Delivered on 20 March 2017

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

Thank you Mr President,

The Maldives solemnly welcomes the reports of the Secretary-General, Special Rapporteur and the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation of human rights in Palestine and other Occupied Arab Territories, and condemns in the strongest terms the flagrant violations of human rights being committed by Israel in occupied Palestinian territories, as highlighted in the reports.

Mr President,

Our efforts in this chamber seem to be futile. The truth of our declarations, exclamations, and righteous indignation of the reality in the occupied territories seems to make little difference on the ground. And as our voices grow hoarse, in recognition of an institutionalized apartheid in Palestine, borne of a cycle of fear, hatred and violence, perpetrated by both sides, the character and demographics of the State of Palestine is steadily changing.

Not only is there systematic generational oppression, but there is also a system in place that expands illegal settlement activity, that promotes the mainstreaming of radical fringe settler groups, that supports the seizure and eviction of Palestinian landowners, that sustains political will for continued repressive and immoral de facto and de jure policies, and perpetuates violence and hatred.

Mr President,

The Maldives believes in a two-state solution, based on the pre-1967 borders, with Palestine and Israel living side by side in peace, with East Jerusalem as Palestine’s capital. However, settlements, security zones, continued militarization, confiscation of land and resources, detentions and all manners of oppression increasingly reduces the viability of a two-state solution. Though this shame has been borne by the international community for almost half a century, we are fast reaching a point of no return.

The Maldives calls upon the Council and the international community to build momentum and take concrete measures to bring an end to the Israeli occupation thereby paving way for a peaceful resolution of the conflict.

My delegation takes this opportunity to extend our solidarity and support to the resilient people of Palestine and to their rightful cause for self-determination. Thank you.