My delegation welcomes the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health and the Independent Expert on International Solidarity and thanks for their presentations today.
The Maldives recognizes the obligation of international cooperation to ensure the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, a responsibility reinforced by the commitment to a global partnership for sustainable development in SDG 17. The Maldives agrees that ensuring access to good quality of health services is a priority and has launched the National Health Master Plan 2016-2025 through relevant health regulations aligned with National SDG goals.
As a small island developing state, the Maldives faces numerous challenges in the provision of health services to the small communities dispersed across the tiny islands. However, we have adopted an overall national goal to “Enhance health and well-being of the population”, aligning with SDG’s. Today, life expectancy in the Maldives stands at 74.6 years for women and 73.1 years for men.
Universal Health Coverage is a priority for the Government of Maldives. The Maldives introduced a universal health coverage mechanism in 2012 across the country. In addition to eliminating the financial hardships commonly associated with accessing quality healthcare, this mechanism has also enhanced accessibility and availability of health services to the more vulnerable population in the society such as those with disabilities.
The Maldives strongly commends the work of the Independent Expert on international solidarity, Ms. Virgina Dandan, for the compilation of the exhaustive report and for the promotion of a declaration on the right to international solidarity. This declaration would bring along concrete steps towards the formal recognition of this right in order to coherently adreess poverty, inequality and other global challenges.
We further consider that this declaration would ease the construction of a global framework for an accountable regulation of globalization and more balanced arrangements for trade, investment, finance, aid, foreign debt, technology transfer, intellectual property, migration labour and the environment. Moreover, taking full account of the right to international solidarity would be essential to deal with current issues such as the refugee crisis, terrorism and human trafficking.