President: Decentralized approach key to solving social issues

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih attends the Civil Society Awards on June 8, 2023. (Photo/President's Office)

Resolving the social issues facing Maldives requires for civil society to take a decentralized approach and address issues facing individual islands, states President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

He made the remark in his address at a function on Thursday night to present the first Civil Society Awards.

In his address, President Solih highlighted pressing social issues in Maldives, including drugs, gang-related crimes, domestic issues, violence against women and children, and environmental issues.

President Solih said that punishment alone isn’t enough to stop such crimes, and that solving the crimes require addressing the core causes for such crimes.

He stressed the role of civil society in solving such issues.

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih attends the Civil Society Awards on June 8, 2023. (Photo/President's Office)

He said that like the government’s management of the Covid-19 pandemic, the biggest strength in solving social issues lies with the scattered geographic composition of Maldives.

“It will be easier to solve social issues if we take this approach. And it will be easier to produce a positive outcome if the civil society in islands play a proactive role. There is an urgent need for civil society islands to take a proactive role to fight social issues. There are numerous organizations involved in social fields. There are so many organizations in various fields operating in Male’ and across the country,” he said.

President Solih stressed the importance of making solving social issues a key objective of civil society.

The happy life the Maldivian people want to live, the peaceful environment we want to see, and the smile we want to smile, this is all linked to addressing social issues, he said.

President Solih said the Maldivian people will not be able to enjoy the economic progress, and developments in the health and education sectors unless social issues are solved.

First Lady Fazna Ahmed attends the Civil Society Awards on June 8, 2023. (Photo/President's Office)

He said the launch of the Civil Service Award is an opportune time for the civil society to expand its role in solving social issues.

At Thursday’s function, President Solih presented awards to the recipients of the Civil Society Awards, and the First Lady Fazna Ahmed presented award letters to the recipients of the NGO grants.

Meanwhile, Vice President Faisal Naseem launched the "Mees Portal”, developed by the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment to digitalize registration and other services for sports clubs, civil society, and national sports associations.

The Civil Society Awards aims to foster social empowerment, encourage proactive engagement by civil society, raise awareness about pressing social issues, and recognize and acknowledge the invaluable contributions of civil society.