Mr President,

My delegation would like to thank the moderator and panelists for a stimulating discussion on the important issue of enhancing capacity building in public health.

The Maldives welcomes the Council’s consideration on recognising the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health as an important human right.

The Maldives recognizes the importance of capacity building in public health to promote wellbeing and extending the life expectancy of all. In this regard, the Maldives has introduced a universal health coverage mechanism across the country enhancing the accessibility and the availability of health services to all its citizens. Especially giving better access to vulnerable people in society such as those with disabilities. The Maldives believes that in order to protect human rights, States have a general obligation to ensure the rights of individuals are respected.

As a small island developing state, the Maldives faces numerous challenges in terms of providing quality health service to all. The dispersion of the islands combined with transportation proves to be extremely difficult and costly. However, to ensure connectivity and accessibility in provision of efficient health care through regional and atoll hospitals, the government is currently providing sea-ambulance service in all twenty atolls, and has established a pharmacy on every inhabited island.

In enhancing the capacity, the Maldives has accorded the highest priority towards establishment of all new health services in our hospitals in the capital and regional centers. The state hospital in the capital Male’, has established and commenced specialized services of the National Cardiac Center, a National Uro-Renal and a Fertility Center and  the Third Health Master Plan 2016-2025 is currently under implementation.

Mr President.

The Maldives support the recommendation by the panelist on the role of the international community; that international cooperation is key to achieving success in ascertaining capacity building in public health.

Mr President,

As a SIDS, we look towards the exchange of good practices and successful experiences of other countries; we look towards better cooperation to mobilise the much needed funding; and as a SIDS, we reach out to the UN Human Rights Council, all other stakeholders and the community of nations to be more forthcoming in providing technical assistance to enhance capacity building for public health. Indeed, health comes first as we look ahead towards achieving sustainable development goals; without healthy people SDGs will remain merely goals.

I thank you