President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, today, ratified the Maldives Foreign Service Act (Act no: 20/2021), which has now been published in the Government Gazette and will come into effect six months from the ratification date on 14 May 2022.
The Bill was passed by the Parliament at the 31st sitting of its third session of this year, on Wednesday, 27 October 2021.
The Maldives Foreign Service Act governs the establishment of a separate entity titled “Foreign Service” to implement the foreign policy of the Maldives and specifies its organisational structure, management policy, and matters relating to diplomatic cadre.
With the implementation of the Maldives Foreign Service Act, a completely separate institution called “Maldives Foreign Service” would be established.
The Act stipulates that the Maldives Foreign Service will embody the ministry and oversee all Maldivian missions and consular posts. The Act stipulates that the President is the highest authority tasked with overseeing and directing the Maldives’ foreign policy. It further states that the Minister, under guidance from the President, is authorized to manage the daily execution of the service.
The Act stipulates that a Foreign Secretary must be appointed, who shall assist the Minister in the execution of foreign service duties. It further states that the Foreign Secretary is the highest-ranking member of the Foreign Service staff and that all Foreign Service staff and outside staff working in similar positions must report to the Foreign Secretary. The President has the discretionary power of appointment or termination upon advice from the Minister.
The Act stipulates that the Maldives Foreign Service shall be established within 90 days of the Act’s coming into force and consist of executive service staff and general service staff. Furthermore, with the enactment of the Act, all the functions of the Foreign Service Institute under the Ministry will be transformed into an institute empowered under the Act.