بســم اللّـه الرّحمـن الرّحيــم
Deputy Minister of Defense, Hassan Zameel
Vice Chief of Defense Force, Brigadier General Abdul Raheem Abdul Latheef,
Director General of National Counter Terrorism Center, Retired Brigadier General Zakariya Mansoor,
Senior officials from respective border security agencies,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Assalam Alaikum, and very good morning to you all.
With each passing day, the phenomenon of globalization bridges the gaps to a whole new era across the globe. In this new paradigm, the digital aspect of information and communication is intensifying. The paradox of globalization is that, it both strengthens and weakens us. But, with effective technology, I believe we can dominate the new diversification paradigm.
Global public policy agendas have prioritized security, especially in the years after the terrorist attack of 9/11, 2001. Similarly, countries are facing a global increase in transnational cross-border crimes in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Countries are now taking extra precautions, to protect their borders from any type of criminal activity within their boundaries.
As you know our small nation is 99 percent covered by water, and at any time, from any place, the threat level always remains higher. Similarly, we provide a 30-day gratis visa for all tourists. This certainly comes, with a cost. Thus, we have a limited number of manpower, expertise, and tools to sustain border security.
For these reasons, I believe, it is crucial to bring together all border-related security agencies in order to facilitate and strengthen mutual cooperation. Hence, this represents a significant turning point in the process of establishing, inter-agency coordination within our country.
This national border security symposium could be the ultimate solution to diversify the strength of all the law enforcement agencies, collectively with related agencies. We aim to have annual sittings and continue the symposium to enhance border security for the interest of our beloved nation.
Our response will always be a joint effort and a team effort to strengthen the border security of the Maldives as guided by His Excellency President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, on numerous occasions.
Before concluding, once again I would like to thank all Immigration officers and respective agencies engaged in making this dream of the first Maldives Border Security Symposium, a reality.
To conclude, I would like to thank, Deputy Minister of Defense, Hassan Zameel, representing the Chief Guest, Honorable Defence Minister, Al-Usthaza Mariya Ahmed Didi.
I would also like to thank senior officials of respective agencies, for taking time from their busy schedules to be with us today.
And finally, let me thank the subject matter experts who are here to provide their technical expertise, especially, Dr. Germana Nicklin, Regional Director Wellington, College of Humanities and Social Science, Senior Lecturer, Centre for Defence and Security Studies, School of People, Environment and Planning, from Massey University, New Zealand.
Once again thank you all on behalf of myself and Maldives Immigration.