Statement delivered by 

Mr Ahmed Nasir, First Secretary 

on Sports as an Enabler of Sustainable Development 

3 December 2018 

Thank you Mr President,  

The Maldives is proud to have co-cosponsored the Resolution entitled, “Sports as an Enabler of Sustainable Development”. As the Resolution reiterates, sports have the extraordinary ability to unite peoples, to overcome differences, to promote equality, and to help maintain the physical health of the society. These are some of the key values that informs our approach to sustainable development in general, and sdgs in particular, especially Goals 3, 4, 5, 16, and 17.   

Sports, especially the Olympic ideal, have helped to create equality and level-playing field to bring out the best in humanity. The Maldives is proud to be an active participant in the Olympic movement. Maldivian athletes took the great leap forward by participating in the Olympic Games for the first time in 1988. It was truly a “one moment in time”, not only for those who participated, but for generations of youth, whom the Games inspired as a transformative event.  

The Government of Maldives has prioritised sports as an instrument of youth development and to promote a healthy population, and to realise the full potential of the youth in the country. The Maldives enacted its first Sports Act in September 2015. The legislation aims to assist the promotion of competitive sports and cultural activities at international, national, and island levels. It also outlines policies and guidelines to facilitate sports development with community level participation.  

That is why we pioneered the implementation of the Security Council Resolution 2250. The Maldives, in collaboration with undp, held an official ceremony in the Maldives in August 2016 to launch the implementation of the Resolution, becoming the first country to do so in the Asia-Pacific region.   

The new Government of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, since assuming office on 17 November, continues to make significant investments in sports infrastructure and inclusive opportunities for all. Within President Solih’s 100-Day Agenda, the Government has made it a priority to designate a sports councillor in all islands, to eliminate the wage difference between men and women’s national sports teams, and to encourage female participation in sports to challenge traditional gender stereotypes. The investments in sports will, no doubt, allow the youth to develop leadership skills and provide them with support networks outside their homes.   

It is imperative, therefore, to empower the growing population of youth to be active citizens in their communities that will foster economic and social progress. Sports programmes coordinated by the un, government agencies and non-governmental organisations have been found to facilitate sustainable development and peaceful coexistence. It is encouraging to see the role sports in peace and development reflected in all 17 agenda items in the 2030 Agenda, and see this in action in countries around the world.

The Maldives has been making steady progress in regional and international competitions in various sports. Our women and men’s teams have performed quite well in recent months. The successes have helped to galvanise the youth in the country, and created more opportunities, opportunities that will unleash their creativity, to allow them to aim higher, and dream bigger.  

I thank you.