Vice President Urges Not to Criminalize Drug Users


Vice President Dr Mohamed Waheed has said, in the Maldives, convincing people that drug use was a social and a medical problem remains a huge task.
Noting that, although it was easy to see drug use as a criminal issue, he said “if you really want to be serious and help this people to recover and to be reintegrated in to our communities, then we have to see from a social perspective.”
He made the remarks at the opening ceremony of South Asia Regional Training on Treatment and Rehabilitation for Treatment Professionals organized jointly by Colombo Plan, US Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs and UNODC.
Speaking on the drug issue in the South Asia region, the Vice President emphasized that drug use was directly related social, political and economic issues in the country.
He said drug use has become an increasingly “important issue in our region and public policy has a lot to do with that – distribution of wealth, condition of poverty, degradation and social marginalization all contribute to worsening drug situation.”
“Wherever it is, people resort to drugs because they want to escape from pain, from poverty, from suffering,” he added.
In his remarks this morning, the Vice President referred to the recommendations of a groundbreaking report on global drug situation by the Global Commission on Drug Policy.
He said the report that calls for major reforms of global drug prohibition regime, also echoed the calls for strengthening of services for health and treatment of drug users, which he said was the most important recommendation of the report.
The training workshop that began today in Bandos Island Resort and Spa will be held from 13 to 22 June.

Vice President Attends Certificate Awarding Ceremony of Dhiraagu Apprentice Programme 2011

Attending the certificate awarding ceremony of Dhiraagu Apprentice Programme 2011, Vice President Dr Mohamed Waheed has commended Dhiraagu for its successful and exemplary apprenticeship programmes accustom youth to the workplace.

Dhiraagu Apprentice Programme is a key initiative under its youth development programme to support the positive development and provide opportunities for Maldivian youth to gain structured training and work experience at Dhiraagu.

The Vice President said apprenticeship opportunities for youth, such as the one by Dhiraagu, was vital to prepare them for the competitive job market and shape their career.

He underlined the importance of developing human resources to tap the advantages of changing societies and business organisations with the changing context of media.

He said the world and the country were more interconnected as we were undergoing democratic transformations, and therefore, opportunities available through new forms of media should be used to develop a ‘new awareness of rights’ in a new democracy.

Highlighting the importance of developing necessary skills to achieve sustainable development, the Vice President said talent would be the most precious and most scarce resource for the economy of the future.

The Vice President also acknowledged the work of other apprentice programs undertake by resorts and other projects carried throughout the country for young people to find employment.

Maldives Higher Education Council holds talks with IIUM Board of Governors

Abdul Latheef wrote on April 28th 2011

The Maldives Higher Education Council has met with the members of Board of Governors of International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM), presently in the Maldives to attend the 91st Majlis meeting of the Board of Governors.

The meeting held at the President’s Office yesterday morning was chaired by Vice President Dr Mohamed Waheed. Dr Waheed is also the Chairperson of the Higher Education Council.

Discussions at the meeting generally focused on the areas of cooperation between the government and IIUM in strengthening the higher education sector, especially increasing collaborations between the Maldives National University (MNU) and IIUM.

Among the areas discussed for increasing cooperation between IIUM and MNU were beginning student and faculty exchange programmes and twinning programmes between both universities and accreditation of MNU programmes by IIUM.

Higher Education Council also sought IIUM’s assistance in conducting training and refresher programmes for Islamic Studies teachers at secondary and higher secondary levels in the Maldives.

At the meeting, IIUM Board of Governors reiterated that support and commitment to enhancing engagement with the government and MNU.

They also welcomed the government’s efforts to develop education sector in the Maldives.

The Board of Governors of IIUM is to hold its 91st Majlis in the Maldives.

The Maldives is one of the eight Organisation of Islamic Conference countries that sponsor IIUM.

Local Chapter of American University of Beirut Alumni Association Inaugurated

The Maldives chapter of the Worldwide Alumni Association of the American University of Beirut was last night in Male’. 55 Maldivian students have attended AUB between 1970 and 1987. They have occupied top positions in government and private sector, having contributed greatly to the development of the country. AUB alumni have contributed to bringing about political and economic reforms in the country and have engaged themselves in the process of democratization of Maldives. Among them are the current Vice President of Maldives Dr. Mohamed Waheed, outgoing Finance Minister Mr. Ali Hashim, Leader of the Peoples Alliance Party Mr. Yamin Abdul Gayoom and several ministers of the last government.

The new association will work to promote the spirit of AUB and quality higher education for all Maldivian students. At the inaugural session several speakers spoke of their experiences in Lebanon but most of all emphasized the need for promoting quality liberal education in the country.

AUB has made a tremendous contribution to the human development of Maldives. The United States role in providing these opportunities to Maldivian was highly appreciated by all speakers. The meeting was attended informally by the Senior Education Adviser Dr Molly Tease of the US State Department who was on official mission in the country.