Delivered on 9 March 2017

Delivered by H.E Dr Hala Hameed, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Maldives to the United Nations Office at Geneva

Mr President,

The Maldives thanks the High Commissioner for Human Rights, His Excellency Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, for the Annual Report.

The Council was established to cater to the unspoken voices of victims, and to silence the violent yells of its antecedent. The Maldives takes this commitment to heart and has therefore kept its door open to negotiation, promotion, and protection of all human rights.

My delegation congratulates the launching of the ‘OHCHR practical guide and study on national mechanisms for reporting to treaty bodies and follow up’ and also ‘the practical guide and accompanying study on the engagement of States with international human rights mechanisms’. These initiatives will assist member states by fostering effective engagement, and in fulfilling their reporting obligations under various human rights treaties and mechanisms.

We acknowledge the work of the Office of the High Commissioner over the last year, attending to the situations of conflict, combating impunity and strengthening accountability and the rule of law. We remain deeply concerned about the entries on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, which leads to many such unfortunate situations.

Mr President,

Over the last year, the Maldives has responded to a number of communications from the Office on various human rights issues, and welcomed high level delegations from the Office of the High Commissioner in the Maldives.

At the national level, the Maldives has introduced system level reforms to further strengthened the national mechanism for protecting and promoting human rights, democracy, and upholding the rule of law. Amongst the most noteworthy, is the launching of the National Human Rights Framework on Human Rights Day last year, which is also aligned with the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development. It is envisaged that this National Plan will support the development of national policies and legislation that are consistent with Maldives international human rights obligations, and guide national efforts to fulfill its commitments to the fullest.

Mr President,

The world has many issues that needs urgent attention. However, as the High Commissioner’s Report notes, human rights must be central to any proposals for solutions to address these challenges facing the world today. Likewise, sustained cooperation amongst all partners is thereby fundamental to the timeliness of international action, and success of the global initiatives, to promote and protect human rights for everyone.

Thank you Mr President.