High Commissioner
Distinguished panellists,
Ladies and Gentlemen.

It is an honour to be among such esteemed panellists, and to have the opportunity to engage in this conversation today.

The Government of Maldives believes that the answer to the question proposed lies in prioritising the “human” in the pursuit of development, and in our consideration of solutions to challenges.

This is the principle of President Dr Mohamed Muizzu’s development path. President Dr Muizzu took office just last month, promising inclusive development. Development that delivers prosperity and is also just.

A small State, the Maldives has always prioritised the rule of law. This is what guarantees our place in the international community – what guarantees equality among States, regardless of size, or might.

Equality gives emphasis to the universal declaration of human rights. The inherent dignity of all individuals. This leaves no room for selectivity, or partiality.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

While we commemorate seventy-five years of the Universal, and I stress – “Universal” Declaration of Human Rights, I turn your attention to the dire humanitarian crisis in Gaza, Palestine. The Maldives reiterates its call for an immediate and urgent end to the war in Gaza. We remain steadfast in our call to end Israel’s indiscriminate killing of innocent civilians, women and children many among them. To protect fundamental rights and freedoms. To uphold human rights and international humanitarian law.

The current situation in Gaza and the Occupied Palestine and other areas of geopolitical conflict serves as poignant example of the urgent need for global solidarity in upholding human rights.

Integrating human rights into the solution for global challenges requires as comprehensive and holistic approach. They should not be an option, but rather a fundamental aspect of any policy program or initiative.

Let me briefly outline some of the measures that could be undertaken to underscore centrality of human rights in our response to global challenges:

First, we must understand that human rights are “non-negotiable” and must be held as minimum standards to respect the dignity of every individual.

Second, human rights promotion should be a holistic approach involving governments, civil society organizations, businesses, international bodies, and individuals.

Third, by fostering human rights education at all levels, we can cultivate a culture of respect of human rights and empower individuals now and in the future, to become advocates for change.

Fourth: Our pursuit to safeguard human rights, it is crucial to recognize and appreciate the role of multilateralism and the rules-based international order to promote and safeguard our communities to promote peace, security and development.

And lastly, we must encourage the growing engagement of young people in climate change and human rights discourse countering pessimistic views and offering hope for inclusive policies and actions.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

To conclude, let me remind you all the words of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights - “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”.

As we move forward, let us ensure that these words remain at the forefront of our collective efforts to promote and protect human rights.

To foster a society where humanity and human dignity are respected, protected, and celebrated, let us reiterate our strong commitment to upholding the principles of the UDHR.

I thank you.