The Maldives has yesterday stressed on the important role that could be played by the United Nations in reforming the global economy. The statement was made by the Permanent Representative of the Maldives to the United Nations H. E. Ambassador Abdul Ghafoor Mohamed while addressing the Economic and Financial Committee of the General Assembly.

“The United Nations, as the most representative and universal international body, has an important role to play as we embark to address and remedy the flaws in the international economic and financial architecture that has contributed to the present crisis. It is, therefore, vital that the United Nations renew its efforts to conceive a global economy that addresses the issue of inequality and redresses the global imbalances in the financial and trade regimes”, said the Ambassador.

Reiterating the fragility of the Maldivian economy to external shocks Ambassador Mohamed noted that the Maldives belonged to two of the three most vulnerable groups identified by the UN - the group of Least Developed Countries (LDC) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS). As such, he continued that the effects of the financial and economic crisis had resulted in unimaginable consequences for the Maldives. The global recession had aggravated the country’s fiscal situation and would undoubtedly hinder the “hard-won economic and social progress; especially towards meeting the internationally-agreed development goals, including the MDGs”.

The Ambassador noted the Maldives’ scheduled graduation from the list of LDCs by the end of 2010 and thus highlighted the need for “special and differentiated treatment and commitment from our partners in our efforts to ensure smooth transition from LDC status to a middle income developing country”. In this regard, Ambassador Mohamed briefed the Committee on the economic reform measures of the new Government, in consultation with the IMF and the World Bank that is aimed at reducing government expenditure.

Continuing his statement, the Ambassador also drew attention to the dire effects of climate change on the environment and distinguished its daily effects on every day life in the Maldives. He further emphasized that the Maldives was doing its part by declaring its intention to become carbon-neutral by 2020. “We cannot stress the importance of the need to commit resources to help the poorest and most vulnerable countries adapt to climate change and to “seal the deal” in Copenhagen”, said the Ambassador. Reflecting on the fate of three hundred thousand Maldivians, should Copenhagen fail, the Ambassador added that, “a comprehensive and a well-crafted agreement in Copenhagen to address climate change and move to a greener economy is imperative to our future”.