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News in brief: MRM inaugural congress and Maldives membership of IORA

Maldives became a member of the Indian Ocean Rim Association.



Maldives Reform Movement holds inaugural congress

The Maldives Reform Movement led by former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom held its inaugural congress on Thursday night. Delegates chose Gayoom as interim president, approved a green and gold logo, passed a charter and elected members for an interim executive committee, youth council and women’s council.

Gayoom decided to form MRM after losing a bid to regain leadership of the Progressive Party of Maldives. He was expelled from the PPM after a power struggle with former president Abdulla Yameen and jailed on charges of attempting to remove his half-brother from power.

Maldives becomes member of IORA

The Maldives became the newest member of the 22-nation Indian Ocean Rim Association after Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid signed an instrument of acceptance to formalise membership at a council of minister’s meeting in Abu Dhabi last Thursday.

In a statement delivered at the meeting, Shahid observed that IORA priority areas such as maritime security, blue economy, illegal fisheries, terrorism and trafficking in persons and arms were important priorities for the Maldives domestically as well, pledging to cooperate more closely with partners to find sustainable and practical solutions.

IORA was established in 1997 and has its headquarters in Mauritius. In addition to 22 member states, IORA has nine dialogue partners or observers. The Maldives first applied to become a member state of IORA in 2017 and was approved during the  council of ministers in 2018.

First lady inaugurates STEM FEST 2019

First Lady Fazna Ahmed inaugurated the first-of-its-kind Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics festival in the capital’s suburb Hulhumalé on Friday evening.

The two-day STEM FEST was organised by the non-profit NGO Women in Tech Maldives to serve as “a platform for young people working in the field to showcase their talents, vendors to showcase STEM-related products and services, create awareness in the community regarding the products and opportunities available in the area, and encourage and inspire young girls to join the field of science and technology,” according to the president’s office.

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