of their perpetrators, and calls on all parties to the conflict to immediately cease all hostilities. Since the start of the war in Syria, there has been a complete lack of respect for internationally-recognized protocols that regulate the conduct of armed conflict.  As mentioned in the Report of the Commission, both parties have committed gross violations of human rights, some of which amounts to war crimes. In addition, the Maldives is appalled from the distinct impact of this war on civilians and especially women and children.

 

Mr. President,

The Maldives believes that the international community should be held liable for all the innocent lives lost during the war because of its lack of action to end the conflict.  The international community, especially this Council, must not only prevent any further harm and destruction, but also bring to justice those responsible for the suffering and damage that have already been incurred.

 

To conclude, the Maldives renews its call to the Syrian authorities to grant access to the members of the Commission. It further urges to respect civilians’ right of access to basic necessities, including shelter, food, water and medical care, and allow unhindered passage of humanitarian aid. The Maldives calls on States receiving Syrian and other refugees to ensure humanitarian assistance, and provide legal venues for their safety. The Maldives also reaffirms its position that the situation in the Syrian Arab Republic should be escalated to the International Criminal Court. This Council and the United Nations as a whole, need to urgently reach a consensual strong stand on the human rights and humanitarian situation of Syria, so innocent deaths such as those of Aylan Al-Kurdi will not be in vain.

 

Thank you Mr. President.