Thank you Mr Chairman,

The Maldives delegation welcomes the Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran. We also welcome the Report of the Secretary General and the recommendations contained in both reports.

Mr Chairman,

The Maldives welcomes the continued engagement of the Islamic Republic of Iran with the office of the United Nation’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as with UN human rights treaty bodies. In this spirit, we call upon the Islamic Republic of Iran to further engage with the Special Rapporteur and all thematic mandate holders to create a dialogue where alleged abuses can be addressed.

My delegation welcomes the meeting between the Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Geneva and the Special Rapporteur held last month.  We hope that this one meeting provides an opening for further meetings and dialogue in the future, eventually allowing the Special Rapporteur to visit the Islamic Republic any time soon.

At the same time, the Maldives delegation is pleased with the news of the release of a number of prisoners of conscience.

While we acknowledge these positive developments, the Maldives delegation notes the cases of human rights violations documented by the Special Rapporteur.

Mr Chairman,

It is satisfying to note the open and critical debates in the recent Presidential elections in Iran, and welcome the high voter participation rate. The Maldives would ask the Special Rapporteur, in his opinion, to what extent has political space been opened as a result of what the Secretary Genearl has termed in his report as “positive signs of dynamism in the country’s civil and political life?” And what avenues are available to capitalize on this progress?

While the Maldives welcomes the renewed desire for political engagement with multilateral bodies, we acknowledge the heavy tolls sanctions have taken on the Islamic Republic of Iran. Sanctions have negatively impacted a burgeoning economy, and the Maldives encourages steps being taken to reduce this burden to the country. The sanctions’ contribution to inflation, its determent to the provision of health care, and adverse impact on vulnerable populations are concerning. In spite of this handicap, the country appears to have made some progress in areas such as women’s education, health, youth development, access to basic services. How do sanctions affect socio-economic rights, such as the issues mentioned earlier, as well as those such as gender parity in the work place?

Mr Chairman,

In closing, we would like to thank the Special Rapporteur for the work he has done in this field, and welcome his continued engagement in fulfilling his mandate.