6 February 2016, New York: At the fifty-fifth meeting of the Commission on Social Development, the theme of which was "Strategies for eradicating poverty to achieve sustainable development for all", held on 1-10 February 2017 at United Nations Headquarters in New York, the Maldives called attention to the key role of human capital development to eliminating poverty and realizing sustainable development.
Speaking at the meeting, Permanent Representative of Maldives to the United Nations, Ambassador Ahmed Sareer shared his country's experiences in poverty reduction as an example of how states, particularly Small Island Developing States (SIDS) can effectively tailor poverty-reduction and inclusive growth policies to the needs and realities of their national contexts. As a country where young people comprise a large share of the population, priority has been given to the improvement of education, the creation of employment opportunities for youth, and encouraging youth entrepreneurship, noted the Ambassador. The Maldives also highlighted the attention given by the Government to gender parity and to implement policies that support women's ability to work.
Ambassador Sareer further noted that size, geographical disparity and narrow economic base make SIDS like the Maldives exceptionally vulnerable to external shocks and more prone to disruption in their development trajectory. He therefore emphasized that there could not be a one-size-fits-all approach to eradicating poverty, and strategies needed to be adapted to national contexts and people-oriented in order for meaningful progress to be made towards achieving sustainable development.