Delivered on 5 March 2018

Delivered by Mr Amin Javed Faizal, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs / Delegate to the 37th Session of the Human Rights Council

Thank you, Mr.Vice President,

My delegation would like to thank the Special Rapporteur John Knox for the comprehensive report presented under this agenda.

Mr President,

The Maldives welcomes this Council’s continuing attention on the issue of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment.

The Maldives remains committed to protecting children’s fundamental right in this context.

As a country most vulnerable to the adverse impacts of the climate change, we are apprehensive of the negative consequences of these on the lives and well-being of children. It is saddening that children are the least responsible for the causes of climate change and yet are the most vulnerable and bear the most significant impacts.

Mr. Vice President,

We believe in educating our children on the vulnerabilities and our dependence on the environment. In this regard, the “Voice for the Oceans” (FaruKoe) programme has been introduced for school children across the country to learn firsthand, about the importance of protecting the oceans and the marine habitat.

Further, in addition to including environmental studies in the curriculum, competitions such as the Ozone Model competition to mark the 30th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol, awareness programmes to educate school children on the scarcity of water, the National Environment Symposium, the workshop on Strengthening Low Carbon Energy Island Strategies, have instilled love for the environment which will go a long way in enabling sustainable and resilient lifestyles in adapting to the implications of climate change and environmental degradation.

Mr Vice President,

Turning to the issue of the right to food, it is dismal to hear that every year an estimated 400,000 people die as a result of foodborne diseases worldwide. It is indisputable that the full enjoyment of the right to food, health and development are strongly associated and dependent on one’s right to live in a sustainable environment.

On the occasion of the World Food Day last year, the Maldives launched the National Food Safety Policy 2017-2026 aimed at achieving advancements in the national food safety system, based on national and international standards.

While we recognize the important work done by the international community towards food security, it is imperative that we double our efforts to implement the obligations to protect children from environmental harm and ensuring food safety for all.

I thank you Mr. Vice President.