Statement by His Excellency Abdulla Shahid, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Maldives, as the President-elect of the seventy-sixth session of the United Nations General Assembly
7 June 2021, New York
އ.ދ.ގެ ޢާންމު މަޖިލީހުގެ ރައީސް ވޮލްކަން ބޮޒްކިރް
އ.ދ.ގެ ސެކްރެޓަރީ ޖެނެރަލް އެންޓޯނިއޯ ގުޓެރެޒް
ދުނިޔޭގެ ޤައުމުތަކުން އ.ދ.އަށް ކަނޑައަޅުއްވާފައި ތިއްބެވި ސަފީރުން
މި ބައްދަލުވުން ބައްލަވަމުން ގެންދަވާ އެންމެހައި ދިވެހި ލޮބުވެތި ރައްޔިތުން
ދިވެހި ރާއްޖޭގެ މިނިވަންކަމާއި ސިޔާދަތު ދެމެހެއްޓުމަށްޓަކައި، ދިވެހި ދައުލަތުގެ ފަޚުރުވެރި ޤައުމީ ދިދަ ފެއްސާ ރަތާ ހުދު، ޝަރަފާއެކު އަބަދަށްމެ ވިހުރުވެމުން ދިއުމަށްޓަކައި ޤުރުބާންވި މަތިވެރި ދިވެހި އަބްޠާލުންގެ ޒިކުރާ އާކުރަމުން، ދިވެހިރާއްޖެއަށް ޒަމާނީ ތަރައްޤީއާއި ޑިމޮކްރަސީ ގެނައުމަށްޓަކައި މިންނަތް މަސައްކަތް ކުރައްވަމުން ގެންދެވި އަދި ގެންދަވާ އެކި އެކި ބަޠަލުންގެ ހިތްވަރުން ހިތްވަރު ލިބިގަންނަމުން، ދިވެހިރާއްޖޭގެ ލޮބުވެތި ރައްޔިތުންގެ އަބަދުގެ އުންމީދުކަމުގައިވާ އަދަށްވުރެ ފެހި، ފަހި، މާދަމައެއް ހޯދުމުގެ ރޫހު ދިރުވައި އާލާކުރަމުން، މި މަތިވެރި އދ.ގެ މަޖިލީހުގައި، މި މަޖިލީހުގެ ރައީސްކަމުގެ މަގާމަށް އިންތިޚާބުވި ރައީސްގެ ގޮތުގައި ހުރެ، ދިވެހިންގެ ފަޚުރުވެރި ބަހުން، މިއަދު އަޅުގަނޑު މި އުފުލަނީ ދިވެހި ރައްޔިތުންގެ ފަޚުރުވެރި އަޑު
ދިވެހިރާއްޖެއަށް މި ފަޚުރާއި ޝަރަފު މިންވަރު ކުރެއްވިކަމަށްޓަކައި އަރަހުށި ހުސްޠާހިރުވަންތަ ﷲ ސުބުޙާނަހޫ ވަތަޢާލާގެ ހަޟްރަތަށް ހަމްދާއި ޝުކުރު ދަންނަވަން
މިއަދު ދުނިޔޭގެ ހުރިހައި ޤައުމުތަކެއްގެ އިތުބާރާއި ޔަގީންކަން ދިވެހިރާއްޖެއަށް ލިބިގެން ދިއުމުން، ސާބިތުވެގެން މި ދިޔައީ، މުޅި ދުނިޔެ، މިއަދު ރާއްޖެ ބަލައިގެންފައިވާކަން. ރައީސުލްޖުމްހޫރިއްޔާ އިބްރާހީމް މުހައްމަދު ޞާލިހުގެ ޒަޢާމަތަށް މުޅި ދުނިޔެ ތަރުހީބު ދެމުންދާކަން. ރައީސް ޞާލިހުގެ ޚާރިޖީ ސިޔާސަތު ދުނިޔެ ޤަބޫލުކޮށްފައިވާކަން
މިއަދު މުޅި ދިވެހިރާއްޖެއަށް މި ލިބިގެންދިޔަ ފަޚުރަށްޓަކައި، މި ލިބިގެންދިޔަ ޝަރަފަށްޓަކައި، މި ލިބިގެންދިޔަ އިތުބާރަށްޓަކައި، އެންމެހައި ދިވެހި ރައްޔިތުންގެ ނަމުގައި ދުނިޔޭގެ ހުރިހައި ޤައުމަކަށް ހިފެހެއްޓުމެއްނެތި ޝުކުރު ދަންނަވަން
Translation (spoken in Dhivehi)
In the name of Allah, most gracious and merciful
President of the General Assembly Mr Volkan Bozkir
Secretary General of the United Nations Mr Antonio Guterres
Distinguished Permanent Representatives
And dear citizens of the Maldives.
Standing here today, as President-elect of this esteemed General Assembly of the United Nations….
…remembering the mighty Maldivian heroes who sacrificed their lives for the independence and sovereignty of the country…
…those who sacrificed their lives to ensure that the red, green and white Maldivian flag continues to fly proudly…
…drawing courage, from the many heroes who have worked, and who continue to work, to bring development, progress, and democracy to the Maldives…
…finding strength from the unyielding aspirations of the Maldivian people for a better, and brighter tomorrow…
…In our own mother tongue, Dhivehi…
…I am proudly speaking, on behalf of all Maldivians.
I offer thanks to the Almighty Allah, for bestowing this honour on the Maldives.
Winning the trust and confidence of the whole world with this vote, has proved that the whole world accepts the Maldives today. That the whole world supports the Government of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. That the world endorses President Solih’s foreign policy.
On behalf of all Maldivians, I offer our heartfelt gratitude, to the international community, for this proud honour, and the extraordinary trust you have placed in the Maldives.
Thank you. Thank you so much for your support. I am deeply humbled by the trust and confidence you have placed in me. Humbled by the honour you have bestowed on my country, the Maldives.
Today, as I stand here, I am reminded of my days as a young Foreign Service Officer. Ofcourse, a time I had much more hair on my head!
I remember walking through these halls. Walking into this chamber. Inspired by its history. Fascinated by the power of multilateralism. Convinced that multilateralism was the way forward.
We were, and we still are, a small Mission. With few diplomats. And even fewer resources. But our spirit has always been strong. Our belief, steadfast. We always remained on the moral high ground. We have always worked for a better tomorrow. Hoping for a better tomorrow.
This unrelenting spirit, this unyielding hope, THIS is the Maldivian way. The Maldivian ethos. One I am keen to bring in, with the Presidency of Hope. One, I believe, this Assembly needs right now.
We approach the seventy-sixth session, in challenging times. Disease, despair, and devastation have characterized the past year. Inequality, injustice, and instability have increased. The environment, the ocean, our planet, is suffering.
But we need to get moving again. Rebuild communities. Rescue the planet. Recover economies. And above all, restore HOPE.
We need to move to a different normal. My five rays of hope—my five priorities—are geared towards that.
My immediate priority will be Recovering from Covid19. Building on existing initiatives and approaches, I will be looking to address the health of our people and our economies. And work to ensure vaccine equity. We need to vaccinate the world. No one is safe, until everyone is safe.
We need to rebuild sustainably—our Decade of Action will now also have to be | a Decade of Recovery. Focused on building back better, building back stronger, and building back greener and bluer. Targeted interventions will be needed to ensure that no one | no country, is left behind.
I believe that the seventy-sixth session can be a “super session for nature”, with multiple conferences and meetings…
…such as COP26 on climate change,
…the Ocean Conference,
…COP15 biodiversity, and COP15 on desertification
…The energy dialogue,
…conferences on sustainable transport,
…and food systems
…there is momentum on responding to the needs of our planet.
Addressing the needs of our people is equally important. Ensuring that we respect the rights of all, mobilizing the collective will and conscience of humanity, is a process requiring constant work.
I will ensure more voice and space for youth in the General Assembly. I will raise my voice against gender discrimination. Advocate for gender equality. And here, I reiterate my pledge at the Interactive dialogue—As President of the General Assembly, I will not participate in any panels that are not gender balanced.
Addressing the demands of the day will most definitely require a stronger United Nations. A transparent, efficient, effective, and accountable United Nations. Coordination, coherence, and cooperation within the United Nations system, and between its organs. And so, we will need to continue working on revitalising the United Nations—building on our gains, exploring new avenues.
I have promised to be fully compliant with the Rules of Procedure, the Code of Ethics, to be guided by the Charter.
I have promised to be transparent, inclusive, and representative. In the past weeks, I interacted with all 193 Member States, shared my vision, listened to your views, and hopefully, addressed your questions.
I have promised to engage with civil society, and other relevant stakeholders. I truly believe that this enriches our debates at the United Nations. Add value to our discussions.
I have promised to bring the United Nations closer to the people—the people, whose interests we promote. On whose behalf we work. On whose behalf we speak. In the true embodiment of the Charter’s first three words, “We, the Peoples”.
I have promised a team at my Office, that is gender balanced, multi-national, with geographical diversity, including developed and developing countries, and various groups of countries.
I have promised to be independent and impartial.
I assure you; I am a man of my word. I will keep these promises. You can count on that.
I intend to get to work right away. Starting tomorrow, I will be working on finalising my team, firming up my calendar and initiatives, so that I can hit the ground running in September.
Today is a special day for the Maldives.
With the Assembly’s support, today, I become the first President elected from the Maldives in the UN’s 75 year history. In the 55 years since the Maldives became a UN member.
I become the sixth President from a Small Island Developing State – a step that I believe, brings us closer to true representation.
Mr President, Mr Secretary General. Thank you for your wise leadership here at the United Nations. I look forward to working with you and your teams in the next three months in preparation for the seventy-sixth session.
To my honourable colleague Dr Zalmai Rassoul. I thank you for your dignified conduct throughout this contest. I wish you the best in your service to your nation. As Islamic countries, as neighbours, friends and partners, we will always stand with Afghanistan.
I take this opportunity to extend my heartfelt gratitude to President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, for nominating me for this election to represent the Maldives. For his trust, and confidence in me.
This win today is truly an honour for all Maldivians, for the entire Maldives. And I receive this honour proudly, on behalf of the citizens of our proud country.
Around the world, my team – Team Khaarijee—continues to work, day and night, tirelessly, with conviction and passion. To deliver for our people, to make Maldivians proud. To our ambassadors and teams around the world, to our team at the Ministry in Malé, to our team here in New York, at the Permanent Mission, headed by the very able, the very excellent Ambassador Thilmeeza Hussain—thank you. You all have made the Maldives proud!
I would like to say a special thank you to State Minister Ahmed Khaleel. As young officers, State Minister Khaleel and I dreamt of one day, the Maldives presiding over the UN General Assembly. Today, I am so happy we are here together, bearing witness to this moment. Bearing witness to how far we have come.
On a personal note, I would be remiss, if I do not mention two persons who have guided and shaped my career, and that of many foreign service officers, and the entire foreign service. The longest serving foreign minister in South Asia, late Fathulla Jameel, and former cabinet Minister, and Foreign Secretary Mr Ibrahim Hussain Zaki. Today, I applaud them for their invaluable service, and thank them for their mentorship.
I would also like to thank my family, and my friends in the Maldives and around the world for their continued support during this journey, and every other chapter in my life.
We started this journey, many months ago. With an undying belief in multilateralism. With an ardent desire to serve the international community. With commitment, conviction, and courage. Dreaming of a Presidency that delivers – for people, for the planet, and for prosperity.
Today, we are here. Today, with your support, together with you, we rein in the Presidency of Hope. Today, my dear friends, is the beginning.
I thank you.