Statement by H.E: Ms. Dunya Maumoon, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Maldives at the Commonwealth Open Ended Ministerial Small States Group Meeting

I wish to thank our esteemed Chair, distinguished Foreign Minister of Seychelles for convening a meeting of this Open-Ended Working Group.

As this is the first time of this group, that I have the pleasure of attending, let me express my appreciation to you, Chair and colleagues around the table for the work undertaken by the group since it was constituted.
I fully recognize the importance of the group as a vehicle for advancing the concerns of small states. In particular, I commend the exchange of views held in run up to the recently concluded UN Conference of Small Island developing State in Samoa. The UN conference in Samoa brings much synergy to the efforts of the Commonwealth in the area of small states and we look forward to pulling into the inputs of the UN Agenda.

With regards to the work begun by our group, I wish to share my thoughts about small states resilience. We support the efforts to bring the concept of resilience on the discussions of small states. We believe that building resilience is the way forward in economic development, social development and institutional development. It is for this reason that the Maldives has been advocating for the inclusion of political aspects to the resilience matrix, or if you like, the resilience tool box. Because unless small states institutions are developed and strengthened, economic and social development would always remain shaky. After all, ultimate objectives of the commonwealth governance structure should be premised on building the potential resilience of member countries. It is therefore imperative that the authors who are constructing a resilience index should incorporate political resilience as a separate category.

Thank you