Mr. President,

Let me begin by thanking the panelists for their insightful presentations today.

The Maldives, as a small island developing state harnesses an inclusive approach by prioritizing women and the girl child in the implementation of all its development plans. One of our current priorities is aligning our national development strategies to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Mr. President,

The Government of Maldives agrees with the integral linkages between SDG 3 and 5 and firmly believes that women’s ability to enjoy their right to health is vital for their full participation in society. The Third Health Master Plan (2016-2025) launched recently has a special focus on maternal and child health, and adolescent health issues. The Health sector response to Gender Based Violence is well in place through-out the four-tier healthcare system, reaching out to all islands irrespective of the size of those communities. The universal health coverage mechanism implemented across the country is a significant step towards achieving SDG 3 and ensuring that no one gets left behind.

As a SIDS, we continue to face numerous challenges to provide equitable healthcare. However, through continuous efforts in improving healthcare delivery, especially for women, the Maldives had seen a remarkable decline in the maternal mortality rate, which stands at 72 per hundred thousand live births in 2015, in comparison to 259 per hundred thousand live births in 1997. Together with the current focus on strengthening healthcare provision as required by international health regulations, the Government of Maldives is hopeful to achieve more success on women’s health and gender equality.

Mr. President,

The Maldives would like to ask the panelists what are the good practices to ensure healthy lives for women through economic and social empowerment.

Thank you Mr. President.