Addressing the High Level Segment of the Fortieth Session of the Human Rights Council, His Excellency Mr. Abdulla Shahid, Minister of Foreign Affairs, emphasised on the democratic change the Maldives is presently going through, with the new government having assumed office on 17th November 2018.
Minister Shahid speaking about the Maldives said that the Maldivian people has said “No to authoritarianism, and Yes to democratic values, Yes to fundamental human rights and Yes to freedom of assembly and expression.”
While speaking at the Council, Minister Shahid highlighted on the vision by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, to bring transformative change to the Maldivian society where respect for human rights is a way of life. Minister Shahid also highlighted on the rights enshrined by different laws and reiterated the commitment to bring in positive change.
Minister Shahid mentioned “One of my last acts ending my 25 year career as a member of parliament was to annul the draconian Anti- Defamation Act, which was brought in by the previous government. During the last five years, a journalist Mr. Yameen Rasheed was brutally murdered, and another Mr. Ahmed Rilwan disappeared. To bring the perpetrators to justice, President Solih has established the Commission on the Investigation of Murders and Disappearances to scrutinise allegations of murder and involuntary disappearances.’’
In his statement Minister Shahid also spoke about climate change and its adverse impacts on Small Island Developing States He stated that it is a violation basic human rights and reassured the international community of the Maldives ongoing engagement on this issue. He also highlighted on the ongoing violation of human rights in Myanmar and called for the recognition of the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination.
In concluding his statement Minister Shahid reiterated Maldives strong commitment in sustaining democracy and in the promotion and protection of human rights.