Foreign Minister Shahid Renews Call for Strengthened Multilateral Cooperation at Forum of Small States (FOSS)

10 June 2020

Minister of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Abdulla Shahid today participated in the Virtual High-Level Forum to pre-launch the report of The Elders on Multilateralism, and to Commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the signing of the UN Charter, entitled “The UN Charter at 75: Multilateralism in a Fragmented World”. The High-Level Forum was organized by the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Singapore to the United Nations, in its capacity as convener of the Forum of Small States (FOSS), in partnership with The Elders and the Office of the Special Advisor to the Secretary-General on the Preparations for the Commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations. 

In his remarks delivered at the High-Level Forum, Minister Shahid recalled how all countries, big or small, have benefitted from multilateralism and a rules-based international order. As a Small Island Developing State, Minister Shahid said, Maldives has always believed that effective multilateralism will lead to enhanced cooperation to find solutions to the global issues of the day. He further called on Member States of the UN to accelerate efforts to achieve the universally agreed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as we enter the ‘Decade for Action’.

Minister Shahid further emphasised the importance of strong, collective action required during the recovery phase of the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic. The pandemic has tested multilateral institutions and their ability to respond. Therefore, Minister Shahid reaffirmed that post-COVID-19 recovery efforts calls for more multilateral cooperation, and a further strengthening of multilateral institutions to respond to contemporary global challenges.

During this event, Her Excellency Mary Robinson, Chair of The Elders, former President of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, pre-launched the new report and recommendations by the The Elders on “Strengthening Multilateralism, the Rule of law and the Role of the UN”. Moreover, several foreign ministers, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, and the President of the UN General Assembly delivered statements in the event.

The Forum of Small States (FOSS) is an informal grouping of small states established by Singapore in New York. Membership of FOSS is non-ideological and non-geographic. The Maldives has benefitted from being a member of FOSS as it provides a platform to discuss issues of concern for small states.