Foreign Minister: Regaining trust biggest achievement

Maldivian Foreign Minister and President of the 76th UNGA, Abdulla Shahid. (Photo/Xinhua)

Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid on Wednesday stated that the biggest win for Maldivian foreign affairs was regaining trust within the international community.

During an interview with Sun, the Foreign Minister said that when this administration stepped into power, Maldives was very much alone in the international arena.

“Today, Maldives has become a country whose word and assurances are accepted by the entire world. Hence, as Maldivians today we have the right to be proud.”

He stated that improving international relations have been providing numerous benefits to Maldives.

In this regard, he noted that the international aid Maldivives received during the battle to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking about his recently expired term as the 76th President of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Shahid described the respect all the countries had towards Maldives to be one of the most different things felt.  

He went on to state that this opportunity for a Maldivian was one that allowed the country to be promoted as a global leader.

“Today, when those countries will be reminded of ‘The Presidency of Hope’ when then hear Maldives.”

Shahid led his term as UNGA President under the theme “Presidency of Hope”, built on Five Rays of Hope, namely: recovering from Covid, rebuilding sustainability, responding to the needs of the planet, respecting the rights of all, and revitalizing the UN.

Responding to questions on the opposition’s rumours that Shahid attained such a high-level position with the influence of India, he said that all the nations sending messages highlighting and thanking him for the work during his tenure alone was proof that he was not leaning towards one particular nation.

“That is hate speech. They are saying all that because there is nothing else to talk about. Maldivians nor the world believes that anymore.”

On Tuesday, September 13, Shahid delivered his final remarks at the closing session of the 76th Session of the UNGA.

During the address, he spoke about a number of things, including expressing gratitude towards all that assisted him during his term and supported his endeavours, working during Covid, some of his victories as well as the hard work of the team at the Foreign Ministry.

Shahid was elected as UNGA President on September 14, 2021. He secured the position by contesting against the Foreign Minister of Afghanistan Zalmai Rassoul. Shahid garnered 143 to, Rossoul’s 48.

This marked the first time a Maldivian was elected to such a high position in an international body.