1 October 2013, Male’; The Maldives calls for non-interference in internal affairs of sovereign states. The call was made by Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Mariyam Shakeela while addressing the sixty-eighth session of the United Nations General Assembly today. In her statement, she alluded to “the concerted efforts by external forces to prevent the emergence of an indigenous democratic system of governance in the Maldives [by] attempting to shape the outcome of, what is, an internal issue”.
The Minister reminded the United Nations that non-interference in international affairs is a core principle of the UN Charter which was further reinforced by the Maldives led resolutions 44/51, 46/43 and 49/31 on “The Protection and Security of Small States”. Referring to the Resolutions’ acknowledgement of the particular vulnerabilities of small states to external threats and acts of interference in internal affairs of sovereign states, Minister Shakeela called on the United Nations to act as the ultimate guarantor of the security of small states like the Maldives.
In her address, Minister Shakeela also stated that democracy consolidation is the most pressing challenge for the Maldives, further elaborating that “democracy consolidation is not just about holding elections, nor is it about having a democratically sound Constitution”. The Minister also noted that institution building and reform still remain a key challenge for the Maldives. Similarly, cultivating a culture of respect for human rights, tolerance, and pluralism remain incredibly important as the Maldives moves through the democratic journey.
During her address, the Minister spoke about the progress of the Millennium Development Goals, the post 2015 Developmental Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as the particular vulnerabilities faced by SIDS upon graduation and in the context of climate change. She also expressed her profound shock at the human cost of the conflict in Syria as well as reiterated the Maldives’ solidarity with the Palestinian people.
The Maldives delegation at the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly is headed by Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Mariyam Shakeela. She is the first Maldivian women to deliver the Maldives Delegation’s main statement at a General Assembly session.