Ambassadors vow to aid Maldives in overcoming challenges

Visiting delegation of the United Nations Permanent Representatives from various countries on Monday pledged support to the crisis-hit Maldives in overcoming the challenges facing the archipelago.

According to the President's Office, incumbent president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom briefed the delegation on the current political situation, the Maldives’ development story, and the government policies for attaining sustainable development.

During the call, the President welcomed the delegation to the Maldives and emphasized the sustainable practices adopted by the government in planning and implementing its development agenda. In this regard, discussions were held in the areas of fisheries, tourism, energy and matters of mutual interest in international fora.

President Yameen noted that the government has doubled the value of per capita income over the last four years, noting the positive economic outlook of the country, his office said in a statement.

He reiterated his commitment to comply with the people’s wishes and aspirations, and underscored that the Maldives has graduated from the category of Least Developed Countries, in 2011, to Middle Income Country status, having achieved 5 of the 8 Millennium Development Goals.

The island nation has been embroiled in fresh political turmoil after the Supreme Court on February 1 ordered the immediate release of jailed political leaders including self-exiled former president Mohamed Nasheed.

President Yameen on February 5 had declared state of emergency after his last ditch attempt to convince the top court to revoke the order failed, purged the Supreme Court by arresting two judges and the remaining political leaders and ultimately had the order revoked.

Less than a day after the arrest of the two judges, the remaining three judges rescinded its ruling to release the political leaders referring to the concerns raised by president Yameen in the letters he had sent to the chief justice hours before state of emergency was declared.

President Yameen emphasized that despite the recent State of Emergency declared in the country due to unprecedented events, there was no enforcement of a curfew and that general movements, services and businesses were not affected.

The President further emphasized that despite size, geographical location or extent of development, all countries must share a common understanding to be mindful of differences unique to each country and exercise mutual respect towards each other.

Speaking at the meeting, the delegation of Permanent Representatives commended the remarkable strides the Maldives have achieved towards attaining sustainable development and in creating a resilient economy. The delegation also agreed with the President that as a Small Island Developing State, the Maldives faces a myriad of challenges. They pledged their support to the Maldives in both bilateral and multilateral issues of common concern.