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Message by the Minister of Foreign Affairs on the occasion to mark the 51st Anniversary of Maldives Membership at the United Nations

21 September 2016;

Today marks the 51st anniversary of the Maldives membership at the United Nations. The Maldives joined the United Nations on 21 September 1965 as the Organization's smallest member at the time, with many questioning the viability of a small state like the Maldives, and its ability to contribute.

Over the past fifty-one years the United Nations has been a steadfast partner in the development of the Maldives, contributing to the progress of its social sectors, reduction of infant and maternal mortality rates, and increasing the life expectancy of Maldivians, as well as its democratization and governance reform sectors. With the support of the United Nations, the Maldives was able to graduate out of the LDCs, as well as become an MDG plus country. As we embark on a new sustainable development agenda, the support of the UN in its implementation would be invaluable.

Throughout the years, Maldives has been able to utilize its membership at the United Nations, to demonstrate that size does not matter. The Maldives has shown the world that small States can have a big impact in making the world a better place, not only proving the viability of small states, but their ability to bring smart ideas. The Maldives brought the issue of climate change to the world's attention at the UN in 1987, long before it had the prominence it has today. The Government of President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom is proud to have the opportunity of contributing as a champion of small island states in its advocacy on climate change leading to the Paris Agreement.

Today, as we celebrate the Maldives membership at the United Nations, we remain convinced that the United Nations continues to be, not only a true, neutral, fair arbiter, but also a convener of best practices and dialogue between nations. The Maldives reaffirms its commitment to working with the United Nations in making the world a safe, prosperous and peaceful home for all its inhabitants.
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