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PGA of the 76th Session of the UNGA calls on President Solih

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The President of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (PGA) H.E Abdulla Shahid has paid a courtesy call on H.E President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, this morning at the President’s Office. The PGA called on the President as part of his ongoing Official Visit to the Maldives in his capacity as the President of the General Assembly, by invitation from President Solih.

President Solih welcomed the PGA to the Maldives, conveying his hope that the United Nations would flourish under his Presidency of the General Assembly. The President encouraged the PGA to make full use of this opportunity to further progress the Maldives’ foreign interests.

The President and PGA discussed several of the most pertinent global and local interests, highlighting issues such as safeguarding human rights, climate change and advocacy for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the international arena. President Solih outlined the Maldives’ climate goals, revealing that while we have regulations and policies in place, technology is the path forward to overcome the challenges exacerbated by climate change. The President requested the PGA’s aid in this endeavour, underscoring the need for multilateral support to build sustainable climate resilience and achieve our climate goals.

Speaking at the meeting, the PGA stated that the success of the Maldives’ foreign policy and his successful bid for the Presidency of the 76th UNGA were moments of pride for all of the Maldives. PGA Shahid attributed this success to President Solih’s foreign policy, thanking the President. The PGA stated that his “Presidency of Hope” and Five Rays of Hope” were inspired by the Maldives, stating that he remains dedicated to progressing the UN under the Maldives’ Presidency of the GA, and promoting the Maldives’ priorities on the global stage.

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and the President of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (PGA), H.E Abdulla Shahid, held a joint press conference this morning at the President’s Office.

Speaking at the joint press conference, President Solih disclosed that discussions with the PGA was focussed upon strengthening the relations between the Maldives and the United Nations (UN) and on ways to further reinforce existing ties.

The President urged the PGA to embrace the values upheld by the Maldives in areas such as foreign policy, democracy, climate change, and upholding human rights. Highlighting that the Maldives has always pressed for the reform of the United Nations, President Solih also discussed the Maldives’ wish to expedite such reform during PGA Shahid’s tenure.

The President and PGA discussed areas of interest such as the impact of climate change on Small Island Developing States (SIDS). They deliberated on ways to increase international involvement in such efforts through an inclusive arrangement.

President Solih said that he believes that the UN plays a central role in assisting the world to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. He commended the efforts of the PGA for his role in resource mobilisation in regard to equitable access to affordable Covid-19 vaccines. Highlighting the plight of girls and women across the globe, the President stressed on the importance of gender equality, social parity and the empowerment of girls and women, urging the PGA to give precedence to such efforts.

Noting that several bodies of the UN had assisted the Maldives financially during the initial phase of the Covid-19 pandemic, the President expressed his gratitude to the UN on behalf of all Maldivians.

In his statement during the joint press conference, the PGA thanked the President for inviting him to the Maldives in his capacity as the President of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. He also praised President Solih for the success achieved by the Maldives in the international arena, adding that it is an achievement attained by the success of the President’s firm foreign policy.

The PGA was welcomed by President Solih on his arrival at the President’s Office. The PGA also signed the Visitor’s Book at the President’s Office.

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MPS still under Home Minister: PO

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President’s Office on Tuesday stated that though Maldives Police Service (MPS) is now operating as an independent entity, the Home Minister is still the responsible figure for the agency.

Following the ratification and implementing of MPS Act, MPS would function as an independent entity, with various internal governing bodies. The Home Minister will be responsible for overseeing the body but will have no control over day to day operations.

Confusion reigned supreme following a letter sent by President’s Office to the Home Affairs, stating that MPS would function as an independent entity effective from March 27, 2021. The letter also stated the Ministry’s functions and roles following this decision.

Clause 242 of the Constitution mandates that all government and government associated agencies be overseen by a Minister.

The statement issued by President’s Office said that Home Minister Sheikh Imran would still oversee the agency.

In response to the change, Minister Imran tweeted that ‘challenges’ were natural and expected. He added that success was in perseverance.

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Tourism Ministry sets three-year period for resorts to open

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Minister of Tourism Dr Abdullah Mausoom has revealed that the Ministry intends to automatically revoke the islands leased for resort development, if the developers fail to open the property within a three-year period.

Speaking to local newspaper, Mihaaru, the Minister revealed that this was already in the plans and a new agreement will be signed based on this principle.

Statistics by Tourism Ministry in 2020, show that over 50 resorts were still under development, with parties filing to extend the permits for 21 islands. Some of the leased islands have been listed as under development for over 10 years.

This, he said, was being implemented to urge developers to finish developing the property and begin operations. Minister Mausoom noted that most citizens living close to islands under development had raised their concerns over delays.

The Minister had previously said that Tourism sustained severe losses due to the pandemic. While the sector aims to bring in 1.3 million tourists, there are several challenges including a new mutation of the delta strain detected in the UK and limitations of the airport to cater for arrivals.

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U23 national team departs for Bahrain

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The under 23 national football team has departed to Bahrain for training ahead of AFC Asian Cup qualifiers.

The qualifiers will be held in Uzbekistan from the 27th to the 31st of this month.

The team is accompanied by Assistant Coaches Sabah Mohamed and Mohamed Shahid. They will play two practice matches in Bahrain before heading to straight to qualifiers in Uzbekistan. The team had also carried out successful training camps in the atolls.

Maldives will face off against Iraq on 27th October, against Bahrain on 29th October, and Afghanistan on 31st October.

Competing nations are divided into 11 groups. First place winners will go into the Asian Cup. Additionally, four top-performing teams from the second placed nations will proceed to the Cup.

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