08 December 2016, Bali

Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Mohamed Asim said that “democracy will be resilient when it is able to propel inclusive economic democracy” and that the Government of President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom is striving to build that level of resilience in democracy in the Maldives. “Since coming in to office three years ago, the Government has embarked on a number of ambitious development projects which has already started transforming lives and livelihoods.”

Minister Asim said that the Government’s policy has resulted in “creating more and better employment, particularly to the youth, so that they have more stake in the society. Investing in infrastructure, so that growth becomes more inclusive and benefits are broadly shared. Most crucially, investing in institution building so that they too develop at the same pace as the rest of the society, so that challenges of democratisation becomes easier to overcome.”

“Building democratic resilience means being able to forge more meaningful international partnerships. The Maldives . . . is now completing our second consecutive term as a Member at the UN Human Rights Council, and we are proud of our active participation.  Small we may be as a country, but our voice has echoed across the halls of the Human Rights Council, advocating for gender equality, the rights of the disabled, and advocating for the rights of the oppressed and impoverished”.

“Democracy is a journey, not an event. Building resilience in democracy means building strengths; of the people, of the institutions, and of the State, to navigate safely in this promising journey. Maldivians have always been inspired by the ideals of democracy. The principles of equality, freedom, liberty, and justice have kept our faith in democracy”.

Minister Asim made these remarks while speaking at the Ninth Bali Democracy Forum (BDF IX), which is currently ongoing in Bali, Indonesia.