Statement by Dr. Ibrahim Zuhuree, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Maldives to the United Nations

at the General Discussion of Agenda Item 4 of the First Session of the SIDS4 Preparatory Committee

22 January 2024


Thank you, Co-chairs,

The Maldives aligns its statement with the statement delivered by Samoa on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and Cuba on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.

The preparatory committee that has commenced today, is a milestone moment in the development story of small island developing States. This is the first formal step, on a long walk towards greater development; development that is sustainable, development that is resilient, and development that will alleviate the immediate, and long-term concerns of SIDS.


The Maldives shares many challenges with our fellow SIDS and developing states, and many of our partners from the developed countries. Whether it be development challenges such as access to finance, productive capacities, knowledge and capacity development, or challenges due to climate change, such as sea level rise, frequent and more severe natural disasters, and devastating impacts on the livelihoods of our people.

However, it is the inherent attributes of our small island states, that amplify, not only the impact of these challenges, but also the vulnerability of our states to these challenges.


Access to affordable and adequate finance for development has been and will continue to be a major challenge for SIDS. This is why, SIDS have emphasised the need for a Multidimensional Vulnerability Index. We continue to support the process started by the President of the General Assembly on the finalization of the MVI, and the work done by the High-level panel. We also reiterate the importance of re-evaluating the existing ODA mechanisms such that it benefits those who need it the most. We take note of the work of the OECD-DAC and AOSIS Taskforce to support the ongoing process at the UN on developing MVI. As a member of the Taskforce, we have worked to support SIDS vulnerability self-assessments, identified ways to further enhance the MVI, provided guidance to donors on how to use the MVI, encoruaged discussions on MVI within IFIs, and increased discussion, research and analysis into MVI application, vulnerability, and fragility. We will continue to work within any process to ensure that the MVI is not only adopted, but widely used.

Finance alone, of course, is not the be-all and end-all solution for the challenges faced by SIDS. Ensuring SIDS' development, sustainability, and resilience requires essential capacity building. Meaningful, internal solutions demand developing tailored knowledge in areas like environmental management. As such, we have taken steps towards sustainable waste management in the Maldives, to ensure that the impact on the environment is minimal or negligible.

Additionally, any outcome from this Conference, would be insufficient, and lacking, without ambitious goals to ensure the very survival of the peoples of our countries. Climate change continues to pose a very real threat to the livelihoods and lives of those who live in SIDS. We must strive to protect the 1.5-degree temperature goal, to increase climate finance, and to make finance more accessible and adequate to tackle the burgeoning impacts of climate change. We must strive for greater climate action and ambition. As announced by President Dr. Muizzu at COP28, we have pledged to increase the utilisation of renewable energy in the country’s electricity demand from four percent now, to thirty three percent in the next five years. We ask you to match us in our ambition, as we all work to combat this century’s greatest threat.

However, we still lack the national capacity for data collection and analysis for evidence-based decision making. This is why the Maldives calls for international collaboration to share the best practices in data collection and the transfer of technology on favourable terms along with know-how and capacity building. Better data collection and utilisation can enhance the ability of SIDS to monitor and manage various aspects of development ranging from disaster risk reduction to environmental conservation.

Our efforts must also not leave anyone behind, especially the most vulnerable, including women, the elderly, persons with disabilities and communities in remote islands. We must continue to address disparities in income and access to services. The Maldives calls for support in boosting capacity to utilize digital technologies.


The SIDS4 Conference must not become another talk-shop. It must also not be another Conference that burdens the Member States with additional targets, goals, and commitments, without proper means of implementation. It must go beyond and ensure that an adequate monitoring and evaluation mechanism is established to ensure that whatever targets, goals, or commitments that are made, are achieved, or followed through. We must be able to take-stock of the work that is done and the successes achieved, come the next SIDS Conference. That should be the target that we strive to achieve.

The Maldives takes this opportunity to reiterate its commitment to working productively with all Member States, to ensure that this Prep Comm and ultimately the SIDS4 conference is a resounding success. To that end, we call on all Member States to participate actively, and to negotiate in good faith, to ensure sustainable development and growth, not only for the SIDS, but for all countries. We must not forget that sustainable development can only be attained by ensuring that no one is left behind.

We look forward to a very fruitful outcome from this first session of the Prep Comm.

I thank you.