Delivered on 15 March 2017

Delivered by Ms Aishath Shahula First Secretary of Permanent Mission of Maldives to the United Nations Office at Geneva

Thank you Mr.Vice President,

In June of 2007, the HRC adopted its “institution-building package”, which encompasses the foundation for how this Council conducts itself and promotes human rights. These mechanisms, procedures, and structures form the basis of our work here today. It is the responsibility of all Member States to assure they provide the utmost efficacy and accountability necessary to achieve the goals of this Council.

In 2015, the Global Goals and the 2030 Agenda was adopted by the member states. This formalized the importance we put into the promotion of human rights as a significant aspect of development.

Providing opportunities for equal representation and participation of all Member States, including SIDS and LDCs, is fundamental for incorporating human rights in our sustainable development plans. However, the Human Rights Council has yet to reach universal participation; 19 SIDS still lack access to permanent representation in Geneva.

The establishment of the Voluntary Trust Fund for Technical Cooperation and Assistance for Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States in the work of the Council is instrumental towards achieving this aspiration. In this regard, we thank every donor to this Trust Fund who make the execution of its mandate possible, as well as the 120 co-sponsors of the resolution during the 34th HRC session commemorating the 5th anniversary of the Trust Fund, who reaffirmed its value to both to SIDS/LDCs as well as the international community as a whole.

Since the foundation of this Council, we have openly acknowledged the importance of universal representation and equal participation of all nations. While we acknowledge the importance of all views, it is the view of my delegation that this acknowledgment does not always transfer into reality. In order to continue working towards the objectives we have set as a global community, input from all states, large and small, is vital.

Reporting mechanism under the UPR, Special Procedures and Working Groups and the additional new procedures have put a strain on many countries which has resulted in a backlog in reporting. The overlap in many reporting to different mechanisms duplicates the information each State party provides, which does not link the reporting mechanisms, lacks harmonisation and is not in sync with the different mechanisms.

Mr. Vice President,

The Maldives expresses the view that while this Council is continually evolving to meet the challenges presented before us, the current working methods need to adapt greater transparency, accountability and participation towards every Member State.

Passing resolutions that define our normative perceptions of major human rights issues should be something that every nation has an opportunity to contribute equally to. Universal representation should coincide with universal participation. Moving forward, it is in the view of my delegation that these are the issues we must adjust for, in order to strengthen the work of this Council.

Thank you, Mr. Vice President.