President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has stated that being able to address the presidency of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in our mother tongue, Dhivehi, is a testament to Maldives’ successes as a small, sovereign, island state. Recalling how the UN had debated the merits of allowing admission to a small state such as the Maldives 56-years ago, the President said that the fact that he is able to address the President of the GA in Dhivehi validated how far Maldives had come in the international arena.

President Solih thanked the global leaders for their support and trust in allowing a Maldivian to assume the prestigious office. He stated that, despite being comparatively small, the Maldives has shown its prowess in the global community and said that this has been an honour that all Maldivians can partake in. The President noted that the Maldives may be small in size, however, Maldivians are big in our rich culture and heritage, expressed that this is a great honour for our nation.

The President also noted how humanity is at the centre of all UN principles and reiterated the UN’s role in addressing injustices, inequalities and peacekeeping across the globe. He described the UN as hope for a world devoid of the ugliness of wars and famine; hope for equality of all peoples to prevail; hope for justice, human rights, self-determination and democracy to reign supreme; the hope of a world where people oppressed under the yoke of colonial rule and other forms of oppression were rendered free; hope that we preserve our planet, its resources, ecosystems and wonders for generations yet to be born.

This is the second time President Solih is addressing the UNGA. The President had delivered his first general debate statement at the 74th Session of the UNGA, in 2019. The President delivered his remarks on the third speaking slot this year; early slots are rarely accorded to smaller states.