30 June 2016, Geneva; Foreign Minister Dunya Maumoon delivered the joint-statement at the 32nd UN Human Rights Council today, co-sponsored by over 80 states led by a cross-regional group consisting of Australia, The Bahamas, Morocco, Singapore and the Maldives.
This joint-statement notes the adoption of a sustainable development agenda to leave no one behind, and reaffirm the collective commitment of the SIDS for the full implementation of this Agenda. It states that “the realisation of human rights is fundamental to sustainable development and the maintenance of peace and security across the globe”.
The statement also asserts that while mainstreaming human rights remained a key function of the OHCHR (Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights), it is important to ensure that human rights are mainstreamed, not just within the UN system, but also integrated in all member states at a national level. It is also highlighted that while SIDS made up 20 percent of the UN’s membership, a large number of SIDS countries have never been able to actively participate at the Human Rights Council. Moreover, that increased inclusion of SIDS at the Council was important for increased effectiveness of its work.
The joint-statement makes special note of the fact that SIDS are a unique group, challenged by financial, human resource and institutional capacities. Thus, the statement encourages States to contribute to the trust fund and called on the international community to provide SIDS with the necessary technical assistance and support to ensure their equal representation and participation.
In the same spirit, it also encourages the OHCHR to continue to identify avenues to ensure the full participation of all groups and all member states including LDCs and SIDS.