28 February 2017, Male’

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Maldives and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan jointly selected and announced the official logo for the 50th anniversary of Maldives-Japan diplomatic relations today.  A public competition of the logo was conducted from December 27, 2016 to January 27, 2017 with 24 entries.  The logo will be used for the events related to the 50th anniversary of Maldives-Japan diplomatic relations in 2017.

The creator of the logo is Mr. Akira Unno who is a Japanese residing in Tokyo. Mr. Unno expressed the 50th anniversary by featuring simply a beautiful combination of Maldivian and Japanese flags and the number ‘50’.

Maldives and Japan have enjoyed friendly and cordial relations since the establishment of diplomatic relations on November 14, 19

28 February 2017, Geneva, Switzerland

On the sidelines of the 34th Session of Human Rights Council, His Excellency Dr Mohamed Asim, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Maldives, and Her Excellency Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Minister of International Development and the Pacific of Australia, hosted a joint reception to welcome delegates from Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) participating in the 34thSession of the Human Rights Council with the support of the UN voluntary LDCs/SIDS Trust Fund.

Minister Asim extended a warm welcome to the 11 delegates who were beneficiaries of the Trust Fund this year. These participants joined the council from the three regions where LDCs and SIDS are present: the Caribbean, Africa and Asia and the Pacific. The Minister further reiterated our commitment, as co-chairs of the Group of Friends of SIDS, to increasing the participation of SIDS and LDCs in the work of the United Nations and, in particular, the UN Human Rights Council (HRC).

Minister Asim noted that as human rights is an interlinked and cross cutting component of holistic and sustained development, the promotion and protection of human rights is a fundamental component to ensuring that no one is left behind. He pointed out, that SIDS and LDCs’ delegates consistently represent the voices of those who are most vulnerable and those who most need to be taken into account in global governance processes.

The opportunity for engagement provided by the UN Trust Fund to Support the Participation of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the work of the HRC (LDCs/SIDS Trust Fund) is invaluable.

The High Level dignitaries of the LDCs and SIDS attending the High Level Segment of the Human Rights Council including the dignitaries from the Donor countries of the Trust fund attended the reception that was held this afternoon. The Permanent Representative of Switzerland HE Mr Valentin Zellweger represented the Bureau of the Human Rights Council as Vice President.

28 February 2017, Geneva 

At the side-line of the High Level Segment of the 34th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva Minister of Foreign Affairs His Excellency Dr Mohamed Asim called on UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, H.E Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.

Minister Asim briefed the High Comissioner on the many developments taking place to strengthen human rights and governance. Launching of the National Human Rights Action Plan, governance reform and building economic resilience were some of the developments that were briefed on.

Minister Asim also highlighted the Government’s efforts to counter terrorism and extremism by partnering with regional and international institutes.  He also mentioned the ongoing work to submit the reports due under Conventions.

The meeting ended with Minister Asim reiterating the Government’s commitment for constructive engagement with the Office of the High Commissioner and international partners.

27 February 2017, Geneva 

Addressing the Human Rights Council for the first time at the High Level Segment of the Thirty Fourth Session of the Human Rights Council, H.E Minister Mohamed Asim emphasised on the importance of the Human Rights Council to the Maldives.

Minister Asim speaking about Maldives said “Being a small state does not prevent the Maldives from promoting the values and principles that underpin the international human rights mechanisms”.

While outlining some of the major achievements Maldives had made in terms of gender, health, education and economic development, Minister Asim also noted how the partnership with the UN has helped Maldives consolidate democracy and strengthening human rights, and reiterated our commitment to work closely with the UN. Minister Asim also informed the Council, of the continued commitment and efforts of the current President of the Maldives, His Excellency President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, to promote human rights through human development.

Minister Asim stated that we need to cultivate and promote a cultural respect and a culture of tolerance more than ever before. He reiterated Maldives confidence in UN Human Rights Mechanisms and Maldives commitment to the work of the UN Human Rights Council.

Maldives has been a member of the Human Rights Council for two consecutive terms in 2011-2013 and 2014- 2016 and currently on a one-year mandatory break. Maldives has put forth its candidature for the Human Rights Council for the term 2018-2020.

27 February 2017, Geneva, Switzerland

The 34th session of the UN Human Rights Council began today in Geneva, Switzerland, and will continue for 4 weeks, ending on 24 March 2017.

His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Asim, Minister of Foreign Affairs, will address the High-Level Segment of the Session later today. During this visit, Minister Asim, will also meet with other high level dignitaries who are in Geneva for the session.

The Maldives will continue to play an active role in the debates, panels, side-events, and negotiations on several key human rights issues during the session. The Maldives along with a core group of other states, will be leading the negotiations on resolutions regarding the fifth-year anniversary of the voluntary trust fund for technical assistance and capacity-building for LDCs and SIDS and on Environment and Human rights.

The Maldives will also co-sponsor and participate in a High-Level Panel discussion on the human rights challenges faced by individuals suffering from thalassaemia, including unfair and discriminatory treatment.

Among other things, the Maldives and Australia will jointly co-host a reception to welcome delegates participating in the 34th Session of the Human Rights Council with the support of the SIDS/LDCs Trust Fund on 28 February 2017.

In line with its core priorities at the UN Human Rights Council, the Maldives will also co-sponsor several other resolutions, including those on political rights, economic, as well as social and cultural rights. The Maldives will also actively participate at the negotiations on resolutions on combatting religious intolerance, rights of persons with disabilities, rights of the child, among other resolutions, which are part of the Maldives priorities at the Council.

The Maldives is currently on a mandatory break from the Council in 2017, after two consecutive terms as a voting member.