Wednesday, December 13, 2017
 
HOME
NEWS
INFORMATION
FANSAVEES
NEWS BULLETIN
PHOTO GALLERY
DOWNLOADS
FEEDBACK
 
Maldives News Bulletin, 29-06-2008
Issue No: 1158

Maldivian community in Malaysia celebrates national team's success

21 June:  The Maldivian community in Malaysia celebrated the success of the Maldives national team at the recent 7th South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Games, at a social function held at the Maldives High Commission, today. The function organized by the High Commission with the support of the members of the Maldivian community was attended by a number of students and families living in Malaysia. The participants of the gathering, dressed in red to celebrate this momentous occasion of National pride and joy, watched a recording of the final match. On the request of the student community, High Commission with the support of FAM organized a live interactive session between the Maldivians in Malaysia and 5 members of the National Team - Mukhtar Naseer (two-kilo), Ismail Mohamed (Issey), Ali Ashfag (dhagandey), Sobah Mohamed (Soba) and Ahmed Torig (Tom). The Maldivian community in Malaysia used the session to express their jubilation and overwhelming support to the National Team.  The participants also signed a banner to express their sentiments in support of their national side. The Maldivian community in Malaysia, comprising mainly of tertiary level students, number approximately 2,000 at present.

 

Geneva mission welcomes President Gayoom

23 June: The President of the Maldives, H.E. Mr. Maumoon Abdul Gayoom today visited the Permanent Mission of the Maldives to the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG) and used the occasion to thank the Permanent Representative of the Maldives in Geneva, H.E. Mr. Abdul Ghafoor Mohamed and his team for their efforts to promote the nation's interests in key multilateral fora including the Human Rights Council, the World Health Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme. Ambassador Mohamed, who welcomed the President on his first official visit to the new Mission, warmly thanked the President for his kind words and expressed the Mission's determination to work with the international community to improve the lives of all Maldivians. Speaking to Mission staff, President Gayoom noted the important work of the Mission in areas including human rights, sustainable development and climate change diplomacy. He said that the recent expansion of the Maldives' diplomatic presence around the world has had a clear positive impact on international perceptions of the Maldives and had also led to closer engagement between the Maldives and the international community in areas of acute national interest such as democratic and human rights reform. In response, Ambassador Ghafoor remarked that the positive regard in which the Maldives is held by its international partners is due to the great strides taken by the country under the leadership of the President. He expressed his happiness that the Mission has been able to play its part by helping to bring the good news story of the Maldives to the attention of the outside world. During his visit, the President signed the Mission's visitor's book and used his written comments to again thank the Mission's staff for their hard work. The President is in Geneva to attend the First Annual Meeting of the Global Humanitarian Forum, a new international body established by former UN Secretary-General Mr. Kofi Annan to promote new and innovative thinking on some of the world's most pressing and intractable problems. The First Meeting of the Forum is dedicated to reflections on "The Human Face of Climate Change". Over the past year, President Gayoom has used a string of speeches in London, Lisbon, Singapore, Bali and Male' to lead a call for the international community to give greater emphasis to Human Dimension of Climate Change, with a particular focus on the impact of global warming on the enjoyment of human rights. The President will be participating in a High-Level Panel on "Climate Justice in a Shared Global Ecosphere" alongside international dignitaries such as Ms. Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mr. Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Mr. Richard Branson, Chairman of Virgin Group, and Mr. Richard Lagos, Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General on Climate Change, President of the Club of Madrid and former President of Chile.

 

President Participates in the GHF Inaugural Meeting

23 June 2008, Geneva; the President of the Republic of Maldives, H.E. Mr. Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, has left for Geneva to participate in the inaugural Annual Meeting of the Global Humanitarian Forum. The President is attending the meeting on special invitation from H.E. Mr. Kofi Annan, former U.N Secretary-General, and current President of the Forum. This high level meeting which is to be held from the 24 to the 25 of June 2008 under the theme of "The Human Face of Climate Change," addresses challenges to development posed by climate change. The Global Humanitarian Forum works to promote dialogue, foster partnerships, and strengthen the political will to enhance the ability of the international community to overcome present and future humanitarian challenges. The Forum, under the leadership of H.E. Mr. Kofi Annan, is steered by a Board of senior members with diverse backgrounds. The Forum meetings will commence with an opening address by Mr. Annan, and will be followed by plenary and roundtable discussions involving members from the academia, business, civil society and diplomatic fields. More than 200 leaders from all sectors of society will provide their expertise and knowledge to identify urgent solutions to the most pressing problems of climate change and the question of sustainable development and human survival. This Geneva event will therefore seek to shed light on the human dimension of climate change. President Gayoom will contribute to the plenary on Climate Justice in a Shared Global Ecosphere; the plenary will also include eye-witness accounts from young people in vulnerable regions. Roundtable discussions will be concerned with wide ranging issues such as "climate security, food and health security, insurance security, design and urban planning, \" as well as the role of media, business and financial institutions to combat the hazardous effects of climate change. The Forum will also work to realign the Millennium Development Goals with the challenges of today, to ensure that even the world's poor have access to sustainable energy sources. President Gayoom's contribution at the plenary on Climate Justice in a Shared Global Ecosphere will be a continuation of his efforts to gain international prominence to the climate change agenda. The President has been advocating internationally for over twenty years on the impact of climate change on small island states, such as the Maldives, which finally resulted in the establishment of the Male' Declaration of 2007, and the March 2008 Resolution on Human Rights and Climate Change. In July 2007, the President launched an initiative on the 'Human Dimension of Climate'. The work of the President has been further strengthened by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Mr. Abdulla Shahid, and the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Miss. Dunya Maumoon more recently at the conference in Iceland; Reykjavik entitled "Small State – Emerging Power?" The Moderator of the high-level Panel is the former Irish President and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, H.E. Miss. Mary Robinson. President Gayoom is to join the Panel with the President of GHF and former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC Yvo de Boer, the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General on Climate Change and former President of Chile Ricardo Lagos, the Chairman of the Virgin Group Richard Branson. The President is the head of the Maldives Delegation to Geneva, and he is accompanied by Officials from the President's Office and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

 

President arrives in Geneva to attend "The Human Face of Climate Change"

23 June: President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom arrived in Geneva, Switzerland, to attend the Global Humanitarian Forum's Annual Meeting 2008.  The theme for the meeting is "The Human Face of Climate Change".  The President is attending the meeting on a special invitation by the former UN Secretary-General Mr. Kofi Annan. He is the current President of the Global Humanitarian Forum. President Gayoom was greeted on arrival at Geneve-cointrin Airport by the Maldives' Permanent Representative to the UN Office in Geneva, Mr. Abdul Ghafoor Mohamed and the Head of Protocol of the GHF, Mr. Alain Dick.  The members of staff at the Permanent Mission of the Maldives were also present to greet the President and the visiting delegation.  The two-day meeting will commence on Tuesday, 24 June at the Hotel Intercontinental Geneva.   The President is scheduled to participate in a Panel Roundtable on "Climate Justice in the Shared Global Ecosphere".  The Moderator of the high-level Panel is the former Irish President and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mrs. Mary Robinson. The President is expected to join the Panel by the President of GHF and former UN Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan, the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, Mr. Yvo de Boer, the Chairman of the Virgin Group, Mr. Richard Branson, and the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General on Climate Change and former President of Chile, Mr. Ricardo Lagos. The President was accompanied by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Abdulla Hameed; Deputy Minister of Health, Dr. Abdul Azeez Yoosuf; Executive Director at the Presidential Palace, Mr. Ismail Faiz; Presidential Spokesperson, Mr. Mohamed Hussain Shareef; and Chief of Protocol, Mr. Ahmed Rasheed.

 

Geneva Mission Welcomes President Gayoom

24 June: The President of the Maldives, H.E. Mr. Maumoon Abdul Gayoom yesterday visited the Permanent Mission of the Maldives to the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG) and used the occasion to thank the Permanent Representative of the Maldives in Geneva, H.E. Mr. Abdul Ghafoor Mohamed and his team for their efforts to promote the nation's interests in key multilateral fora including the Human Rights Council, the World Health Organisation and the United Nations Environment Programme. Ambassador Ghafoor, who welcomed the President on his first official visit to the new Mission, warmly thanked the President for his kind words and expressed the Mission's determination to work with the international community to improve the lives of all Maldivians. Speaking to Mission staff, President Gayoom noted the important work of the Mission in areas including human rights, sustainable development and climate change diplomacy. He said that the recent expansion of the Maldives' diplomatic presence around the world has had a clear positive impact on international perceptions of the Maldives and had also led to closer engagement between the Maldives and the international community in areas of acute national interest such as democratic and human rights reform. In response, Ambassador Ghafoor remarked that the positive regard in which the Maldives is held by its international partners is due to the great strides taken by the country under the leadership of the President. He expressed his happiness that the Mission has been able to play its part by helping to bring the good news story of the Maldives to the attention of the outside world. During his visit, the President signed the Mission's visitor's book and used his written comments to again thank the Mission's staff for their hard work. The President is in Geneva to attend the First Annual Meeting of the Global Humanitarian Forum, a new international body established by former UN Secretary-General Mr. Kofi Annan to promote new and innovative thinking on some of the world's most pressing and intractable problems. The First Meeting of the Forum is dedicated to reflections on "The Human Face of Climate Change". Over the past year, President Gayoom has used a string of speeches in London, Lisbon, Singapore, Bali and Male' to lead a call for the international community to give greater emphasis to Human Dimension of Climate Change, with a particular focus on the impact of global warming on the enjoyment of human rights.

 

Hotel Asia Fair begins

24 June: The Hotel Asia Fair, the largest such business exhibition to be held in Maldives, commenced at Dharubaaruge on Monday with 114 stalls. Along with the exhibition, a culinary challenge competed by more than 200 people also began. The exhibition, the fifth of its kind, is aimed for the tourism industry and was inaugurated by Tourism Minister Dr. Mahmood Shaugee. The fair is scheduled to go ahead for three days and the first two days of the fair is intended for businessmen. The Maldives Exhibition and Conference Service (MECS) holds the event every two years or so and this year 74 companies from 25 countries are participating. The culinary challenge is also a part of the event and this year 214 challengers are competing. The culinary challenge is handled by World Association of Chefs Society's Honorary Life Member, Alan Palmer, and this time most of the participants are from Maldivian resorts and private parties. The Director of MECS Mohamed Ajumaal said that the Fair had expanded a lot this year and the number of participants at the Fair had also increased considerably. He said that the lack of a proper convention centre was one of the biggest problems they had faced during the organization of the event. He also said that the aim of MECS was to the Fair a regional level event attended by people from the region. The Hotel Asia Fair was first held in 2000 at Dharubaaruge.

 

Petrol, diesel prices increased

24 June: The State Trading Organization (STO) has increased the price of a liter of petrol and diesel by Rf2 and the price of a liter of kerosene by Rf4.25, on Monday. A statement issued by STO, which imports the lion's share of fuel products in Maldives, yesterday said that the price of diesel, which had been sold at Rf15.50 per liter, had been increased to Rf17.50 and the price of a liter of petrol would now be Rf15.25. The price of a liter of kerosene was increased to Rf15.75, according to the statement. The last time that STO had changed fuel prices was on 30th May, 2008. Then the price of a petrol liter had been increased by Rf1 and diesel by Rf2.95. According to STO the fuel prices had been hiked again because if they sold their latest shipment at the earlier price the company would suffer a loss of around Rf7.1 million. The company said that they had brought in a shipment of diesel on 10, 16 and 19 of this month. A petrol shipment had been brought on the 10th and 19th of this month, and the only kerosene shipment that had been brought arrived on the 10th of this month, according to STO. The price of a barrel of crude oil is at $136.30 in the world market.

 

President Gayoom calls for greater climate justice

24 June:  The President of the Maldives, H.E. Mr. Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, made a call for greater climate justice, and asserted that climate change posed the greatest challenge to human development and survival. The President also stressed that the right to a secure environment is a basic human right, and that this linkage between climate change and human rights should be recognized. The President made the call in a keynote address to the Global Humanitarian Forum's Inaugural Meeting in Geneva which was opened today by former UN Secretary General Mr Kofi Annan.  The President spoke during a high-level panel debate on "Climate Justice in a Shared Global Ecosphere," in which he called for a new universal human right – the right to live in a safe and sustainable environment. He noted the vulnerability of small island states such as the Maldives whose contribution to climate change was minute in comparison to more developed and fast developing states, yet the country has to suffer the worst effects of global warming. The President expressed that only a rights-based approach to climate change would provide a just and fair solution to the problem. In his introductory remarks, the President stated that the choice of subject matter for this First Annual Meeting – The Human Face of Climate Change - could not be more relevant, well-timed or propitious. "Climate change is the single most important challenge facing mankind today. The consequences of global warming impact on every aspect of human life, and those consequences are being felt now by people all around our planet. Climate change is not a trend of the future, it is not even recent. It has been with us for two decades and more" The President went on to inform the Meeting about Maldives-led international efforts to redress this imbalance: "Over the past year, the Maldives has tried to introduce an individual rights-based approach to conceptualizing and tackling climate change. Our view is that every person on the planet is endowed with the same inalienable rights and freedoms and that many of those rights are critically undermined by the consequences of global warming. By highlighting these impacts on individual people and their rights, and by drawing attention to the web of rights and responsibilities, of actions and reactions, that bind us all together, the Maldives hopes to move mankind towards a shared determination to act" said President Gayoom. H.E. Mr. Gayoom has been advocating internationally for over two decades gaining international prominence to the climate change agenda. The success of his efforts were clearly manifest in the establishment of the Male' Declaration of 2007, and the March 2008 Resolution on Human Rights and Climate Change. In July 2007, the President launched an initiative on the 'Human Dimension of Climate' which emphasized focus on the human rights aspect of climate change. Also speaking during the panel debate on "Climate Justice in a Shared Global Ecosphere" were Mr. Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Mr. Richard Branson, Chairman of Virgin Group, and Mr. Richard Lagos, Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General on Climate Change, President of the Club of Madrid and former President of Chile. The panel was chaired by Ms. Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

 

President Gayoom call for new universal right to a safe and sustainable environment

24 June: The President of the Maldives, H.E. Mr. Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, today used a keynote address to the Global Humanitarian Forum's First Annual Meeting in Geneva to highlight that climate change violates the human rights of people in the world's most vulnerable countries and to call for greater climate justice through the declaration of a new universal human right – the right to live in a safe and sustainable environment. On his arrival at the Intercontinental Hotel in Geneva, the President was offered a very warm welcome by the meeting organizers.  He was greeted by Mr. Kofi Annan and introduced to key participants, including Mr. Laurent Moutinot, President of the State Council, Republic and Canton of Geneva. The President spoke at a high-level panel debate on "Climate Justice in a Shared Global Ecosphere" in which he drew attention to the particular vulnerability of Small Island States like the Maldives; noted that such countries make a tiny contribution to global warming yet stand to suffer most from its consequences; and suggested that a rights-based approach to climate change may offer one avenue of reaching an equitable and fair global settlement to the problem. The panel was the keynote event of the opening plenary of the new Global Humanitarian Forum which this year is focusing on the theme of "The Human Face of Climate Change". The GHF was established in 2007 by Mr. Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations with the aim of bringing together thought-leaders from all sectors of society to develop creative solutions to deal with some of the world's most pressing and intractable problems. Also speaking during the panel debate on "Climate Justice in a Shared Global Ecosphere" were Mr. Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Mr. Richard Branson, Chairman of Virgin Group, and Mr. Ricardo Lagos, Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General on Climate Change, President of the Club of Madrid and former President of Chile. The panel was chaired by Mrs. Mary Robinson, President of Realizing Rights, former President of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. In his introductory remarks, the President told around 300 senior participants that: "the choice of subject matter for this First Annual Meeting – The Human Face of Climate Change - could not be more relevant, well-timed or propitious. Climate change is the single most important challenge facing mankind today. The consequences of global warming impact on every aspect of human life and human interaction, and those consequences are being felt now by people all around our planet.  Climate change is not a prediction.  It is also not a recent predicament.  We, in the Maldives, have been witnessing climate change and its effects for two decades." The President went on to impress on attendees the need for greater urgency in tackling climate change and argued that a greater focus and understanding of the impact of the phenomena on human lives is a vital step in this regard: "The key failing of climate change diplomacy over the past twenty years" argued the President "has been its almost monopolistic focus on scientific cause and effect. Climate change has been too often perceived as a scientific projection - a kind of line-graph stretching into the future with abstract measurements based on parts-per-million, degrees centigrade, or centimeters. The international community has largely failed to translate the important and hard-won scientific consensus on climate change into an equally compelling vision of how the consequences of global warming are being felt by people and communities around the world. In other words, the world has failed to humanize climate change". The President went on to inform the Meeting about Maldives-led international efforts to redress this imbalance: "Over the past year, the Maldives has tried to introduce an individual rights-based approach to conceptualizing and tackling climate change. Our view is that every person on the planet is endowed with the same inalienable rights and freedoms and that many of those rights are critically undermined by the consequences of global warming. By highlighting these impacts on individual people and their rights, and by drawing attention to the web of rights and responsibilities, of actions and reactions, that bind us all together, the Maldives hopes to move mankind towards a shared determination to act" said President Gayoom. "With this in mind, the Maldives tabled, in March this year, a draft Resolution before the United Nations Human Rights Council on Human Rights and Climate Change. In the longer-term, it is my belief that if we are to establish a truly durable system of climate or environmental justice, then we, the international community, should actively consider the merits of declaring a new universal right – namely the right to live in a safe and sustainable environment" he concluded. Members of the panel supported the President's call for practical solutions to the problem, and highlighted the personal commitment of the President to raise the profile of sea-level rise on the climate diplomacy agenda.  Moderator Mrs. Robinson stressed the key role of the Maldives in establishing the link between climate change and sea-level rise. Mr. Richard Branson concluded his presentation by calling on the participants to visit the Maldives.  Recalling his recent holiday in the Maldives, he noted the hospitality of the Maldivian people and natural beauty of the islands.  Mr. Kofi Annan, in his opening statement, also referred to the vulnerability of the Maldives, and the President's leadership role at international forums over the past twenty years. The President also took a number of questions from the floor.  After the opening plenary, the President granted interviews to a number of journalists from Swiss and international media. He also attended a luncheon for the delegates.

 

Villa College now accepting applications for degree courses

24 June: Villa College has opened up applications for the degree programs due to commence at the College. An official from the College said that Information Technology (IT), Business Administration and Tourism Management Degree courses would begin in July. In addition the teaching course available in the program was also now accepting applications, he said. Interested individuals can apply to the course, being conducted in collaboration with Malaysia's Open University, until the 30th of this month. The official said the required qualifications for the programs were two A' Level passes along with a pass in O' Level English. However, those who did not qualify for the programs could take part in a one-year foundation course before continuing in the degree courses, the official said. The degree courses from Villa College beginning in July are three-year long courses.

 

The President extends sympathy to the President of Philippines

25 June: The President has sent a message of sympathy to the President of Philippines, Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, on learning of the loss of many lives and extensive damage caused by typhoon Fengshen across the Philippines, and the deadly ferry disaster in the aftermath of the typhoon. In the message, the President conveyed profound sympathy to President Macapagal-Arroyo, the government and the people of Philippines, and in particular, to those being directly affected by the typhoon. Further, he conveyed sincere condolences to the members of the bereaved families. 

 

High-Level Chinese delegation visits Maldives

25 June:  The Director General of the Department of Aid to Foreign Countries of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, Ms. Gao Yuanyuan has met with the Maldives' Ambassador at Large, H.E. Mr. Abdul Azeez Yoosuf.  The meeting was held yesterday morning at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Ms. Gao Yuanyuan's visit to the Maldives is symbolic of the growing relationship between China and the Maldives, and is a follow-up to the official visits previously paid by the President of the Republic of Maldives, H.E. Mr. Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Mr. Abdulla Shahid to the President of the People's Republic of China, H.E. Mr. Hu Jintao in China. These meetings resulted in the further consolidation of diplomatic ties between the two nations, and reaffirmed the support of the Chinese government to the developmental needs of the Maldives. The Chinese Delegation's visit to the Maldives represents a timely and speedy response from the Chinese Government to the requests made by the Government of the Maldives, and has helped further strengthen the relations between the countries. H.E Mr. Abdul Azeez Yoosuf expressed gratitude on behalf of the Maldives to the Government of China for its sustained assistance to the Maldives, and Ms. Gao YuanYuan in turn confirmed that China will continue to provide assistance to the development of the Maldives. Ms. Gao Yuanyuan also conveyed that the Chinese government will assist the Maldives in conducting a technical research program to identify key developmental areas requiring support. The Maldives has long shared a strong history of friendly relations with China, receiving its first assistance grant from the Chinese government as early as in 1981. Since then, relations have progressively strengthened and China is now one of the key countries lending developmental support to the Maldives. Ms. Gao Yuanyuan is the head of the Chinese Delegation to the Maldives, and she is accompanied by officials from the Ministry of Commerce, Ms. Zhan Haiyan, the Director General Assistant, Mr. Li Hai and the Deputy Architect General, Mr. Chen Zheglun of Northeast Architectural Design and Research Institute. The Chinese Delegation also includes Engineers, Mr. Wang Zhije, Ms. Liu Yinghhiu, Ms. Li Piye and the Interpreter to the delegation is Ms. Zhao Xin.

 

President Gayoom extends congratulates on the adoption of the new Constitution

26 June: President Gayoom has congratulated the President of the People's Special Majlis, Mr. Qasim Ibrahim, the former Presidents of the Majlis, members of the Special Majlis and the people of the Maldives, on the occasion of the adoption of the new Constitution by the People's Special Majlis today. In his message on the occasion, President Gayoom noted that the revision of the Constitution was the linchpin of his democratic reform agenda and that the main objective of revising the Constitution was to empower the people and to strengthen the fundamental rights of the people. President Gayoom further assured that with the grace of the Almighty Allah, the ratification process of the new Constitution will be completed at the earliest.

 

President Returns to Male' after concluding visit to Geneva

26 June: The President returned to Male' this afternoon after concluding his visit to Geneva to attend the Global Humanitarian Forum's Annual Meeting 2008: "The Human Face of Climate Change". During the meeting, the President participated in a high-level panel debate on "Climate Justice in the Shared Global Ecosphere" in which he noted that Climate change is the single most important challenge facing mankind today and that the consequences of global warming impact on every aspect of human life and human interaction. The President attended the meeting on a special invitation by the President of the Global Humanitarian Forum, former UN Secretary-General Mr. Kofi Annan.


Mr. Norota Arrives in Maldives

 26 June: The President of the Japan-Maldives Parliamentarian's League, Honorable Mr. Hosei Norota arrived in Maldives last night on an official visit.  His visit is at the invitation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Mr. Abdulla Shahid. Honorable Mr. Norota has led a vibrant political career spanning over 31 years to the present day. He is a highly respected individual both in Japan and abroad, and has been an active participant in numerous important committees and commissions of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), having contributed significantly to the parliament in Japan. Honorable Mr. Norota has extensive experience in legislative matters, and is the current Chairman of the Japan-Maldives Parliamentary and Friendship League, as well as the Chairman of the Japan Parliamentary and Friendship League to Sri Lanka, Israel, and Canada. Honorable Mr. Norota's visit is well-timed in completion of the new constitution and in preparation for the upcoming multi-party elections. Hon. Mr. Norota paid a call to H.E. Mr. Abdulla Shahid at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs this afternoon. Minister Shahid briefed Honorable Mr. Norota on the process of democratization currently underway in the Maldives, and expressed that today was a highly auspicious day for the Maldives as it had adopted the new Constitution. Honorable Mr. Norota extended his congratulations to the Foreign Minister and the Maldives for this significant achievement. H.E. Mr. Shahid praised and expressed his gratitude to the Government of Japan for its support in the development of the Maldives. Honorable Mr. Norota in turn affirmed that Japan will continue to be a close friend and supportive partner of the Maldives. Honorable Mr. Norota's visit is symbolic of the long-standing close and friendly relations the Maldives has enjoyed with Japan, and this visit would further strengthen the ties between the Governments as well as the parliaments of the two countries.

 

Foreign minister welcomes adoption of new constitution

26 June: The Foreign Minister, H.E Mr. Abdulla Shahid has welcomed the adoption of the new constitution.  The constitution was adopted in a meeting of the Special Majlis this morning.  Recent weeks had seen the drafting committee working on improving the draft document and ensuring internal consistency. At today's sitting over 70% of those present voted in favour of the new constitution indicating broad cross-party support.  Following adoption by the Special Majlis, the new constitution is expected to be submitted for ratification by the President.  President Gayoom has noted on a number of occasions his commitment towards speedy ratification and ensuring that all necessary steps are taken in time for the upcoming elections. The Minister noted in his comments. "The new constitution is the central column of the Reform Agenda initiated by President Gayoom.  I am pleased to its adoption by the Special Majlis.  I believe that the new constitution is a modern and forward-looking document and its adoption heralds a new era for the Maldives.  I commend the Speaker of the Special Majlis for the way in which he has taken this work ahead towards successful completion. Today, we have taken an important step forward for ensuring the rights and freedoms of all Maldivians With the new constitution, the Government can accelerate the work it has initiated on democratization and reform.  ". Commenting further he noted, "We have a challenging period ahead in ensuring the passage of the required legislation.  I am convinced that with perseverance and patience we can ensure a smooth transition. It is the obligation of all, to ensure that the social and economic development of the country, and the peace and stability prevailing within it is not jeopardized during this period." The new constitution has a strong focus on the protection and promotion of human rights. It guarantees the very fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Chapter 2 on Fundamental Rights and Freedoms  includes articles enshrining, inter alia, freedom from discrimination, the right to equality before the law, the right to life, the right to work, the right to education, the right to participate in cultural life, freedom from illegal detention and arrest, and the right to fair and transparent trial. The new constitution clearly stipulates the separation of powers between the legislature, executive and the judiciary. It also, outlines the setting up of a number of independent institutions to enhance democracy in the Maldives. These include the appointment of a Chief Justice, the establishment of a Supreme Court and an independent Elections Commission.  The Human Rights Commission and the Civil Service Commission are already set up and functioning.  Finally, the new constitution also charts out the transitional arrangements and timelines for the upcoming Presidential, parliamentary and local council elections.

 

Maldives and Albania establishes diplomatic relations

26 June:  The Republic of Maldives and the Republic of Albania established Diplomatic relations yesterday. The Joint Communiqué formalizing diplomatic relations between the two countries was guided by the principles stated in the Charter of the United Nations and was signed on behalf of the Maldivian Government by the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Maldives to the United Nations, H.E. Mr. Ahmed Khaleel and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Albania to the United Nations, H.E. Mr. Adrian Neritani.  The ceremony was held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The Republic of Albania is the 145th country to establish diplomatic relations with the Maldives. The two nations share a number of international platforms, including the United Nations, the World Trade Organization and the Organization of the Islamic Conference. The formalization of diplomatic relations yesterdays signifies the move to strengthen friendly relations between the two countries, based on sovereign equality, mutual cooperation and respect. Albania is located in South-Eastern Europe neighboring the nations of Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia and Greece, and became independent in 1912 from the Ottoman Empire. It is a fast developing nation moving towards a market based system.

 

Cabinet discusses next steps following passing of new Constitution

27 June: The Cabinet last night discussed next steps to be taken by the Government following the passing of the new Constitution by the Special Majlis yesterday. Members also supported the President's initiative to ensure that the ratification process is completed as soon as possible. They also deliberated on the establishment of the necessary institutions in the run up to the first multiparty election later this year. Further, the next phase of the legislative reform as part of the Reform Agenda was also discussed at last night's meeting. The President also highlighted the passage of the new Constitution, albeit later than initially anticipated was a giant stride forward in the Reform Agenda.

 

Minister Shahid departs to attend two conferences abroad

27 June: H.E. Mr. Abdulla Shahid, Minister of Foreign Affairs has departed Male' on an official visit to New York and to Jeddah.  He is travelling to Jeddah to sign the new Charter of the Organization of the Islamic Conference on the 28 of June and to New York to attend to attend the High Level Segment of the UN Economic and Social Council held in New York from 30 June to 3 July 2008. The new Charter of the OIC, was adopted at the 11th Session of the Organization of the Islamic Summit Conference held from 13 -14 March 2008, in Dakar, Senegal. After the Charter signing event, Minister Shahid will proceed to New York for the ECOSOC High Level Meeting to be held at the United Nations Headquarters. His Excellency Mr. Abdul Gafoor Mohamed, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Maldives to the United Nations Office at Geneva will be accompanying the Foreign Minister to the ECOSOC High Level Segment.

 

Teachers to strike on 1st July

28 June: Hundreds of teachers in Male' have decided to go on strike on the 1st of July, demanding the Government to increase their wages to meet the rising cost of living due to inflation. Teachers were markedly left out of the revised salary scheme during the recent pay rise for those working in the educational sector and the teachers are now demanding the rights they are due, choosing to stop going to work until their demands are met. The decision was agreed upon at a meeting held at the Male English School building by around 300 or so teachers who attended the meeting on Thursday night. The teachers also agreed not to respond to any requests by SMS to return to work. Although the teachers who attended the meeting agreed to go on strike on the 1st of July for an indefinite period of time, they also accepted that the decision might be changed depending on how the Government reacted to the situation. Representatives from all the schools in Maldives, in addition to the five schools in Male', addressed the participants who attended the meeting. Teachers from some island schools also managed to let their voices be heard at the meeting via mobile phone. All who spoke approved of going on a strike for an indefinite amount of time. The organizers of the meeting said that they had been trying since the 4th of this month to increase the wages of the teachers under the revised salary scheme but that the Education Ministry had not responded very positively to the request. They also said that they had even held a three-hour meeting with the Education Ministry's Permanent Secretary Dr. Aamaal Ali and that she had agreed to have an answer ready within four days but that even that had not come through.

 

Taxi drivers raise fares to Rf25

28 June: The Transport Ministry has given permission to taxi drivers to raise their fares to Rf25 per trip beginning last Friday. According to a statement released by the Transport Ministry, the rise in fares for taxi and pickup service was due to the recent hike in fuel prices. The new price scheme means that taxis will charge Rf25 between 6:00am in the morning to 12:00am in the night and Rf30 for the services hired between 12:00am at night to 6:00am in the morning. Loading anything into the trunk of the taxi will mean an added charge of Rf5 and hiring a taxi for an hour would cost Rf130, the Transport Ministry's statement said. With the changes the fare for a pickup trip will now cost Rf40, an increase of Rf10 from the previous rate. The rate for pickup service between 12:00am to 6:00am at night will cost Rf50. The cost of hiring the pickup for an hour now costs Rf140. The Transport Ministry had last changed the taxi fares to Rf15 on 1st December last year. A liter of petrol in Male' now costs Rf15.25 and the same amount of diesel costs Rf17.50. A kerosene liter costs Rf15.25.

 

Cabinet discusses next steps following passing of new Constitution

28 June: The Cabinet on Thursday night discussed the next steps to be taken by the Government following the passing of the new Constitution by the Special Majlis. Members supported President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom's initiative to ensure that the ratification process be completed as soon as possible. They also deliberated on the establishment of the necessary institutions in the run up to the first multiparty election later this year. Further, the next phase of the legislative reform as part of the Reform Agenda was also discussed at the meeting. President Gayoom also highlighted the passage of the new Constitution, albeit later than initially anticipated, was a giant stride forward in the Reform Agenda.

 

Maldives becomes 3rd country to ratify new charter of the OIC

28 June: H.E. Mr. Abdulla Shahid, Minister of Foreign Affairs has signed the new Charter of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) at the General Secretariat of the OIC in Jeddah on 28 June 2008.  The instrument of Ratification sent by H.E. Mr. Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, the President of the Republic of the Maldives was handed over to H.E. Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary-General of OIC by H.E. Mr. Shahid at this ceremony. By ratifying this Charter today, the Maldives became the 3rd country to ratify the new Charter of the OIC. Malaysia and Senegal are the other two countries that have already ratified the new Charter. The new Charter of the OIC was adopted at the 11th Session of the Organization of the Islamic Summit Conference held from 13 -14 March 2008, in Dakar, Senegal. The new Charter aims to further strengthen the relations between its member States, aspires to reinforce the Organization's active role in the international community and desires to meet the challenges of the Islamic Ummah in the 21st Century and to restructure the principles and goals of the Organization.  In changing the earlier Charter, the main aim was for the Organization to be reformed and modernized to deal with issues that have emerged globally and specially in the Islamic World in the 30 years since the earlier Charter was adopted by the Organization. The new Charter also strives to reflect the universally accepted values of Human Rights, fundamental freedoms, good governance, rule of law, democracy and accountability in member States. It also brings new clauses which would help to streamline the work of the secretariat and which will oblige member States to be more involved in the finances, the cost incurred and funds generated by the Organization for its activities. As per the new Charter, the procedure of voting has been improved and new terms and conditions have also been put in place for new Members. The Maldives, as other member States, believes that the new Charter will facilitate in further strengthening the relations between member States and the Organization, and will strengthen the OIC to address the issues affecting the Muslim Ummah in today's world.  The Counselor for the Embassy of the Maldives in Saudi Arabia, Mr. Adam Moosa, and Mr. Mohamed Rameez, Assistant Director of the Ministry also attended the ceremony.

 

 

HOME | NEWS | MINISTRY INFO | FANSAVEES | NEWS BULLETIN | PHOTO GALLERY | DOWNLOADS | FEEDBACK