Maldives Voices Solidarity with Palestine: Statement Submitted to ICJ
Maldives Takes a Stand
The Maldives government has recently submitted a written statement to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). This statement concerns the request for an Advisory Opinion on the legal implications of Israel’s policies and practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. The announcement of the submission was made by the Maldives’ Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdulla Shahid, who took the opportunity to reaffirm the nation’s unwavering support for Palestine’s struggle for self-determination.
Request Through Resolution 77/247
The request for an Advisory Opinion was initiated via resolution 77/247, approved during the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). This resolution received the support of the Maldivian government. The statement submitted to the ICJ was a product of collaborative preparation by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Attorney General’s Office of Maldives.
Today, we have submitted a written statement to the International Court of Justice with regard to the request for an Advisory Opinion on the legal consequences arising from the policies and practises of Israel in the occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.…
— Abdulla Shahid (@abdulla_shahid) July 25, 2023
Significance of the Move
This recent move is indicative of the Maldives’ active role in international affairs, particularly concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It also highlights the nation’s firm stance with Palestine and its commitment to uphold international law and human rights. The Maldives has consistently stood in solidarity with the Palestinian people in their fight for self-determination and the realization of an independent and sovereign State of Palestine established on the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
International Recognition of Palestine
While Palestine considers itself a state, the United States does not currently recognize it as such. The relationship between the two has continued to deteriorate following the December 2017 announcement that the United States would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move its embassy there. Alleging that the embassy relocation violates international law, Palestine brought a case against the United States in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in September of 2018. The United States reacted by announcing its withdrawal from the Optional Protocol to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations Concerning the Compulsory Settlement of Disputes (Optional Protocol). Also in the fall of 2018, the Trump administration closed the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) office in Washington, curtailed its own Palestinian-focused mission in Jerusalem, and sharply cut U.S. funding focused on Palestinian interests.
A Glimpse of the Future
With the Maldives taking explicit steps to voice its support for Palestine on the international stage, it marks an important development in the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As more nations take a definitive stand, the hope for a peaceful resolution becomes more tangible. It remains to be seen how the ICJ, with its Advisory Opinion, will shape the future course of this conflict and what implications this will have on international law and human rights.
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