Delivered on 15 March 2017

Delivered by Dr Marium Jabyn, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Delegate to the 34th Session of the Human Rights Council

Thank you Mr President,

The Maldives welcomes the Forum on Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law, and the discussion and the recommendations made on the participation of youth in public decision-making and sustainable development.

The Government of President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom gives a high priority in investing in youth projects to ensure increased opportunities for education, skills based learning, and vocational training. Policy measures, such as free education for all, and universal health coverage mechanism across the country bear fruit by continuous high levels of human development. The Maldives is proud to note that it has achieved close to 100% literacy rate and gender parity in education. These policy instruments have resulted in establishing inclusive mechanisms to foster youth participation in all institutions; and amplify the voices of youth, including young girls and women in government and public decision making.

The Maldives also gives particular attention to gender parity and to implement policies that support women’s ability to work. The Gender Equality Act ensures that women have the same opportunities, as men, to pursue equality in work. Furthermore, the “Council for Economic Empowerment” promotes women’s ability to secure decent incomes and advocate for women’s economic empowerment at a national level.

Mr President,

We are in full agreement with the importance of ‘combating discrimination, the need for the empowerment of youth and the importance of education to ensure more meaningful participation of young people’. We are committed to work towards strengthening existing international mechanisms and explore new avenues for addressing challenges facing the youth, facilitating the creation of policies that empower youth through training, job opportunities, and towards greater independence.

Thank you.