Delegate: Mr. Sareer
37. Mr. Sareer (Maldives) said that it was important to empower vulnerable groups, including youth, who were the building blocks of a healthy future. He welcomed the Secretary-General’s Global Education First Initiative, the appointment of an Envoy on Youth and the new United Nations Youth Volunteers Programme, which, together with the establishment of youth advisory boards in country offices, should help to address the needs of young people around the world. The Maldives had made substantial investments in the development of its young people and was working hard to cope with a rapidly growing youth population. It looked forward to the 2014 World Youth Conference, where many of the issues surrounding youth would be discussed, as well as to the observance of the twentieth anniversary of the International Year of the Family.
38. Measures to promote family values through family-centred policies would address a number of cross-cutting development challenges. His country supported the establishment of partnerships with civil society organizations to design, implement and evaluate family-oriented policies and programmes. Under the Disability Act of 2010, it had established a council to protect the rights of disabled persons and a register of persons with disabilities in order to pay them an allowance. The Ministry of Health had completed a disabilities road map in association with the World Health Organization in 2011. It had also initiated policies to allocate social housing for disabled persons and had finalized measures for special access to schooling for children with disabilities.
39. To address the needs of older people, the Maldives provided lifetime pension benefits to all resident Maldives citizens, as well as institutional care. The Ministry of Health was currently working on a five-year strategic plan to improve the overall quality of life of vulnerable groups in the country. In that connection, he recalled the unique challenges faced by small island developing States and once again appealed to the international community to mobilize resources to support vulnerable groups in those countries.
UN Doc.: A/C.3/68/SR.4