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Ambassador-at-large Ahmed Saleem


Biography

Ambassador Ahmed Saleem is a long-serving Maldivian diplomat and statesman. He joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Maldives in 1968, holding numerous posts throughout his long and distinguished 52-year public service. At present, Ambassador Saleem is the Ambassador-at-large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, overseeing mainly the work of the Foreign Service Institute (FOSIM). Early in his career, Ambassador Saleem held important portfolios within the Maldivian Foreign Service, such as those of the Chief of Protocol, Head of Multilateral Department, and Controller of Immigration. He had also served in Maldives’ diplomatic missions including in Colombo, Sri Lanka, as Immigration Attaché and Counselor at the Permanent Mission to the UN. He served as the first Maldives Director in the SAARC Secretariat from 1990 to 1993 and in 2012, Ambassador Saleem was appointed as the 11th Secretary-General of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), which is a regional bloc among the South Asian 8 countries. Most recently, Ambassador Saleem served as the High Commissioner of the Maldives to Pakistan from 2015 to 2020, with non-resident accreditation to Nepal. Ambassador Saleem has served in other capacities outside the Foreign Service. Within various administrations, he has served in the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Education, Department of Information and Broadcasting, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Youth, Women’s Affairs and Sports, and the Ministry of Transport. During his deputation to the Ministry of Finance as Under-Secretary in 1977, he also served as the first Maldives’ Alternate Governor to the World Bank, IDA and ADB. Mr. Saleem was one of the original nine members when the first Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) was established by a Presidential decree in December 2003. He later served as President of the HRCM from 2006 to 2010, after it became an autonomous body by law. Mr. Saleem has traveled extensively and also attended numerous meetings of the UN including several General Assembly sessions and the Commonwealth, OIC, the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), SAARC and many other multilateral and regional meetings. As Director at the SAARC Secretariat, and subsequently as Secretary-General of the SAARC, Mr. Saleem was involved in the meetings of the Programming Committee, the Standing Committee, the Council of Ministers and the Summits held at various SAARC capitals. Ambassador Saleem is a strong advocate for human rights and democracy, and played a key role during the democratic transition of the country. As President of the HRCM he oversaw the country’s first democratic multi-party elections in 2008. He is credited with raising awareness domestically, on Maldives’ international human rights obligations, and has been a strong advocate for multilateralism in the global sphere. Ambassador Saleem is a keen sportsman and athlete, having played cricket, football and tennis at national level tournaments. He is also a prolific writer and has contributed numerous articles and publications on regional and international affairs. He was educated in Male’, Maldives and in New Delhi, India. He is married, and has four children.


Role

Ambassador-at-Large