And we will increase our efforts to support developing nations
as they respond to the challenges of climate change. We have
heard the calls from many for Scotland to create a Climate
Adaptation Fund. Given the pressures on the Scottish
Government’s budget we will work with partners in business,
charitable foundations and non-governmental organisations so
we can co-ordinate efforts to build a Scotland-wide climate
adaptation fund. And as part of our commitment to climate
mitigation we will take forward initiatives to share Scottish
knowledge, skills and expertise.
We have recently announced funding for an innovative scheme,
in partnership with the University of Strathclyde, to deliver
community-owned and maintained solar panels to provide
access to renewable energy in rural Malawi. This is delivering
skills, revenue and health improvements in the communities
involved, and the next stage is looking at further requirements
for trials ahead of a potential scaling up of the project. This is
exactly the sort of action we believe is needed to deliver local
energy solutions as part of our contribution to global action on
We will support the Maldives to develop renewable marine
energy and go carbon neutral by 2020, and we will take
forward our recently-signed agreement with the InterAmerican
Development Bank (IDB) to promote Scottish expertise in the
development of clean energy technology and
projects in Latin America and the Caribbean. And, we will
further develop Scotland-Malawi links, with a particular focus
on food production and food science in the face of climate
change. The Moredun Institute will work with Malawi to take
forward this important work.
Not knowing much about the Maldives, I looked it up on Wikipedia. Surprise, surprise: it turns out to be an Islam-dominated country where strict sharia is in force.
Islam is the only official religion of The Maldives. The open practice of all other religions is forbidden and such actions are liable to prosecution under the law of the country. A small but growing number of Maldivians do question their faith, using the internet as a means of communication but rarely in a public way. According to the revised constitution, in article two, it says that the republic "is based on the principles of Islam." Article nine says that "a non-Muslim may not become a citizen of the Maldives"; number ten says that "no law contrary to any principle of Islam can be applied in the Maldives." Article nineteen states that "citizens are free to participate in or carry out any activity that is not expressly prohibited by sharia or by the law."
The requirement to adhere to a particular religion and prohibition on public worship in other religions is contrary to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which the Maldives has recently become party and was thus addressed in the Maldives' reservation in adhering to the Covenant claiming that "The application of the principles set out in Article 18 of the Covenant shall be without prejudice to the Constitution of the Republic of the Maldives."
The Maldives is one of the countries which tops the government restrictions index on religious freedom.
So the SNP is wasting taxpayers' money supporting one of the most rigid Islamic regimes on earth! Cardinal Keith O'Brien recently called for foreign aid to made contingent on respect for religious pluralism. But this is clearly not a priority for the SNP.