Maldivian leader denounces UNSC’s failure to end suffering in Gaza

President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu attends the Huravee Day function on December 16, 2023. (Photo/President's Office)

Maldivian President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu denounced the failure of the United Nations Security Council in taking decisive measures to put an end to the suffering in Gaza, stating that the veto not only failed to demand a ceasefire, but is enabling potential war crimes.

He made the remark in his message, which was delivered at the 45th Plenary Meeting of the 10th Emergency Special Session of the UN General Assembly held in New York on Wednesday.

The statement was delivered by the Chargé d’affaires and Deputy Permanent Representative at the Permanent Mission of Maldives to the UN, Dr. Ibrahim Zuhuree.

In his statement, President Muizzu stressed that the UN was created 78 years ago to make sure that the world would not witness the atrocities of the World War II, adding that the UNSC was mandated to guarantee and uphold international peace and security.

On December 8, despite unprecedented pressure from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the United States – Israel’s closest ally – blocked the adoption of a UNSC resolution calling for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire”, the latest in several US vetoes on draft resolutions relating to the war.

“The veto not only failed to demand a ceasefire, but it is enabling potential war crimes, and has now made millions across the world question the value of humanity and the United Nations,” said President Muizzu in his statement.

He reiterated the Maldives' call to the International Criminal Court to investigate possible war crimes committed by the occupying power, Israel, against the Palestinian people.

President Muizzu also stated that Palestinians have been suffering under Israel’s occupation and its apartheid-like policies long before October 7.

 He condemned the double standards in upholding human rights and urged the UNGA to increase pressure on all parties to fulfil their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law, with a particular focus on the protection of civilians.

He additionally called for increased international pressure on the Israeli government to stop the expansion of illegal settlements and the economic isolation of Palestinians.

The emergency session was held at the request of Egypt and Mauritania, invoking the UNGA Resolution 377, "Uniting for Peace".

President Muizzu noted that the Maldives co-sponsored the resolution, which demands an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages, and the assurance of unimpeded humanitarian access to all areas affected by the conflict.

Since the war began on October 7, Israel has killed nearly 20,000 people, including 7,729 children, and left 1.9 million displaced and in need of water, food and medicine.

The Maldives has voiced grave concern over the dire humanitarian crisis in Gaza at various forums of the UN, including the General Assembly, Human Rights Council and Security Council.

The Maldives has repeatedly reiterated its unwavering and steadfast solidarity with the people of Palestine, their inalienable right to self-determination in an independent and sovereign State of Palestine established on the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.