Since I became President, one of my key priorities for securing the future of the Maldives is combating the very real challenge of climate change and its effect on our nation. Climate change threatens our sustainable developmental aspirations, our principal economic sectors – tourism and fisheries, our fragile ecosystems and the very existence of our country itself.
While Maldives contributes to less than 0.01% to the global emission of greenhouse gases, we are at the frontline of the predicted impacts of climate change and sea level rise. Our tourist resorts, which on average are positioned approximately 1.5m above mean sea level, are already experiencing environmental damage, due to climate change-related trends and effects. In addition, initial impacts are already being felt on coastal infrastructure, fisheries, water resources, agriculture and human health.
The Maldivian economy has been impacted by natural disaster before, as the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami brought on an estimated direct loss of about US$298 million and total damages amounting to over US$470 million . The largest indirect losses occurred in the tourism sector due to the sharp decline in tourist arrivals following the incident.
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President Dr Mohamed Waheed has today met with the United States Congressional Staff delegation.
During the meeting held at the President’s Office this morning, the President highlighted the close and long existing relations between the two countries. He also expressed his gratitude to the continuous support offered to the Maldives by the US in the international forums.
The President further briefed the visiting delegation on the recent events that took place in the Maldives, and gave them an update on the progress made in resolving the political challenges. President Waheed also assured that the government was fully committed to upholding the Constitution and the rule of law.
Vice President Dr. Mohamed Waheed has launched the “I Control My Brain” drug prevention campaign initiated by Journey, an NGO dedicated in helping drug addicts in their recovery, and in raising public awareness on drug related issues. Continue reading “Vice President Launches Journey’s “I Control My Brain” Drug Prevention Campaign”
Vice President Dr Mohamed Waheed has said, in the Maldives, convincing people that drug use was a social and a medical problem remains a huge task.
Noting that, although it was easy to see drug use as a criminal issue, he said “if you really want to be serious and help this people to recover and to be reintegrated in to our communities, then we have to see from a social perspective.”
He made the remarks at the opening ceremony of South Asia Regional Training on Treatment and Rehabilitation for Treatment Professionals organized jointly by Colombo Plan, US Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs and UNODC.
Speaking on the drug issue in the South Asia region, the Vice President emphasized that drug use was directly related social, political and economic issues in the country.
He said drug use has become an increasingly “important issue in our region and public policy has a lot to do with that – distribution of wealth, condition of poverty, degradation and social marginalization all contribute to worsening drug situation.”
“Wherever it is, people resort to drugs because they want to escape from pain, from poverty, from suffering,” he added.
In his remarks this morning, the Vice President referred to the recommendations of a groundbreaking report on global drug situation by the Global Commission on Drug Policy.
He said the report that calls for major reforms of global drug prohibition regime, also echoed the calls for strengthening of services for health and treatment of drug users, which he said was the most important recommendation of the report.
The training workshop that began today in Bandos Island Resort and Spa will be held from 13 to 22 June.