Commonwealth Assessment Team Arrives in Maldives, Calls on Foreign Secretary

The Commonwealth Secretariat Staff Team on an assessment mission to evaluate the Maldives’ membership application to the organization has arrived in the Maldives today. During the meeting held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Mr. Abdul Ghafoor Mohamed, Foreign Secretary, welcomed the team to the Maldives and expressed the desire of the Government to re-join the Commonwealth as a Member State.

Foreign Secretary Ghafoor mentioned that the Maldives has benefitted immensely in the past from being a member of the 53-member state organization, and had been able to contribute to important global discussions on human rights, sustainable development, climate change, and democratic consolidation as a member of the Commonwealth. The objective of re-joining the Commonwealth has been high on the agenda of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s Government, and an expression of interest was sent to the Commonwealth Secretary-General in December 2018. Since then, the His Excellency Mr. Abdulla Shahid had met with the Commonwealth Secretary-General in London on the 27th of January.

During this visit, the Commonwealth Secretariat Staff Team is due to call on His Excellency Mr. Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, the Speaker of Parliament and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. They will also meet with Cabinet Ministers and senior officials of the Government, independent institutions, major political parties and key media partners in the Maldives.

The purpose of the assessment mission is to conduct an evaluation of the criteria and the Maldives’ eligibility for membership, to evaluate its aspirations and commitment to the principles of the Commonwealth Charter, and to meet with key officials in the Government. The Commonwealth Team is headed by Mr. Albert Mariner, Advisor and Head of Asia/Europe/Caribbean/Pacific in the Commonwealth Secretariat.

The Maldives first joined the Commonwealth in 1982. It left the organization in October 2016 after 34 years as a Member State. Following the inauguration of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, the Maldives submitted an expression of interest to rejoin the Commonwealth, which was welcomed by its Secretary-General. The Government is now in the process of fulfilling all the membership requirements to rejoin the organization.