Delivered on 15 March 2016

Delivered by Her Excellency Dr. Hala Hameed, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Maldives to the United Nations Office at Geneva

 

Thank you, Mr. President,

 

The Maldives welcomes the report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic. We express our deepest appreciation for documenting the ongoing violations of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic.

In its sixth year now, this war has caused untold suffering to the people of Syria and of the region. All rights of the Syrians have been infringed upon –the right to food, safe drinking water, freedom of assembly and association, health, education, and most importantly the right to life. Millions of Syrians have little or no access to electricity and running water. There is widespread destruction of property. The cultural heritage of the nation is a loss for the future humanity in its entirety.

 

As the Maldives considers education as a pillar to strengthen our future generations, we are disturbed that 3 million Syrian children have stopped attending classes owing to deliberate targeting of schools.

 

The Maldives condemns with deep concern, this deteriorating situation and reiterates calls all parties to the conflict for the immediate cessation of hostilities. Crimes against humanity continue to be committed by government forces and by the ‘so-called’ Islamic State (ISIS). Human rights violations are committed with blatant impunity. It is discouraging to read ISIS continues to engage in theft and trafficking and illegal trade in antiquities.

 

Mr. President,

 

The Maldives believes that the international community should be held liable, for inaction to save innocent lives, and bring an end to the conflict and the grave humanitarian disaster. The international community must not only prevent any further harm and destruction, but also bring perpetrators to justice.

To conclude, the Maldives fully supports the recommendations of the Commission, and call on all parties, State and non-State to implement them. The Maldives further reiterates call on the Government of Syrian Arab Republic to ensure humanitarian access. Respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms remains paramount. We also urge the parties to allow the Commission full and unfettered access. Finally, the Maldives reiterates its call that the Syrian situation be referred to the Security Council as well as International Criminal Court.

I thank you, Mr. President