Statement by the Republic of Maldives

on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States

at the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

12 July 2016


Session: "Science-Policy Interface: New Ideas, Insights and Solutions":

Mr. Chairman, Excellencies, Distinguished Colleagues,

I have the honour to deliver these brief remarks on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS).

Technological innovation has reshaped the world as we know it. Yet, we must ensure that  such advances do not end up increasing inequality within and between countries through an increasing digital divide. For Small Island Developing States, science, technology and innovation (STI) bring huge opportunities in areas as diverse as telecommunications, infrastructure, transport, climate action and disaster risk reduction. Advances in ICT also have enormous potential in other avenues for poverty eradication and social advancement.

We are heartened to note the recent establishment of the STI forum and the other components of the technology facilitation mechanism, which are key elements to accelerate the science-policy interface. We have noticed too often the gaps that remain between the scientific community and policy makers. In an era of holistic development, we need to ensure that this gap is closed as soon as possible.

With regard to the role of the Global Sustainable Development Report in accelerating the science-policy interface, AOSIS believes that the GSDR should provide analytical focus on emerging trends and challenges, with projected scenarios and analysis, based on scientific data from a variety of sources. The GSDR, an "assessment of assessments", could provide a macro scientific assessment of the SDG Progress Report's follow-up mechanism, providing information on successes, challenges, emerging trends and lessons learned. We also think it is important for the GSDR to look at differentiated policy responses required for countries in special situations, including SIDS. We look forward to the first quadrennial GSDR in 2019.

One point that we had highlighted during the consultations on the scope and methodologies of the GSDR is the importance to be given to taking into account using local-context specific data, statistics and research, as well as indigenous knowledge and practice. This is an important aspect as traditional notions of science and the scope of scientific inquiry does not reach to non-traditional sources of knowledge, whereas local communities may have been dealing with issues of sustainable development for generations through cultural practices.

Thank you