We may be small and vulnerable, but our aspirations for development are by no means small – Foreign Minister Asim

March 31, 2018

Speaking at the Opening Session of the Second Ambassadorial Workshop on “Developing Sustainably – Sharing Experiences, Seeking Solutions”, Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Mohamed Asim highlighted the efforts of the Maldives in balancing its economic development with environmental protection, through its key industries – tourism and fisheries.

Minister Asim noted that the objective of the Government is to develop its main industries – tourism and fisheries – without compromising its natural environment, and that the Workshop aims to share the Maldives’ experiences on eco-tourism, sustainable fisheries and also, its ongoing efforts in mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

Speaking about the vulnerability of the impacts of climate change on a small country like the Maldives, Minister highlighted that the Maldives has been a key player in shaping global discourse on climate change, the security of small states, and sustainable development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS). He further highlighted that, as Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), the Maldives has tried to draw the attention and focus of the multilateral system to the developmental challenges faced by the SIDS. Previously, as a member of the UN Human Rights Council, for two consecutive terms, the Maldives has also contributed to establishing the link between climate change and human rights.

Speaking on the topic, the Minister further highlighted the importance of having all countries represented, and their voices heard, regardless of size or might, on every decision-making body of the United Nations. This, he highlighted, is one of the key reasons why the Maldives is campaigning for a seat on the UN Security Council for the term 2019-2020 – because the Maldives believes that the unique experiences of smaller nations matter in the key decision-making body of the United Nations.

The Maldives is hosting the Workshop from 30 March – 2 April 2018, which is attended by several Ambassadors who are representing their respective countries at the United Nations.