President Abdulla Yameen is likely to skip the UN General Assembly in New York for a second consecutive year.
Yameen was scheduled to address the UNGA for the first time since his election on October 1. But Ibrahim Muaz Ali, the president’s spokesman, refused to comment if Yameen would be traveling to the US after his ongoing trip to Saudi Arabia.
“The media will be informed in due time,” he said.
The president and First Lady Fathimath Ibrahim are in Mecca for the Hajj for the second year running. Former President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan represented the Maldives at the UNGA last year.
The 70th regular session of the UNGA opened in New York on September 15. It concludes on October 6.
This general assembly will see the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda, the follow-up to the UN’s millennium development goals which were set in 2000 with a completion date of this year.
Opposition aligned Raajje TV claims Yameen is scheduled to travel to Bangalore in India on September 29. He is due to return to Malé on October 4. It has published a confidential travel itinerary. The Maldives Independent was unable to obtain a comment at the time of going to press.
The Maldives marked fifty years of membership with the UN on Monday (September 21).
“Maldivian people are proud of our contribution to the United Nations, to the efforts to give meaning to We the peoples of the United Nations, the very first words of the UN Charter,” Yameen said in a statement in English.
“During the last fifty years, we stood for the voiceless. We championed the cause of Palestine. We highlighted the dangers of climate change. We helped to identify the undeniable link between the full enjoyment of human rights and environmental degradation. We introduced the concept of security of small states at the UN, and we continue to be the leading voice on that theme. And we call on the world leaders for actions on these issues to realize our common destiny.”
The main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) slammed Yameen’s human rights record, noting in particular the jailing of former President Mohamed Nasheed, and urged the government to abide by the UN charter.