In the name of God, Almighty اللهُ سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى The most merciful, the most compassionate, the lord of endless creations. Peace be upon Prophet مُحَمَّدُ رَسُوْلُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ his family and his companions.
Minister of Gender, Family and Social Services Aishath Mohamed Didi; Dr Ahmed Anwar, Rector of Villa College; Dr Ali Najeeb, Vice Rector; Deputy Vice Rector and Conference Chair; esteemed speakers, distinguished panellists, and participants.
And a very good afternoon to you all.
It is my great honour my pleasure to join you today at the closing ceremony of this 'International Conference on Social Research and Innovation.' The conference has brought together researchers and innovators from around the world to share ideas and work on how to positively impact society. I am confident that the work done here will lead to new innovative solutions to some of the world's most pressing challenges.
The theme of the conference, 'Breakthrough to Excellence: Achieving a Networked Community,' is a timely and important one. Today's world faces numerous complex social challenges, such as climate change, poverty, and inequality. We must collaborate with each other and the international community to address these challenges.
A community share knowledge and expertise and develop innovative solutions to the problems that we faced today. Any one person or organisation cannot solve these challenges alone. We can address many of the challenges we face today by collaborating with each other. This can help us identify and prioritise the most pressing challenges, develop new innovative solutions, and implement these solutions more effectively.
Climate change is one such challenge for the Maldives. The country is low-lying and has a high risk of sea level rise, extreme weather events, and coral bleaching. President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih's Administration is working to mitigate the effects of climate change through a range of measures, including investing in renewable energy, reducing reliance on fossil fuels, and investing in coastal protection measures. The measures will help protect the Maldives from the impacts of climate change and build a more sustainable future.
As a small island nation with limited resources, we also face a growing waste problem. The Administration launched the Greater Malé Waste to Energy Project to address this challenge. This project will convert waste into electricity, reducing our reliance on imported fuel. We can protect our environment and improve our quality of life by developing new waste management facilities and promoting recycling.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Our Administration is also making numerous efforts to improve education and build human capital. These efforts include launching a free degree programme, which has enrolled over 17,000 students, and building junior colleges and technical and vocational education and training centres across the country. These initiatives will help develop future generations and equip today's youth to become the Maldives' future leaders.
Scientific research and policy development should align with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and drive progress towards their objectives. For example, the Administration unveiled a Gender Equality Action Plan in 2022. The policy promotes gender equality in all the areas of the society, including education, employment, and health.
The policy is designed to help us achieve our goal of gender equality. By aligning with the SDGs, scientific research and policy development can help drive progress towards a more sustainable and equitable future.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I want to close with a message to our youth. We are all responsible for protecting our planet and ensuring better lives for our communities, nation, and the world. We must act now to protect our planet and our future.
We can use research and innovation to develop new technologies that will help us reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, conserve energy, and protect our environment. We must also do our part to preserve our planet by reducing our consumption of energy and resources, recycling and composting, and supporting sustainable businesses. Together, we can create a better future for our planet and our children.
I want to thank Villa College for hosting this important conference. I would also like to thank the researchers and innovators who have shared their ideas and insights. I am confident that the work that has been done here will have a positive impact on society.
I would once again would like to give a special thanks to the Rector Dr Ahmed Anwar, the Chairmen of Villa College, and the whole management team of Villa College for its efforts to advance in the education and preparing a better youth for tomorrow.
We all believe that this is a nation that we work together to face all these challenges and we very much appreciate the initiatives that has to be taken by specially the private institutions, to bring the whole Maldives together in to prepare better a society for tomorrow.
Our Administration is very much committed in supporting these initiatives and helping the private educational institutions. These initiatives are essential for the betterment of our society.
I thank you all.