The Minister of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Abdulla Shahid, engaged in a high-level meeting on the humanitarian impact of combined conflict, climate & environmental risks held on the sidelines of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly on 25th September 2020. The meeting was co-hosted by Belgium, the European Union, the Republic of Niger and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
During discussions, the Minister noted that climate change is the “defining issue of our time” and has appealed to all global nationals to take conclusive action in addressing the pressing multinational issues related to climate change amidst the COVID-19. He claims that we are no longer in a position to ignore the humanitarian and security challenges that climate change presents to the world.
However, the Minister pointed out that a majority of countries most vulnerable to climates changes are simultaneously tackling with armed conflicts and its consequences. The long-lasting effects of such conflicts worsens the country’s’ ability to cope with climate changes and adapt to its consequences.
The world acted in utmost agency to respond to the outbreak of COVID-19. The Minster has advised that the global community should work towards taking similar measures to address climate change even in the mist of COVID-19 pandemic.
Maldivian community is exemplary in consideration of challenging the impacts of climate change as people who involved in the work are not just stakeholders, but also voluntary distress citizens advocating matters surrounding climate change. An illustration of this is a strike held exactly one year ago today, a collaboration of concerned Maldivians, in order to urge the government to meet their demands that were presented as solutions to various pressing climate change issues faced by the country.