New York

07 February 2012

Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on the Maldives

The Secretary-General has learned of the resignation of President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives and the appointment of former Vice President Mohammed Waheed Hassan as the new President of the country.

The Secretary-General expresses his strong hope that this handover of power, which has been announced as a constitutional step to avoid further violence and instability, will lead to the peaceful resolution of the political crisis that has polarized the country in recent months. He calls on all Maldivians to refrain from violence and engage constructively in addressing the challenges their country is facing and to protect and build upon the important gains the Maldives has made in recent years in establishing democracy and rule of law. The Secretary-General acknowledges the important contributions of President Nasheed, the country's first democratically-elected president, to the establishment of democracy in the Maldives and his role in raising international awareness of the dangers of climate change and rising seas.

The United Nations will remain a close partner of the Maldives and will continue to extend its support in the period ahead.