Thank you, Madam President,
First of all, let me thank President Joe Biden, and the Government of the United States of America for convening this crucial summit and for extending an invitation to the Maldives.
We are witnessing the erosion of democracy from all corners of the globe. We are seeing the systemic withdrawal of human rights, suppression of dissidence, and subjugation of justice.
The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has further exacerbated the erosion of rights and hastened the decline in democratic rule across the globe.
Despite this, we are living through the longest period of relative peace in modern human history. This peace was in part achieved due to democratic values achieved by global leaders. It was also achieved through the sincere belief in the absolute gains that can be achieved through collaboration and cooperation among like-minded states. The Maldives, believes in the benefits that can be derived through international participation, cooperation and collaboration.
In order to build strong global institutions, we first need to build strong foundations. Building these strong foundations cannot be done unilaterally. We need cooperation from states that are committed to upholding the values of democracy.
We also need active civil society participation to hold states accountable. We must guarantee protections for the civil society so that they can conduct their work efficiently and freely.
The benefits of a democracy cannot be fully realised as long as there is inequality in the society. Especially, inequality between genders. I am happy to note that we have achieved gender parity among our Heads of Missions abroad - a testament to the progress we have achieved over the years. We have also, for the first time in the Maldives, held local government elections with designated seats for women, ensuring that they have an equal share in local decision-making. Since I took office, we have appointed the first female justices to the Supreme Court of the Maldives.
An impartial, free and fair judiciary is important to upholding democratic norms and values. We thank the Government of the United States of America and other international partners for their assistance to strengthen our judicial sector.
There is more work to be done, not just in the Maldives, but also around the globe. I call upon states to increase funding for strengthening democracies, to support good governance, and to bolster judicial reform, where it is needed.
I take this opportunity to once again thank all our international partners, who have supported us, stood by us, and guided us, on our journey as a democratic country. We look forward to working with you all in the future not only to strengthen democracy in the Maldives, but all over the world.