His Excellency Dr. Ibrahim Zuhuree
Deputy Permanent Representative of the Republic of Maldives to the United Nations,
at the UNSC Open Debate on The Situation in the Middle East including the Palestinian Question
25 April 2022
Thank you, Mr. President,
I wish to thank the United Kingdom for convening today’s quarterly open debate on the situation in the Middle East. I would also like to thank the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland for his timely briefing on this important issue.
The recent deterioration of the security situation in the Middle East is cause for grave concerns. The ongoing violence and hostilities have resulted in immense suffering and loss of life. Despite numerous debates and countless calls for action, the tension in the region remains high, with a high probability of escalation into renewed conflict and unrest.
The people of Palestine have been suffering under Israeli occupation for 55 years. Settler violence in the occupied Palestinian territories – including forced displacement of Palestinians, and the demolition and confiscation of their homes and properties – continue to undermine the rights and dignity of the Palestinian people. The Maldives condemns the recent escalations of religious tensions in the Al-Aqsa Mosque/Haram al-Sharif site and supports the call for immediate de-escalation and maintenance of the historical status quo in the Old City of Jerusalem. Such instances make abundantly clear, the urgent need for the Council to redouble its efforts to support the relaunch of the peace process and implement the Council’s resolutions.
In this regard, the Maldives recalls Council Resolutions 476 and 478 (1980), which declare null and void the Israeli occupation of Palestine, the annexation of the Holy City of Jerusalem, the shifting of the Israeli capital to Jerusalem, and the decision by any country to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and to relocate their embassies. Security Council Resolution 2334 calls upon all States to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967. It is imperative that the Council ensure these decisions be upheld and respected by all countries. The very credibility of the Council depends on it.
The Maldives reiterates its steadfast support for any resolution which outlines the formation of an independent and sovereign State of Palestine established on the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital. We firmly believe this is the only viable solution to ensure an end to the conflict, so that the people of both Palestine and Israel can enjoy meaningful and enduring peace, and live side by side with dignity.
This past March, the conflict in Syria entered its 11th year. Since the start of the conflict, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed, millions have been displaced, hospitals and basic infrastructure have been reduced to rubble, and entire cities have been destroyed, along with their cultural heritage. Currently, an estimated 14.6 million people are in dire need of humanitarian aid. The Maldives urges the international community to undertake urgent efforts to ensure that these people, especially women and children, receive the required assistance and do not perish in refugee camps.
The Maldives reaffirms its commitment to work with the Council and Member States to find long-term solutions to improve stability across the region, and lay the foundations for lasting peace in the Middle East. Through collective action, we can create a world that is safer for us and all future generations to come.