29 June 2016, Geneva; Foreign Minister Dunya Maumoon has said that all UN Member States have an obligation to “share a common goal of ensuring a voice for the voiceless and a place for everyone at the table, regardless of size or stature.” The presence Small Island Developing States (SIDS) ensures a diversity of views that give meaning to the principle of universality in the UN system. The Foreign Minister made these remarks in Geneva today while speaking at a Side Event organised by the Maldives to coincide the 10th Anniversary of the United Nations Human Rights Council.
In her remarks, Minister Dunya noted that SIDS are a diverse community, composed of the global north and the global south, of developing and developed nations who have rallied together to be present at the 10th Anniversary session, because of the value they place on promoting human rights.
Highlighting that SIDS nations represent one fifth of UN Member States, Minister Dunya noted that nearly half of the small island developing states do not have Permanent Missions in Geneva to contribute to the work of the Council. The Maldives is one of the first SIDS countries to open a Mission in Geneva in 2005.
In her remarks during the event, the Foreign Minister also stated that SIDS have always maintained that “development must be sustainable, and that the promotion and protection of human rights is an intrinsic, crosscutting component of sustainable development”. Minister Dunya further noted that “the argument that development, trade, security and human rights can exist separate from one another is increasingly archaic in our new international reality and blatantly ignores the natural holistic model most conducive to national, regional, and global progress as envisioned in the 2030 Agenda”.
Minister Dunya concluded her statement by thanking the countries that assisted the SIDS to take part in the Human Rights Council’s 10th Anniversary session in Geneva.
The Side Event Voices of SIDS at the Human Rights Council was attended by a large number of countries, including all the SIDS countries who are members of the United Nations.