Minister Shahid thanks OACPS after Maldives becomes full member

Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid speaks at 10th Summit of Heads of State and Government of OACPS. (Photo/Foreign Ministry)

Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid has remarked that Maldives is proud to become a full member of the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), expressing gratitude to the organization for granting the opportunity.

Speaking at the 10th Summit of Heads of State and Government of OACPS – Minister Shahid, on behalf of President Ibrahim Mohamed, congratulated the President of Angola, Joao Lourenco, and people of Angola for successfully hosting the summit.

Noting that Maldives has become a full member of OACPS – Minister Shahid said that the African nations, Maldives’ immediate neighbours to the west, are bound together with common values, our hopes for a fairer, just, and peaceful world, as well as shared challenges.

He noted that as a Small Island State – Maldives was seeking a group of countries that acknowledged its special circumstances.

“As a vulnerable nation, we wanted to move closer to those who were willing to lend us a helping hand. That is why our decision to apply for full membership only felt natural. And now that we are here, the Maldives is ready to engage,” he added.

Minister Shahid also emphasized that Maldives did not just seek membership to reap its benefits.

“We have a compelling story. One that elevated us from being the 6th poorest country in the world at independence in 1965, to just the third country to graduate towards becoming a Middle-Income Country in 2011,” he had said.

Stressing that Maldives continues to steer through the dire global economic situation despite its inherent vulnerabilities – Minister Shahid said that Maldives has become a part of OACPS to contributes.

“We are here to contribute! To work with all of you to achieve our shared objectives. We will be a constructive and reliable partner.” he had said.

Maldivian government believes participation in the organization would strengthen Maldives' relations with Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific, and allow Maldives to play a larger role in international forums on issues of national interest, such as climate change, and secure funding for development projects.

It is also expected to contribute to improved cooperation between the OACPS and European Union institutions, easing negotiations for better prices for Maldivian fish exports and to obtain Schengen visas for travel.