Statement by the Republic of Maldives

on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States

at the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

14 July 2016

Session: "Making the 2030 Agenda deliver for SIDS, building on the SAMOA Pathway"


Mr. Chairman, Excellencies, Distinguished Colleagues,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the members of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), a coalition of small island and low-lying coastal countries, spread across all the oceans and regions of the world, and are some of the most vulnerable to the adverse effects of global climate change.

SIDS have continuously called for adequate time and sufficient attention to the sustainable development challenges faced by SIDS, within the discussions of the High Level Political Forum. And to that end, we thank the President of ECOSOC for continuing to fulfill this important function passed on from the Commission on Sustainable Development, and a key mandate of the HLPF.

Since the first "Rio" Conference, Small Island Developing States have been identified as a special case for sustainable development, due to their ecological fragility and vulnerability. And due to their small size, limited resources, geographic dispersion and isolation from markets.

This special case of SIDS has been recognized throughout the 2030 Agenda, and other key frameworks agreed in 2015. The SAMOA Pathway has been recognised as integral to the Agenda and all the priority areas for SIDS match the 2030 Agenda particularly the SDGs. Our key commitments have been integrated into the Agenda but now what is important is to mobilise the necessary Means of Implementation. The MOI section of SAMOA Pathway and SDG17 both identify Partnerships, Financing, Trade, Capacity Building, Technology and Data and Statistics.  This is an important link with the SAMOA Pathway, calling for specific key actions on these MOIs relevant to SIDS. There also needs to be effective linkages  between the followup and review processes of the 2030 Agenda and Programmes of Actions, including that of SIDS. This is important also in addressing the reporting burdens but still ensuring the adequate follow up of these agendas.

Therefore, realizing the 2030 Agenda for SIDS, is to realize the SAMOA Pathway. Without focusing on the SAMOA Pathway, SIDS cannot realize the sustainable development goals. We have been ardent advocates for building on the synergies and interlinkages between issues, between the dimensions of sustainable development, between development frameworks. It is therefore extremely vital that there is coherence within and between the various processes, such as the SAMOA Pathway, Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the Paris Agreement with that of the 2030 Agenda.

SIDS, despite their vulnerabilities have taken ownership and shown leadership in addressing and overcoming some of these challenges that SIDS face. We remain highly committed to doing our parts in this country-led implementation of the 2030 Agenda. We have already begun to embrace the integrated nature of the Agenda and have begun to respond to its mandates in a holistic manner. In addition to calling on the UNDS to deliver as one, countries are also forging to have their national entities operate as one, in preparation for national reviews of where we are and where are to go. It will be critical for the UNDS to look at how they can effectively contribute to implementing the 2030 Agenda and SAMOA Pathway. The current review by the JIU on UN system support to SIDS should be an important reference document once the findings are finalized.

Among the many challenges, we are confronted by a serious lack of resources, expertise and technical know-how, and other critical aspects such as baseline data, the ability to collect, disseminate and disaggregate data, to name a few.  These issues will need to be addressed urgently for us to effectively implement the Agenda, for without support from the international community, success will remain difficult.

This is why SIDS value the important role of partnerships in realizing our sustainable development. This is why the theme of our last conference was "durable and genuine partnerships". This is why in the past year, we have invested considerable time and effort on establishing and improving the SIDS Partnerships Framework: the first of its kind within the UN, to followup on partnerships announced at the Samoa Conference in 2014, and to encourage new partnerships. We are pleased to note the considerable progress the framework has made since its establishment in December 2015, which we will be sharing at the Partnership Exchange on 18 July 2016, at 3:30pm.

We are the smallest members of this international community. What we lack in size, in numbers, in capacity, we make up for with our determination, and our resolve. We are committed to realizing our development. And to realize the 2030 Agenda for our countries, for our future generations.

Thank you.