President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has forwarded the names of some candidates to be appointed as heads of Maldivian diplomatic missions abroad to the Parliament.
Foreign Ministry said that the new appointments will create a gender-equal mix of ambassadors from the Maldives for the first time in its diplomatic history.
1. Ambassador from the Maldives to the United Arab Emirates: Ms. Aishath Shabeena.
- Ms. Shabeena is currently serving as the acting-High Commissioner of the Maldivian Embassy in India. She has been working in foreign services for almost 26 years and has a Masters in Business administration.
2. Ambassador from the Maldives to India: Dr. Ahmed Niyaz.
- Dr. Niyaz is the current ambassador of the Maldives to the United Arab Emirates. He has been serving in foreign relations for almost 14 years and a doctorate.
3. Ambassador from the Maldives to Bangladesh: Ms. Shiruzimath Sameer.
- Ms. Shiruzimath is currently the additional secretary of the Foreign Ministry and has been serving in foreign relations for more than 12 years. She has a Masters in Social Sciences.
4. Ambassador from the Maldives to Pakistan: Ms. Farzaana Zahir.
- Ms. Farzaana is the current deputy for the Permanent Representative for the permanent mission at the UN. She has been serving in foreign relations for more than 19 years and has a Masters in Development Studies.
5. Permanent Representative for the Permanent Mission at the UN offices at Geneva, Switzerland: Dr. Asim Ahmed.
- Dr. Asim is the current Ambassador at large at the Foreign Ministry. He has been serving in foreign relations for more than one year and worked at the UNICEF and ILO. Dr. Asim is also a doctorate holder.
Foreign Ministry said that all candidates for the posts are career diplomats. Foreign Minister Shahid hailed the achievement and stated that it was "crucial" for the Maldives to excel with equal participation of men and women in diplomatic services.
3 out of 5 nominated today, as Heads of diplomatic Missions are women. Once appointed, Maldives Foreign Service will have gender parity among its HOMs for the first time in the history of our diplomatic service. For us to excel, equal participation of women & men is crucial.— Abdulla Shahid (@abdulla_shahid) June 24, 2020
If the appointments are approved by the Parliament, Maldives would have nine female and nine male heads of missions abroad, representing the country.
Currently, the top positions of Maldivian diplomatic missions in Malaysia, Pakistan, China, Bangladesh, UAE, and the UK are being filled by women.
Other than these representatives, the Consular-General in Trivandrum, Permanent Representative to the UN Office in New York, Permanent Representative from the Maldives to the UN ESCAP in Thailand are all women, according to the Foreign Ministry.