The Maldives has advocated electing a female Secretary General (SG) to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) for the first time.
In an interview with Forbes magazine, Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdullah Shahid said it was a shame that no woman had been elected as the SG of the UNGA in its 70-year history and described it as a huge mistake. The minister said the next term is the time to bring a woman to the post. He said there are many women in different countries around the world who are suitable for the post and stated that one of the most important tasks he will do after his term at the UNGA is to bring a woman to the post. In addition, he noted his efforts to empower women, both as the foreign minister and as the President of the UNGA (PGA).
The current UN SG is Antonio Guterres. He won the last election with seven women running. Previously, a total of eight individuals had served as the UN SG.
The UNGA elected Shahid as the PGA on June 7, 2021, with an overwhelming three-fourths majority with 143 votes out of 191 votes cast. He commenced his one-year term in September 2021. It was the first time the Maldives has run for the Presidency of the UNGA.