Vice President Faisal Naseem, Chief Justice Honourable Uz. Ahmed Muathasim Adnan, Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid, Honourable Ministers, Honourable Members of Parliament, Diplomatic Corps of the Maldives, and all those present here today.
Today will be celebrated as a momentous day in our diplomatic history. The fact that one of the most important government ministries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has dedicated the name of their building to the late Uz. Fathulla Jameel, recipient of The Most Honourable Order of the Distinguished Rule of Nishan Izzuddeen, is truly an appreciation of his service.
There are two reasons for dedicating the Ministry of Foreign Affairs building to the Late Fathulla Jameel. First, it is to give recognition to the 27 years and 4 months he dedicated to building and developing the Maldives’ Foreign Service at a national level.
The second reason is to represent the relationship between the Late Honourable Fathulla Jameel and the building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Under the careful guidance and advice of the late Honourable Fathullah Jameel, this building was designed to represent our distinct Maldivian identity and our standing in the world.
Which is why I believe it is important to cherish his dreams through this building. 43 years ago, from 1978 for 27 years, he represented the Maldives on the international level and elevated our status in his role as the Foreign Minister of the country.
The old Foreign Ministry building that stood here was demolished and rebuilt in 2005 with the grant aid of the Chinese Government. And since 2019, this building has undergone repairs with the generosity of the Chinese Government. Therefore, on behalf of the Government and the people of the Maldives, and on my own behalf, I would like to thank the President of China, His Excellency Xi Jinping and the friendly people of China.
Even through the struggles of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Chinese Ambassador in the Maldives ensured that the repairs of the building continued on without any interruptions in between. Which is why I would like to thank the then Chinese Ambassador to the Maldives, His Excellency Zhang Lizhong, the employees of the Embassy as well as the Shanghai Construction Group of China.
The 56 years we have spent as an independent nation, our foreign policy has focused on protecting our independence, peace and stability in a way that privileges the sanctity of human rights. Our top national interests are built on the foundation of these values.
As the Foreign Minister of the Maldives, The late Honourable Fathulla Jameel prioritized maintaining these values by advocating for these issues on an international level. Today, the Maldives has gained the trust and loyalty internationally because of his hard work and commitment.
Even today, we have continued to maintain this policy. The Maldives will always advocate for every country to maintain their independence and sovereignty. Maldives will always advocate for issues related to climate change and the environment, and protecting the rights of all without discrimination. Maldives will always prioritize and maintain the values and rights of democracy and peace.
The current policies adopted in the Maldives have been well-received around the world. Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid’s landslide election as the 76th President of the United Nations General Assembly, is a clear testimony of his remarkable role on the international stage to showcase the strides the Maldives has made in upholding these policies.
Congratulations Minister Abdullah Shahid, on your election. On behalf of the people of the Maldives, I wish to thank you for your comprehensive efforts to elevate the country’s stature and leverage internationally.
When my Government took office, the Maldives had been alienated from the international community for five years, risking our independence and sovereignty. One of the top priorities of my Government was therefore to safeguard the independence of the Maldives, while securing the safety and security of the Maldivian people.
The international community today agrees on the importance of fully safeguarding the independence of nations. The election of our Foreign Minister to the presidency of the United Nations General Assembly signals that the global society accepts the role played by us within the community of sovereign nations.
I welcome the efforts of Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid and his Foreign Service team to mobilize the support of the international community for our foreign policy. I am confident that our diplomatic corps will continue to do a remarkable job to further illuminate our name on the international stage.
Once our ongoing efforts to develop the Foreign Service is complete, the Service will be strengthened to new heights. The ratification of the Foreign Service Bill will enable the Ministry’s staff to execute their duties with even more professionalism, independence and accountability.
The ratification of the Foreign Service Bill will ease our efforts to ensure that our top national interests are upheld and that our independence and sovereignty are protected within the international community. The most significant change to the Foreign Service that will follow from the Bill is the added opportunities to develop a skilled and educated workforce, enabling you to offer your services with much greater calibre.
Despite the hindrances posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Foreign Service has been tirelessly working to assist Maldivians residing abroad and to garner international support to our recovery efforts. On behalf of the people of the Maldives, I thank the Foreign Service for their hard work. I always wish your team every success.
I pray upon Almighty Allah to bless the efforts of the Foreign Service of the Maldives to protect and strengthen the independence and sovereignty of the Maldives and enhance our nation’s respect and honour in the eyes of the international community. May Almighty Allah bestow upon us the strength to sustain our diplomatic relations in a manner that protects our highest national interests.