Delivered on 2 March 2017

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

Mr President,

At the outset, my delegation would like to thank the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights for the comprehensive report presented under this Agenda Item. Maldives welcomes this Council’s continuing attention to the issue of protecting human rights, while countering terrorism. It is essential that this body returns to consensus on how best to further address this important issue.

The Maldives views the promotion of human rights as a critical component of countering terrorism and violent extremism. We strongly condemn all acts of terrorism that have been committed in countries worldwide. These are stark reminders of acts that hinder the enjoyment of fundamental human rights by all, with devastating consequences for victims.

We take note of the concern raised in the report, that ‘security-related measures taken by States, including the adoption of national counter-terrorism legislation, have resulted in violations of the right to freedom of opinion and expression and have directly affected the work of media professionals, human rights defenders, political groups and civil society more broadly’.

Mr President,

While appreciating the many efforts countries are taking to address this serious issue, we recognize that counter-terrorism operations can have an impact on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly, of expression and of association, as well as on other human rights and fundamental freedoms. However, even during these operations, States must fully comply with its human rights obligations. We must not weaken democracy, individual liberty, and tolerance in our counter-terrorism efforts. All counter-terrorism efforts must abide by the rule of law and international best practices.

We consider that this system works best as part of a holistic counter-terrorism strategy, which creates a partnership to protect people from violent extremism in all its forms.

Thank you