Human Rights Commission of the Maldives

Dr. Aly Shameem


 

Dr. Aly Shameem
Commissioner

Email:[email protected]

 

Dr. Aly Shameem, alias Alysh, has had a passion for politics and management since school days. It all started when he was elected the pioneering President of the Mini United Nations Association at school in 1981. During this model UN General Assembly sessions held at school, he was exposed to important international issues like democracy, human rights and diplomacy. Having completed secondary education with flying colours as Best-All-Round Student and School Captain in 1982, Dr. Shameem joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maldives to build a career in foreign diplomacy.

 

During his service at the Foreign Ministry, Dr. Shameem won three Commonwealth scholarships and completed three academic degrees.  At the University of South Pacific in Fiji, he completed his Bachelor’s Degree in 1990, majoring in Politics and Management. In 1995, he completed his Masters Degree in Political Science at Dalhousie University in Canada, specializing in International Studies. In 2006, Dr. Shameem completed his Doctor of Philosophy at International Global Change Institute of New Zealand in the field of Global Development Relations, and specializing in international islands diplomacy and global change.

 

During his service of 11 years in the International, Foreign, Legal and Consular Departments at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Shameem dealt mostly with foreign and international relations of the Maldives. In the Maldives Foreign Service, he had excellent exposure to international issues and gained practical experience in multilateral politics by attending numerous meetings and conferences of the UN, the Commonwealth, the Non-Aligned Movement, the South Asia Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and the Organization of Islamic Conference.  Most importantly, he covered three UN General Assembly sessions in New York and attended the Third Committee of the Assembly, which dealt with social issues such as human rights. In fact, Dr. Shameem had written many Maldives statements delivered at the UN General Assembly sessions on issues such as the development status of children, and women and prevalence of drug abuse in the Maldives. He was also the lead drafter of the Maldives statement at the UN High Level Dialogue held at the UNGA 57th Session in 1996 to mark the 50th anniversary of the historic UN document, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

 

After his PhD, Dr. Shameem joined the Secretariat of the People’s Majlis (Legislative Assembly) and People’s Special Majlis (Constitutional Assembly) in 2005 as a Director. Soon he was promoted to the post of the Deputy Secretary General and served in the secretariat at the height of the democratic transition period. He was right in the middle of the dramatic platform that produced the democratic constitution of the Maldives (August 2008), serving the secretarial needs of its preparation. At the same time, he lectured and organized many public awareness programmes on democracy and parliamentary education. The programmes included atoll outreach seminars, student and youth parliaments, observances of Maldives Constitution Day and International Day of Democracy. During his service of 5 years in the Secretariat of Majlis, Dr. Shameem received training at the Headquaters of Inter-Parliamentary Union in Geneva, House of Commons and House of Lords in UK, the Indian Parliament, the Sri Lankan Parliament and Thailand Parliament, thereby gaining substantial experience in parliamentary, constitutional and of legislative affairs. In addition, he also attended a number of meetings and conferences of the Inter-Parliamentary Union and Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.

 

Dr. Shameem also researched and presented a paper on the evolution of democracy in the Maldives on which a documentary video programme was produced later in collaboration with Television Maldives and aired on 15 September 2008 to mark the first International Day of Democracy in the Maldives.  Dr. Shameem also helped proofread many awareness-raising pamphlets produced by Elections Commission on plural politics and multi-party system during the democratic transition period.

 

Dr. Shameem is also one of the two founders of the pioneering mobile management training firm in the Maldives in 1997 known as the A J Training and Consulting, which is a subsidiary of A J Enterprises. Prior to becoming a member of Human Rights Commission of Maldives, as the Management Consultant of the firm, he has designed and conducted numerous short-term trainings for over more than 35 institutions in the Maldives including some Ministries, Atoll Offices, STO, Maldives Customs, MTCC, MIFCO, MATI, MWSC, Maldives Airports Authority, Maldives Ports Authority, TVM, VTV and Maldives Post Limited to name a few.

 

Dr. Aly Shameem had been a part-time lecturer of Management, Research Methods and Politics in Four Faculties of the now Maldives National University. These include, Faculty of Computing and Management, Faculty of Health Sciences, Faculty of Education and Faculty of Arts. He assisted the Faculty of Arts to design and write curriculums for Bachelor’s and Master’s courses. He had taught courses over a span of 11 years at these faculties prior to becoming a member of the Human Rights Commission of Maldives in September 2010. He also served on the boards of the Faculty of Arts and Dharumavantha School.

 

Dr. Shameem’s high regard for the protection of the environment has propelled him to become a climate campaigner and eco-justice advocate who takes a keen interest in climate policy and environmental politics. He delivered awareness-raising speeches, at the Peace Summit in Halifax, Canada in 1995, Climate Symposium held at Sophia University in Tokyo prior to Kyoto Summit in 1997, Global Change Forum in Hamilton, New Zealand in 2004, and Regional Security Conference held by the Indian Institute of Defense Analysis in New Delhi in 2008. For his Master’s thesis (1995), Dr. Shameem investigated the danger of global warming on small island states and what strategies could be adopted to combat climate change and sea level rise. In his PhD thesis titled, “Small Islands and Global Action: Coming of Age in Global Change” (2006), he researched small island states’ diplomacy and analyzed how small island states could protect and advocate their rights and interests in international decision-making. 

 

Throughout all of these burgeoning activities, Dr. Shameem has successfully managed to keep his passion – DEMOCRACY and HUMAN RIGHTS – alive and growing. He was the resource person who presented the concept paper on introducing democracy and human rights into the school curriculum at the National Convention on Curriculum Revision organized by the Ministry of Education in September 2009. Later, he assisted the Faculty of Arts of the Maldives National University to introduce a civics course in the Diploma Programme in Journalism and prepared course materials in 2010. In fact, Dr. Shameem was the first lecturer of the pioneering politics course in the mMaldives, and taught modules on democracy and human rights.

 

Presently, Dr. Aly Shameem is a member of the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives. He became a member with the support of the full house of the People’s Majlis (parliament).  He is the member who oversees the work of the Research and Monitoring Department and assists in human rights and democracy education. During his spare time, Dr. Shameem helps people, institutions and civil society organizations by giving motivational speeches, and lecturing in politics and management. Also, he plays badminton and loves to read and listen to music.

 

1 May 2011