31 July 2021

Maldives’ Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid won the Presidency of the 76th UNGA.

Foreign Minister of Maldives Abdulla Shahid won the Presidency of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). This is for the first time in the history of the United Nations (UN), Maldives will hold the office of President at the UNGA. Abdulla Shahid’s victory at the UNGA Presidential election is a “proud accomplishment” and “a step forward in elevating the country’s stature on the global stage”.

On 30 April this year, Abdulla Shahid declared his vision statement titled “A Presidency of Hope: Delivering for People, Planet and Prosperity” where he outlined his priorities for the UNGA during 2021-22. Minister Shahid talked about five “rays of hope” in his vision statement: Recovering from COVID19, Rebuilding Sustainably, Responding to the Needs of the Planet, Respecting the Rights of All, and Reforming the UN. Abdulla Shahid is committed to delivering the “Presidency of Hope”. In this endeavour, he looked for the support of all the members of the UNGA.

Maldives’ decision to join the UN in 1965, immediately after its independence, sparked a debate on how a “microstate”, could possibly contribute to the organisation. Over the years, Maldives has cleared all the doubts by raising its voice on issues of concern and playing a prominent role in the UN as well as in the other multilateral organisations including the Commonwealth.

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