15 September 2015, London; Speaking at the Official Function hosted by the High Commission of Maldives in the UK to Celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Independence of the Maldives, Foreign Minister Dunya has said that the democratic institutions in the Maldives are very young and requires the space to grow independently. “Young institutions do not grow when leaders of powerful countries give running commentaries on every decision such institutions make. Growing up under the international spotlight is not easy for any country. Yet, the Government is determined to prevent reversals” said the Foreign Minister.
Minister Dunya also stated that “we remain resolute in retaining the authenticity of our democratic journey by sticking firmly to our Constitution and laws. We are confident that it is possible, and that we are well on our way to realising a truly Maldivian Democracy.” Continuing with her remarks Foreign Minister said that “As a country, our progress and development owes much to the constructive partnerships we have built with international agencies and foreign governments. We appreciate the value of learning from one another and will always welcome the well-intended opinions of our friends. It is easy to criticize, but we ask you not just to only criticize, but to work alongside us to bring about meaningful change. Such change can only be sustained if it is steered by the people who will benefit most from it- the people of the Maldives.”
In her remarks Foreign Minister Dunya noted the long historical relationship between the Maldives and the UK. She also noted that the two countries entered into an arrangement in 1887 under which the Maldives became a protectorate of Britain. Under the arrangement Britain pledged to protect the Maldives from external attacks, and in return, the Maldives handed over the responsibility of the country’s external relations to Britain. Minister Dunya further noted that the agreement Maldives signed with UK in 1965 recognises the Maldives’ full sovereignty and independence in shaping and implementing its own domestic and foreign policy.
The Right Honourable Baroness Warsi attended the function as the Chief Guest. The function was also attended by Senior Government officials of UK, parliamentarians, business community diplomatic community, media and Maldivians living in UK.