Male’, Maldives – The UNICEF Resident Representative, Dr Mohamed El-Munir A.Safieldin paid his farewell call on President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih yesterday morning at the President’s Office.
President thanked the UNICEF Resident Representative for all he has done to protect and promote children’s rights during his tenure in the Maldives, especially over the past year, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. He also expressed his gratitude for UNICEF’s past and ongoing work to assist children in the Maldives, including through projects on child abuse awareness, internet safety for children, and child safety and nutrition
He expressed that he appreciated the exceptional leadership Dr Safieldin provided in overseeing these projects and that he is keen to work with the Representative’s successor to build on this progress. The President emphasized that protecting and promoting children’s rights in the Maldives is a key priority of his administration.
The President noted that in the past year, the Government has ratified a Child Rights Protection Act, which sets comprehensive standards for protecting children’s rights nationally. The Act is in alignment with key international legislation such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Optional Protocol to which the Government of Maldives acceded to last year.
In addition to this, the State has also created an independent Child Rights Ombudsperson’s Office tasked with overseeing government and social compliance with child rights principles and standards this year.
The UNICEF Resident Representative thanked the President for his remarks and congratulated the Government on the many initiatives it has taken in the past two years to strengthen children’s rights in the Maldives and the spirit of collaboration it has demonstrated towards working with UNICEF throughout.
He highlighted the Government’s efforts to eliminate plastic bottles in schools and for ratifying long overdue legislation such as the Child Rights Act and Juvenile Justice Act, which has transformed the child rights protection landscape in the Maldives.
He also praised the Government for its proactive and compassionate approach towards handling the Covid-19 pandemic. He said that UNICEF is proud to continue working with the Government of Maldives to progress children’s rights. He added that the success of UNICEF’s efforts would not be possible without the active support of the Government of Maldives, and he praised the commitment that President Solih and First Lady Fazna Ahmed have demonstrated towards child rights issues.
Ending the call, the President reiterated his gratitude for Dr Safieldin’s passion and dedication towards child rights issues and wished him well on his next assignment. The UNICEF Representative reciprocated President Solih’s warm sentiments and expressed his hope that the strong partnership between the Maldives and UNICEF would continue.