High-level Side Event on Partnering for SDG Implementation, Financing and Monitoring:
Sharing Innovations through South-South and Triangular Cooperation
20 September 2017, 10:00 – 11:30 am
Thank you for giving me the floor.
Allow me to extend my congratulations to the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh and to the UN Office for South-South Cooperation for organizing this important meeting. Partnerships for SDG implementation, especially through south-south and triangular cooperation, are a critical issue for the Maldives.
One of the most important, and growing form of bilateral and multilateral support for the Maldives is through South-South cooperation. As a small island developing state, we understand the importance of working collaboratively with a wide range of stakeholders to solve our unique challenges.
Maldives, like other island states, is small in size, has a narrow resource base, dispersed populations that make service delivery difficult and expensive, and is geographically distant from trading partners making it difficult to achieve economies of scale. These structural challenges are further exacerbated by climate change and sea level rise. However, all these facts have not hampered our resilient nature – indeed, my country was one of the first ones to graduate from LDC status in 2011.
The road ahead, however, remains challenging. The threats of climate change, natural hazards and external economic shocks threaten our very existence, and serve as a reminder of the fragile conditions that shape our development trajectory.
This is why the government of Maldives prioritizes resilient infrastructure, improving service delivery to vulnerable populations and investing in energy efficiency and renewables. And we have been successful in achieving many of these goals through the help and support of our neighbours in Asia. Infrastructure development in the country, for one, has received tremendous support from our southern partners and has only been possible through concessional financing from our friends in the region.
We have much to learn and share from one another. South-South cooperation is not only about regional cooperation but has tremendous potential for global solutions. For instance, I am heartened to note the progress of the UN Southern Climate Partnership Incubator Initiative. I have been following the rapid development of this initiative over
the last year and look forward for it to achieve its full potential as an example of successful south-south cooperation in climate change solutions.
I will stop here for now, but once again, thank the organizers for this opportunity and wish all of you a very successful week ahead.