The Government has learned that some countries are pushing for the inclusion of the Maldives on the agenda of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG).
Minister of Foreign Affairs H E Dunya Maumoon held a telephone conversation with the Secretary General of the Commonwealth Mr. Kamalesh Sharma yesterday in which she underscored the following:
- There are no persistent or serious issues of undermining of Commonwealth principles in the Maldives; the CMAG in fact, failed to take action when President Nasheed publicly defied and abrogated the Constitution and abducted a sitting judge,
- The trust that had begun to build between the Maldives and the Commonwealth will be seriously undermined if the Maldives is placed on the CMAG agenda;
- The Government of His Excellency President Abdullah Yameen Abdul Gayoom has shown good faith in engaging with the Commonwealth and to take note of the positive changes that have taken place in the last few weeks.
According to the Enhanced Mandate adopted by the Commonwealth Leaders at the Perth CHOGM in 2011, if the Secretary General believes that there is a situation where there is a ‘serious or persistent violation of Commonwealth fundamental political values’, the Secretary General is required to raise it with the member state in question, ‘affording it an opportunity to respond, and offering his/her Good Offices to redress the situation’. And in sub-para (ii), the Mandate states that ‘Good Offices engagement . . . could include (a) the appointment of an envoy, (b) the offer of advice and technical assistance in relevant areas’. Such a question has not been raised by the Secretary General with the Government, and the Good Offices have not been extended.
It will be recalled that the CMAG placed the Maldives on its agenda from March 2012 to March 2013, on an unfair basis, based on false allegations, and the country’s economy and democratic governance suffered significantly as a result.
In light of the above the Minister of Foreign Affairs has informed the Secretary General that the Maldives will seriously consider its membership at the Commonwealth if the organization will continue to treat it on a selective basis and unfairly, in violation of the Commonwealth’s own rules.