Vice President Dr. Mohamed Waheed, has paid a courtesy call on the United Nations Secretary-General, H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon yesterday.

Vice President used the opportunity to brief the Secretary-General on key priorities and development challenges of the new government. In this regard, Vice President underlined the Government’s commitment to strengthen the democratic governance. Vice President also briefed the Secretary-General on the Maldives’ efforts to lessen the impact of LDC graduation to ensure a smooth transition phase.

Turning to the human development and wellbeing of the Maldivians, Vice President noted the danger of high rates of narcotics abuse in the country. He expressed hope for working with the United Nations agencies to develop appropriate prevention and rehabilitation mechanisms.

Highlighting the negative impacts of global climate change, Vice President addressed the country’s plan to go carbon neutral. Vice President further said that Maldives aspires to be a good example in the international community on carbon neutrality.

At the meeting, the United Nations Secretary-General praised the Maldives for its leadership in advocating the concerns of SIDS at the global climate change dialogue. He also expressed hope for the Maldives active engagement in the global energy market and the forthcoming climate change negotiations to “seal a deal” in the Copenhagen.

Secretary-General also commended Maldives for the advancement in the democratic process and successful parliamentary elections held recently. He assured the Vice President that the United Nations is dealing with the Maldives in a broader way through a range of issues such as climate change, democratic process and on the sustainable development.

Vice President thanked the Secretary-General for the continued support extended to the Maldives in achieving a transition to democracy. He also expressed appreciation for the valuable assistance and cooperation rendered by the United Nations over the past decades for the development efforts in the Maldives.

The Secretary-General also congratulated Maldives for the appointment as a Vice-President of the 64th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

During Vice President’s visit to the United Nations yesterday, he also met with the senior officials of UNICEF and UNDESA to explore ways in which the Maldives and UN agencies can further strengthen cooperation on development challenges.