Male', 17 September 2015; The Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Ms Dunya Maumoon has withdrawn her acceptance of an invitation to participate in a ‘side event’ organised by Amnesty International and due to take place on 17 September at the Human Rights Council.
The acceptance has been withdrawn as a result of the proposed panel make-up and the likely ramifications as a result.
The invitation was initially accepted on the basis that it would provide an opportunity for relevant issues to be aired and discussed. It is clear however that this will not be possible.
The Government of Maldives supports open and fair debate and dialogue and welcomes the opportunity to participate in events where this is possible. However, given the other proposed participants and the recent comments made by opposition party members and their supporters, there is significant potential for the event to become politicised.
Side events at the Human Rights Council serve a useful purpose and the Government of Maldives supports such events without question. It would, however, not be appropriate to take part in such event when there is little chance for issues to be discussed openly and objectively.
It would be inappropriate for a member of the Government to take part in such an event when there is a clear pre-conceived agenda to be advanced by other panel members who would see such an event as opportunity for political posturing rather than engagement.
It is therefore with regret that the decision to not attend must be taken.