Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Mohamed Asim met with the United Nations Secretary General, Mr. António Guterres this afternoon. He was joined by the Minister of Environment and Energy, Mr. Thoriq Ibrahim.

At the meeting held at the United Nations headquarters, Minister Asim congratulated the Secretary General on his appointment and commended the Secretary General’s leadership on issues such as Climate Change, sustainable development and counter-terrorism.

Mr. Guterres applauded the leadership of the Maldives on climate action, oceans issues and on the sustainable development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS). The Secretary General stated that the Maldives is on the first line of impact and first line of advocacy on Climate Change.

The Meeting was held on the sidelines of the Seventy Second session of the United Nations General Assembly.

Minister Asim participated in the High-level plenary meeting convened by the President of the General Assembly to commemorate and promote the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, this morning.

Speaking at the meeting, Minister Asim called on both the nuclear weapon States and the non-nuclear weapon States to collaborate to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons and weapons technologies, a complete ban on nuclear weapons tests, and to eliminate all nuclear weapons.

Minister Asim also condemned the recent tests of ballistic missiles by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and stated that they were clear violations of international law and an unnecessary act of provocation. Minister Asim, hence urged the DPRK to return to dialogue and to engage constructively in the multilateral platform.

Further, Minister applauded the monumental adoption, on 7 July 2017, of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons following the United Nations Conference to Negotiate Legally-Binding Instrument to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons, leading to their total elimination. The Treaty according to the Minister, is the most important pledge that the international community has made in the relentless pursuit of a nuclear-free world.

The Maldives has ratified the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and is a Party to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. The Maldives also strongly advocates for the establishment of the Indian Ocean as a Zone of Peace, in line with the Resolution 2832 adopted by the General Assembly in 1971.

The Maldives co-hosted a high-level side-event entitled “Securing a Future for the Oceans: Leveraging Sustainable Fisheries and the Conservation of Marine Resources” with Palau, Norway and FAO at the sidelines of the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly this afternoon.

The side event served as an important platform to engage in dialogue to demonstrate how sustainable fisheries can be economically viable and be in harmony with the conservation of marine resources, and generate policy recommendations to realize the outcomes of the Oceans Conference and SDG 14 in general.

The Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture of the Maldives Dr. Mohamed Shainee moderated the Side-event. Minister Shainee also delivered a keynote speech at the event. In his statement, Minister Shainee stressed the importance of bringing together like-minded stakeholders on this issue to reflect on the challenges and promote healthy oceans.

The Minister cited key policies adopted by the Government of Maldives to promote sustainable fishing methods and the conservation of marine resource, including banning of all forms of net fishing, and a commitment to sustain the one-by-one fishing methods. The Minister stressed that one-by-one fishing methods, as used in the Maldives, are crucial for sustaining livelihoods of artisanal fishers in the smaller islands of the Maldives.

The event also explored the way forward in propagating the best methodologies through closer collaboration between Governments, Regional Fisheries Bodies, cooperatives and fishing communities, utilizing organizations such as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), with the objective of conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in a global context and to foster political will.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Mohamed Asim met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Aviation of St. Kitts and Nevis, Mr. Mark Anthony Brantley this morning.

At a meeting held at the United Nations headquarters, both Ministers discussed on enhancing cooperation on issues of mutual interest.

The Meeting was held on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

Minister Asim called on the international community to end the grave human rights violations and injustices taking place in Myanmar, Palestine and Syria. The Minister made these remarks at the General Debate of the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

Speaking on the situation of Rohingya Muslims in Myamar, Minister Asim stated that systemic violence, including massacres, forced displacement and ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims are alarming. The Minister further stressed that those responsible for these barbaric actions must be brought to justice swiftly and the acts of prejudice, violence, and that discrimination against Rohingya Muslims must end.

The Minister reiterated the Maldives call for an independent, sovereign State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital, established along the 1967 borders, and called to end the violations taking place in the Palestine territories.  Minister also called to end the war crimes, inhuman treatment and suffering in Syria.

“Instilling fear of “the other” is easy.  Determining “them” as worth less – due to their religion, race, ethnicity, nationality, Islamaphobia, or whatever the reason – is a short step away. When this happens, it is easy to ignore grave violations, easier to even encourage them. It is then, and only then, we see – and we have seen – the worst of humanity”, noted the Minister.