Statement (Intervention) by Mr. Jeffrey Salim Waheed, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Republic of Maldives to the United Nations, Special Rapporteur of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children, Martha Santos Pais


Thank you Madam Chair,

My delegation welcomes the presentations made by UNICEF's Executive Director and the Special Representatives of the Secretary General. The Maldives holds the issue of child protection as a high priority and as very dear to its policy formulation.

My comments relate to Marta Santos Pais, Special Representative for Violence Against Children. We would like to extend a special thanks to the Special Representative for her recent and continued engagement with the Maldives. It was a pleasure to host Ms Pais on her visit to the Maldives in June last year. We commend her active engagement with Member States.

The Maldives wholeheartedly agrees with and echoes the Special Representative's call for more governments to become signatories to and then ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a Communications Procedure. Maldives was one of the lead negotiators on this optional protocol as well as one of the first signatories, and therefore, we believes in providing every possible avenue for child victims of violence to be heard. The Maldives looks forward to ratifying the protocol in the near future.

My delegation also commends the Special Representative on her numerous publications, including child-friendly versions of this protocol, the optional protocol on sexual exploitation and on violence, to promote greater awareness. While we hear much support for the promotion and protection of child rights, it is disheartening to note that only a dismal 35 countries have so far become signatories to this Optional Protocol, and in this regard, I would like to ask: what more could be done to bring nations on board? Additionally, with child-friendly resources, we would ask how widely these books and resources have been circulated across the globe?