Delivered on 27 September 2017

Delivered by Mr Jeffrey Salim Waheed, Minister and Deputy Permanent Representative of Permanent Mission of Maldives to the United Nations Office in Geneva

Thank You Mr President,

The Maldives expresses its appreciation for the work conducted by the Office of the United Nation High Commissioner for Human Rights, and especially for the work of the Secretariat of the Trust Fund for the participation of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the Council. As has been demonstrated by natural disasters, including most recently the hurricanes in the Caribbean, the inherent vulnerabilities faced by LDCs and SIDS are particularly acute. The socio-economic consequences of these vulnerabilities are dire, and have a direct impact upon the promotion and protection of human rights within these nations.

Mr President,

The 2030 Agenda formalized the synergies between international peace and security, development, and human rights. It puts into action our notion that no nation should be left behind, and that all nations should be universally and equally represented at institutions of global governance. The Human Rights Council is not yet universal, as 16 SIDS still do not have permanent representation in Geneva. The Human Rights Council is not yet equal, in part due to antiquated working methods that have not evolved to meet the Council’s evolving mandate. The Maldives reaffirms its commitment to ensuring the Human Rights Council enjoys universal and equal representation of States.

Mr President,

Let me conclude by welcoming the participation of the 9 delegates from LDCs and SIDS who are able to participate in this Session of the Council due to the support of the LDCs/SIDS Trust Fund. It is our hope that we are able to continually strengthen this program and the available avenues for engagement to ensure that every voice is heard, and to ensure that universal representation is coupled with universal and equal participation as well.

Thank you Mr President.