Thank you Mr. President,

The Maldives warmly welcomes the Special Rapporteurs and thanks them for the reports.

Mr. President,

In 2008, we began our journey with the ratification of the new Constitution, which laid a new foundation to the whole justice and legal sectors of the country. The Judicial Service Commission was established as an “independent and impartial institution”

Over the years, several efforts have been made to strengthen the governance structure of Maldives judicial system by enacting supporting legislations and building the capacities of our national judicial institutions. Recent legislative reforms include the Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code.

The independence as well as the improvement of the quality and the efficiency of the judiciary system is a priority for the Maldives. In 2005, the Judicial Academy was created to enhance the academic capacity of the Maldives Judiciary and the Maldives Bar. A Judicial Training Institute is in place and on this, we acknowledge with appreciation, the role played by our international partners in strengthening capacity. We further reiterate our commitment to continue engagement with our partners in this process.

Mr President,

I would now share my delegation’s comments on the presentation made by the SR on Violence against women. Violence and discrimination against women has been and is still prevalent in most societies of the world.

This is an area of high priority for the Maldives. Among several stringent laws and policies already in place includes the Special Provisions Act against Perpetrators of Child Abuse 2009, Domestic Violence Act 2012, Sexual Harassment Act 2014 and the Sexual Offenses Act 2014 to prevent violence and to protect women and girls. The newly enacted Gender Equality Act in August last year, also continues to enhance the legal policy framework for gender equality; providing full protection of the rights and no place for discrimination based on gender as well as establishing institution-wide compliance mechanisms. The Maldives has also acceded to the Optional Protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons, especially women and children.

Mr President,

The realization of women’s rights is indivisible for our ambitious for global development prosperity and security, and we appreciate that this important issue remains and integral priority of the council.

Thank you