President Nasheed has today called upon the Speaker of the Swedish parliament, the Hon. Per Westerberg. The meeting was held in the Speaker's Chambers of the parliament.
The Speaker welcomed the President to Sweden and to the parliament, and congratulated the President on his success in promoting democracy and good governance in the Maldives. He also noted the important role the Maldives has been playing in the lead up to Copenhagen, and briefed the President on the importance that Sweden attached to the success of the climate negotiations in Copenhagen.
Speaking at the meeting, President Nasheed said that as Sweden would be holding the Presidency of the European Union at the climate conference in Copenhagen, he hoped that the strong emphasis Sweden has on conservation would make a vital contribution to the outcome of the talks.
Further, the President said that time was running out and that effective measures needed to be taken to cut down greenhouse gas emissions and also contribute to adaptation. The President said that Kyoto represented a list of things that countries were not supposed to do and perhaps the emphasis needs to shift to a list of things that countries can do, particularly to promote renewable energy technologies.
Moreover, the President said that sound environmental policies required good governance and therefore promotion of democracy would also contribute to greener policies, because people power would be mobilised behind the long term interest of conservation.
The President also expressed interest in promoting exchanges and collaboration between parliamentarians of Sweden and the Maldives and noted the important contribution such co-operation can make for better understanding and consolidation of democracy in the Maldives.
Speaker Westerberg concurred on the importance of both mitigation and adaptation, and agreed that democracy and sustainable development were very closely inter-related. He also reciprocated the President's interest in developing collaboration between the parliamentarians of the two countries.