23 March 2018, Geneva, Switzerland
The 37th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council concluded today in Geneva. The Maldives delegation actively contributed to the 4 week session that started on 26 February 2018 with the High Level Segment. The Delegation of Maldives delivered 15 formal statements and actively participated in the negotiation of the 42 resolutions adopted during the session. The council also confirmed the appointment of 9 Mandate Holders.
The Human Rights Council commenced with the High-Level Segment of the Human Rights Council (HRC), held from 26 – 28 February 2018. The Maldives delegation was led by Her Excellency Dr Aishath Shiham, Minister of Education, accompanied by Her Excellency Ms Zenysha Shaheed Zaki, Minister of Gender and Family and Dr Hala Hameed, Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Maldives to the United Nations Office in Geneva.
Her Excellency Dr Aishath Shiham, Minister of Education addressed the Council on 27 February 2018. The Ministers also met with the high level dignitaries attending the session, at the side-lines of the High Level Segment. On 27 February 2018, Minister of Gender and Family, Her Excellency Zenysha Shaheed Zaki participated as a panelist at the side event organized by the Maldives, Bangladesh, France, India, Japan, Philippines, Viet Nam and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) on, “The Role of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in Ensuring Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and Reducing Inequalities”
The regular session began on 1 March 2018 and the Maldives delegation delivered statements on an array of thematic discussions covered in the Programme of Work of the Council as well as a right of reply to a Joint Statement led by the United Kingdom. The other statements delivered includes the Annual Report of the High Commissioner, Human Rights Situation in Syria, Palestine and other occupied territories as well as statements on violence against children, disabilities, food and environment and technical assistance and capacity building.
The Maldives was also a member of the core group with Costa Rica, Morocco, Slovenia and Switzerland, on the Resolution on Human Rights and Environment and actively engaged in drafting the resolution. This resolution received cross regional support with over 60 other co-sponsors.
In line with its key priorities at the UN Human Rights Council, the Maldives co-sponsored a number of resolutions, including those mutually beneficial cooperation, integrated approach for the full implementation of 2030 Agenda, rights of persons with disabilities, human rights situation in Syrian Arab Republic, Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar and realization to economic, social and cultural rights amongst the few. The Maldives also participated in several other side events including formal and informal engagements on the side-lines of the Human Rights Council.
The Maldives was represented at the 37th Session of the UN Human Rights Council by Her Excellency Dr. Hala Hameed, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative of the Maldives to the United Nations Office at Geneva, Mr. Javed Faizal, Additional Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Ms. Aishath Shahula, First Secretary, Permanent Mission of Maldives to the United Nations Office at Geneva.
The Human Rights Council consists of 47 State Members of the United Nations, and are elected for terms of three years. Since 2017, the Maldives is on a mandatory break from the Council, after two consecutive three year terms as a member in December 2016. The Maldives has served as a voting member of the Human Rights Council, from 2011 to 2013 and from 2014 to 2016.