The Maldives has remained an independent nation throughout its recorded history, save for a brief spell of Portuguese occupation in the mid 16thcentury. From 1887 to 1965, the country was a British Protectorate which retained full internal sovereignty. At independence in 1965, the Maldives joined the UN.
Since1978, the Maldives has followed a policy of international engagement,intensifying links with donor institutions and countries, and joined the Commonwealth in 1982.
A founder member of SAARC, the Maldives is also a member of WTO and MIGA. It is also party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as well as numerousconventions on the protection of environment, the suppression of terrorism andon the promotion of human rights.
Inthe transition towards a liberal democracy, the Maldives has successfullyestablished dialogue and collaboration with the international human rightsorganizations, such as Amnesty International and ICRCO, and acceded to numeroushuman rights instruments such as ICCPR and ICESCR.
Duringthe same period, the country has also intensified links with the CommonwealthParliamentary Association and joined the Inter-Parliamentary Union.
Withresident diplomatic missions in Colombo, New Delhi, Islamabad, Dhaka Singapore,Kuala Lumpur, New York, Tokyo, Beijing, Riyadh, London, Geneva, and the EuropeanUnion as well as non-resident accreditation to a number of countries includingNepal and Bhutan, the Foreign Service of the Maldives has become trulyinternational in its outlook. Driven by the fundamental goal of fostering warmand close relations with the international community, in pursuit of friendship,understanding and co-operation, it serves to communicate the interests andaspirations of the people of the Maldives.
Keyissues of interest include advancing national development, supportinginternational peace and security, including the protection of the environmentand the promotion of human rights, and upholding the purposes and principlesenshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.