The United Nations should stay engaged in facilitating a political dialogue between the Government of Maldives and the opposition parties, said a senior UN political official on the heels of a two-day visit to the island nation.
During his meetings with President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom and other key leaders there, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Miroslav Jenca cited the UN’s readiness to continue the facilitation process, depending on the developments on the ground and the willingness of the parties.
Mr. Jenca also underscored the importance of building trust, including through strengthening independent democratic institutions and reforming the judiciary during the meetings, which revealed that the UN “is a trusted partner for all parties.” The UN official also welcomed the President’s recent invitation to all parliamentarian parties for political talks, a call reiterated by the President during the meeting.
He also met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Dunya Maumoon and discussed, regional cooperation in South Asia, preparations for the World Humanitarian Summit, irregular migration and refugee flows, as well as the fight against terrorism and violent extremism.
His itinerary included meetings with Attorney General Mohamed Anil, Minister for Legal Affairs Azima Shakoor, Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed, the judges of the Supreme Court, the Human Rights Commission, civil society organisations and representatives of the diplomatic community.
Mr. Jenca also conducted separate meetings with all parliamentary political parties, members of both the ruling coalition and the opposition, namely Adhaalath Party (AP), Jumhooree Party (JP), Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), Maldivian Development Alliance (MDA), and Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM).
The senior UN political official’s visit took place at the invitation of the Government of Maldives as a follow up to the request made last year by President Yameen to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to assist the Government on dialogue with the opposition political parties.
Mr. Jenca conveyed appreciation for Maldives’ commitment to the work of the UN in its 50 years of membership, citing the island nation’s role in such important global issues such as the adoption and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the climate change pact, known as Paris Agreement.