High-level week of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 77) has begun today, with several bilateral, plurilateral, and multilateral engagements scheduled to be held this week.

The Maldives’ delegation to the high-level week is led by the Foreign Minister of the Maldives, His Excellency Abdulla Shahid. Foreign Minister Shahid will be accompanied by several high-level Government officials, including the Minister of Environment, Climate Change, and Technology, Her Excellency Aminath Shauna.

The General Assembly General Debate will be held from Tuesday, 20th September to Saturday, 24th September. Heads of State and Governments and heads of national delegations will deliver statements at the General Debate under the theme, “A watershed moment: transformative solutions to interlocking challenges”. Foreign Minister Shahid is scheduled to deliver his statement on Friday, 23rd September.

During the high-level week, Foreign Minister Shahid will hold several bilateral meetings advocating for Maldives’ candidature to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for the term 2023-2025. The elections for the UNHRC are set to be held in October 2022. The Maldives is competing with Kyrgyz Republic, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Viet Nam, and the Republic of Korea for the four seats allocated to the Asia-Pacific Group. The Maldives was previously elected twice consecutively to the UNHRC from 2011-2016, during which discourse was initiated on the link between climate change and human rights.

The high-level week will also see meetings and events centered on the Sustainable Development Goals; education; commemorating the thirtieth anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities; climate action; the situation in Ukraine; ending the COVID-19 pandemic; and on the elimination of nuclear weapons.