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Maldives highlights its commitments to tackle economic vulnerabilities in opening of the Second Committee

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3 October 2016, New York; Speaking at the opening of the main session of the Economic and Financial (Second) Committee of the seventieth session of the General Assembly, HE. Mr. Ahmed Sareer, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Maldives to the United Nations, presented the priorities of Maldives for the 2016-2017 year.

The Maldives statement outlined its commitment to achieve a high-income, resilient and diversified economy. This will require increased investment and private sector growth, yet the Maldives continues to be limited by its relatively small size and dispersed geography, and challenges relating to domestic resource mobilization.

At the same time, Ambassador Sareer clearly outlined that "the impacts of extreme weather and climate change... remind us that development gains are at risk," not only to raise the critical issue of climate change and disaster risk reduction, but to raise their relationship to sustainable economic development for Maldives and other small island developing States. The vulnerability caused by environmental concerns, including rising sea levels, ocean acidification, and natural disasters, negatively affect the Maldives' economy and as such it is necessary to reform how concessionary and non-concessionary financing is distributed to ensure that countries and financial institutions look beyond GDP to recognize other key criteria impacting progress. Furthermore, these vulnerabilities need to be considered in the assessment of countries working to transition from Least Developed Country status.

Ambassador Sareer took time to present the commitments that Maldives is undertaking, particularly to transition away from the use of fossil fuels and towards renewable energy. Maldives was one of the first countries to ratify the Paris Agreement; it will also now shift 30 percent of day-time peak load in all inhabited islands by 2018, and incorporating energy efficiency to national building codes.

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