Maldives participates in IORA’s Virtual Meeting of the Committee of Senior Officials (CSO) – Dialogue Partner Engagement on COVID-19

21 May 2020

A delegation from the Republic of Maldives participated in the Indian Ocean Rim Association’s (IORA) Virtual Meeting of the Committee of Senior Officials (CSO) – Dialogue Partner Engagement on COVID-19: Responses, Cooperation and Partnership today. The virtual meeting was convened under the chairmanship of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MOFAIC) of the United Arab Emirates and the IORA Secretariat. It brought together senior officials from IORA Member States and Dialogue Partners to discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and to explore tangible responses to cooperate and assist Member States in need. The meeting also provided the opportunity to share COVID-19 success stories and updates on policy measures taken at national levels, including challenges encountered during the implementation of policy responses.

The Maldives statement was delivered by His Excellency Dr. Asim Ahmed, Ambassador-at-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In his statement, Ambassador Asim briefed participants on the series of precautionary measures taken by the Government of Maldives to combat the spread of COVID-19, including the nation-wide lockdown, suspension of on-arrival visas, monitoring staple food stock, establishment of flu clinics across the country and stockpiling essential food items. He also emphasised the vulnerabilities of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) as a result of the ongoing pandemic and its dire effects on the Maldivian economy.

The Maldives called for accelerated regional and international cooperation in assisting the most vulnerable members of the organization, by providing urgent and much needed assistance such as necessary medical and protective equipment. The Maldives also called on dialogue partners to come forward and assist the country in longer-term economic recovery.Ambassador Asim was accompanied by Ms. Fathimath Najwa, Joint Secretary and Mr. Ahmed Salman Zaki, Assistant Director.IORA is a leading organisation in the Indian Ocean Region, providing a forum for Member States and Dialogue Partners to enhance socio-economic cooperation. IORA has 22 Member States and 10 Dialogue Partners. The Maldives formally joined IORA on 8 November 2019.