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Statement by the Commonwealth Secretary-General on Maldives

7 December 2012
“The Commonwealth remains committed to working with the Government of Maldives to strengthen national institutions, to advance the Commonwealth’s values and principles, and to inclusive and credible elections in 2013,” Commonwealth Secretary-General, Kamalesh Sharma, said today.

The Secretary-General was speaking following a teleconference with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Maldives, Dr Abdul Samad Abdullah, on 6 December 2012.

Mr Sharma welcomed the Foreign Minister’s advice that the Government of Maldives looked forward to an early visit by the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy, Sir Donald McKinnon.

Mr Sharma reaffirmed the Commonwealth’s commitment to work with the Government of Maldives and other international partners in taking forward reform of key public institutions, and in implementing a programme of practical collaboration.

The Secretary-General also welcomed the Foreign Minister’s assurance of the Government’s commitment to implementing the recommendations of the Commission of National Inquiry and looked forward to all the recommendations being advanced meaningfully. “It continues to be important that there is even-handed implementation of all the recommendations in the Report of the Commission of National Inquiry, including investigations into allegations of police brutality and acts of intimidation,” the Secretary-General said.

The Secretary-General emphasised that the Presidential elections in 2013 should be inclusive and credible, with political space and a level-playing field for all political parties and actors, and appreciated the commitment conveyed to him by the Minister in this regard. The Secretary-General underlined the importance to the Commonwealth of constructive political dialogue towards this end.