Foreign Service bill to be completed during 3rd session of 2021

MP of Vilimale' constituency Ahmed Usham | Photo: Maldives Parliament

Malé, Maldives – The Parliamentary Committee investigating the bill on establishing a separate foreign service has announced that the bill will be finalised during the 3rd parliamentary session of 2021.

The Foreign Service bill to establish a foreign Service in Maldives, separating the staff working in the foreign affairs sector from the Civil Service Commission was presented to the Parliament and debated on at Monday’s Parliamentary sitting.

The bill was sponsored by MP of Henveyru South Constituency Hussain Shaheem. The ratification of this bill will lead to the separation of the Foreign Affairs sector from the Civil Service Commission.

The purpose of the bill is to assist the President in maintaining Foreign relations with other countries while respecting the independence and security of the nation. The Foreign Service will include a team of professionals working to establish and execute the foreign policy in the Maldives. Separate staff working in the sector will be employed to the service.

AG Office detailed the cause of requesting to submit the Foreign Service bill and stated that it is to establish Foreign Service in Maldives. The AG Office stated that under this bill, rules will be created on how to maintain the service along with all the necessary guidelines needed for the employees in that service.

With this Foreign Service bill, AG Office stated that the Foreign Policy of Maldives will get stronger and a professional foreign service cadre will be created after receiving special education, talents and experience on an international level to maintain quality.

Speaking at Friday’s Committee meeting, MP of Inguraidhoo Constituency Hassan Ahmed proposed to open up the bill for public opinion until next Sunday. However, MP of Villifushi Constituency Hassan Afeef said that this is a big bill and will need more time for investigation. MP Afeef requested for the bill to be finalised for August 15, during the 3rd session as the 2nd session of 2021 ends next Thursday.

Objecting to this, MP of Villimalé Constituency Ahmed Usham said that as August 15 is the date for the reopening of the Parliament for the 3rd session, it will be difficult to work on the bill during the holiday. This is why, he requested for the bill to be finalised for August 23 and open up the bill for public opinion upto July 15.

In addition to opening the bill for public opinion, the committee has also decided to get the opinion of the Foreign Ministry, Finance Ministry, Attorney General’s Office as well as the Civil Service Comission.

Several members supported the bill to establish a separate Foreign Service. However, some members noted certain aspects which could be amended in the bill.