Statement by the Republic of Maldives

on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States

at the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

11 July 2016

Session: "Where do we stand at year one?"

Mr. Chairman, Excellencies, Distinguished Colleagues,

1. I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Member States of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS). Let me take this opportunity to thank all of our distinguished panellists for a very interesting and stimulating discussion this morning. I would also like to thank Mr. Hongbo for his presentation of the Secretary General's SDG Progress report.

2. AOSIS stands ready to mainstream and prioritize the SDGs within our national policies and calls for support from the global community in our endeavour to do so. The SDG progress report has been very informative to understand the state of play regarding all the goals.

3. For SIDS, implementing the 2030 Agenda is synonymous with the implementation of the SAMOA Pathway: our sustainable development blueprint. There are many different issues we need to focus on, to realise these ambitious agendas, but let us focus on one key issue.

4. Let us not forget that for many of us small island states, baseline data remains a challenge, as does the lack of statistical capacity to aggregate and analyse the data required by the indicators. Significant capacity building efforts will be required to enable all of us engage on an equal footing. This should be done through a combination of skill development, investment in statistical capacities and human resource development in developing countries, particularly SIDS.  We are heartened that the Statistical Commission in its report noted the importance of capacity building in this regard, and we hope to see this intention coming to fruition at the earliest.

5. The 2030 Agenda is transformative in nature, not only because of the wide breadth of issues it focuses on, but because of the holistic way in which it does so. The fates of humanity and of the planet are intrinsically linked. In our efforts to implement, for example, goal 13 on climate change or goal 14 on oceans, let us also remember the direct impacts they have on other goals, including those related to the eradication of poverty and inequality.

6. Today is a historic day, marking the first session of the HLPF since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda. We thank all of you for participating today, and look forward to engaging more in the coming week.

Thank you.