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The Maldives highlights linkages between Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Natural Disasters


11 October 2016, New York; The Maldives, speaking on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), argued for the importance of pursuing implementation of sustainable development commitments, and for there to be a continued understanding of the linkages between climate change, sustainable development, and disaster risk reduction. Addressing the Economic and Financial (Second) Committee of the United Nations on Agenda 19: Sustainable Development, His Excellency Mr. Ahmed Sareer, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Maldives to the United Nations stressed that "rising sea levels, increasing extreme weather events, and ocean acidification threaten not only our development, but our very survival," and as such, welcomed the recent entry into force of the Paris Agreement, while calling on all remaining countries to sign and ratify the document, and for everyone to begin with implementation.


Ambassador Sareer further outlined these as specific priorities for small island developing States (SIDS), while highlighting that SIDS remain unable to implement the Sustainable Development Goals without increased capacity building, technical support, and financing, particularly around data collection and analysis. In addition, he made clear the importance of the resolution on the follow up and review to the SAMOA Pathway, as the key space where SIDS are able to work with all their partners on key challenges and objectives for the year, and to detail specific actions for the UN system. The Joint Inspection Unit continues to review support for SIDS within the United Nations System, and the initial findings provided valuable insight into how the UN is conducting its work; Ambassador Sareer stated that SIDS await the final report eagerly in order to be able to act on improving institutional capacity for islands.  SIDS will seek continued recognition for their unique vulnerabilities, along with a call for a Mid-term Review of the SAMOA Pathway to be held in 2019 in order to effectively consider the progress achieved on the Programme of Action.

Later First Secretary Mr. Mareer Mohamed Husny spoke for the Maldives, in national capacity, declaring many similar commitments and priorities that align with SIDS, including climate change, data and capacity building, and disaster preparedness. The Maldives statement further elaborated the national efforts being taken, specifically in the area of renewable energy, to mitigate climate change and achieve SDG 7 on increasing access to affordable, clean and sustainable energy. The Maldives also announced its intention to conduct a voluntary national review for the High Level Political Forum in the coming year.


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