Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Ahmed Khaleel delivered the Maldives’ statement at the 78th Session of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) on Monday, in Bangkok, Thailand. State Minister delivered the statement under the agenda item 2 (a) General debate: “A common agenda to advance sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific”.
In his remarks, State Minister Khaleel drew attention to how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected lives, and noted that despite the debilitating impact of the pandemic, the saying that “every cloud has a silver lining” is true. He positively noted that this pandemic gave the Maldives the opportunity to improve its healthcare system. However, he also noted that the pandemic served as a reminder that no one is safe until we are all safe. In this regard, he stressed on Maldives’ full support for declaring vaccines as a global public good with equitable access to all.
State Minister Khaleel also drew attention to the urgent measures needed to tackle global warming, in order to avert the impending climate catastrophe, and stressed the importance of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius in line with the Paris Agreement. He also noted that the target is still achievable but only with immediate and deep emission reductions across all sectors. As noted by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih at the 26th Session of the Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC held in Glasgow “if the rise in temperature remains unchecked at 1.5 and jumps to 2 degrees; that would be a death sentence for the Maldives”.
In his statement, State Minister Khaleel conveyed a message to the UNESCAP on the occasion of its 75th anniversary , congratulating the Commission and its secretariat for the valuable and substantial contribution made by the Commission to the development of the Asia Pacific region over the past 75 years.
State Minister Khaleel was accompanied by Ms. Huda Ali Shareef, Permanent Representative of Maldives to the UN ESCAP, Mr. Ahmed Shiaan, Additional Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ms. Fathimath Razana, First Secretary at the Embassy of Maldives in Thailand, Ms. Aishath Fareena, Assistant Director at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Ms. Fathimath Hanan Rasheed, Second Secretary at the Embassy of Maldives in Thailand.