Malé, Maldives – Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih delivered a national statement at the 2nd “Summit for Democracy,” hosted by US President Joe Biden.
During his speech, President Solih called on the international community to recommit to democracy and emphasized that democracy requires constant renewal, adaptation, and innovation. He also highlighted the importance of the active participation and commitment of all stakeholders in the democratic process.
President Solih urged the international community to work together to create a better future for both current and future generations. He emphasized that democracy is an ongoing process that requires the continuous efforts of all those involved.
President Solih’s call for a renewed commitment to democracy was the centerpiece of his speech and set the stage for the rest of his address, in which he outlined the significant progress made by the Maldives since the first summit and the priorities of his administration for the future.
President Solih highlighted the significant progress made by the Maldives since the first summit in 2021, underscoring the importance of fiscal accountability and transparency in the effective functioning of a democracy.
To this end, his administration proposed two amendments to legislation to ensure greater independence for local councils and strengthen public procurement policies and audit mechanisms. The administration is also working towards performance-based budgeting.
President Solih noted that judicial reform is a priority for his administration, and public perception of the Maldives’ judiciary has improved significantly over the past four years, with more swift and transparent court proceedings in place.
An amendment to the Judicature Act has been proposed to parliament, which would establish district courts and the circuit system for greater efficiency and accessibility.
The President highlighted his administration’s efforts to promote gender equality and the inclusion of women in decision-making roles, with achievements such as appointing female justices to the Supreme Court, achieving gender parity in diplomatic representation, and increasing the number of women councillors in local government.
The administration’s Gender Equality Action Plan of 2022 aims to increase the representation of women in local government, corporate governance, parliament, and the judiciary.
President Solih also stressed the importance of a free and independent civil society for participatory democracy and stated that the administration-led Associations Act aims to empower civil society organisations financially.
He added that the introduction of an NGO portal will provide civil society organizations with access to information and resources to increase their collective capacity, and that threats to civil society organizations’ safety are detrimental to an open society in the Maldives.