His Excellency President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has participated in the SDG Business Forum Discussion: Scaling Ambition, held today as part of the ongoing 74th annual session of the United Nations General Assembly. During the forum, President Solih answered questions pertaining to the specific threats the Maldives confronts as a small island state and elaborated on the Maldives’ recently announced partnership with Parley for the Oceans.  

Answering questions regarding the threats the Maldives confronts as an island nation, the President highlighted Climate Change; Illegal Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) fishing, which could deplete crucial fish stocks; and plastic pollution. To address that final threat, the Maldives has decided to partner with Parley for the Oceans, as he made clear in his answer to the second question which enquired regarding that partnership. The President praised Parley’s AIR Strategy – which entails Avoiding plastic; Intercepting its proliferation with the environment; Redesigning products so that they are comprised of eco-friendly materials – as a holistic and apt solution to the plastic problem in the Maldives.

The President has made Maldives’ dedication to spearheading global climate action clear by announcing a far-reaching and ambitious countrywide plastics phase-out plan by the year 2023. This plan is one of the most comprehensive plastics phase-out plan announced by any nation thus far and is a part of Maldives’ ‘Climate Smart Resilient Islands (CSRI)’ - a replicable solution to combat climate change and provide sustainable development for Small Island Developing States (SIDS). The President has also announced that the Maldives will enter into a partnership with the Blue Prosperity Coalition on an equally ambitious blue economy plan that aims to preserve marine areas and conserve ocean resources. 

The final question at the forum enquired upon what the significance is that the Maldives is the first ‘Parley Future Island Nation’. In the President’s answer, he made clear that this is an accolade that reflects the Maldives’ bold and unprecedented efforts to build a blue economy; one that is tailored to ensure economic growth in harmony with the preservation of Maldives’ ocean’s natural bounty and pristine beauty. 

“The Maldives’ brand is becoming synonymous with eco-innovation, showing our commitment to take care of our oceans; preserving its resources and appeal for our millions of tourist visitors every year and towards fulfilling our responsibilities towards future generations,” the President said. 

The Business Forum provides a unique multi-stakeholder platform to support business action and partnerships to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – fostering public-private dialogues, catalysing new partnerships and alliances, and exploring innovative business solutions to accelerate sustainable development. 

Scaling Ambitions is the second panel of the Forum, highlighting companies that have gone 'above and beyond' the call of duty. The speakers at the panel are notable leaders in their field working to go the extra mile towards achieving UN SDGs, including the founder of Parley for the Oceans, Mr Cyrill Gutsch, the Chief Legal Officer of Google LLC, Mr Kent Walker, and the Chief Executive Officer of Agrolibano, Ms Pamela Molina Sierra.