28 February 2017, Geneva, Switzerland

On the sidelines of the 34th Session of Human Rights Council, His Excellency Dr Mohamed Asim, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Maldives, and Her Excellency Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Minister of International Development and the Pacific of Australia, hosted a joint reception to welcome delegates from Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) participating in the 34thSession of the Human Rights Council with the support of the UN voluntary LDCs/SIDS Trust Fund.

Minister Asim extended a warm welcome to the 11 delegates who were beneficiaries of the Trust Fund this year. These participants joined the council from the three regions where LDCs and SIDS are present: the Caribbean, Africa and Asia and the Pacific. The Minister further reiterated our commitment, as co-chairs of the Group of Friends of SIDS, to increasing the participation of SIDS and LDCs in the work of the United Nations and, in particular, the UN Human Rights Council (HRC).

Minister Asim noted that as human rights is an interlinked and cross cutting component of holistic and sustained development, the promotion and protection of human rights is a fundamental component to ensuring that no one is left behind. He pointed out, that SIDS and LDCs’ delegates consistently represent the voices of those who are most vulnerable and those who most need to be taken into account in global governance processes.

The opportunity for engagement provided by the UN Trust Fund to Support the Participation of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the work of the HRC (LDCs/SIDS Trust Fund) is invaluable.

The High Level dignitaries of the LDCs and SIDS attending the High Level Segment of the Human Rights Council including the dignitaries from the Donor countries of the Trust fund attended the reception that was held this afternoon. The Permanent Representative of Switzerland HE Mr Valentin Zellweger represented the Bureau of the Human Rights Council as Vice President.