I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS). The group aligns itself with the statement delivered by the distinguished representative of South Africa on behalf of the group of 77 and China.
At the outset, I would like to convey our appreciation to the co-Chairs for the substantive Elements Paper, which we believe provides a sound basis for our discussions on a Zero Draft of the Outcome Document of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development.
AOSIS recognises that overcoming persistent development challenges to achieve sustainable development includes the eradication of poverty and overcoming inequality, and addressing climate change requires the investment in an enhanced global partnership for development, including strengthening cooperation at national, regional and international levels.
We recognise the critical importance of financing from all sources: domestic and international, public and private. As important, is the development and transfer of reliable, affordable, modern technology on mutually agreed terms, as well as capacity building, and enabling institutional and policy environments at all levels.
Small Island Developing States (SIDS) will continue to make use of a wide range of financing mechanisms available to implement our priorities. At the same time, we recognise that States must remain in the drivers seat, that development assistance must adhere to national priorities, ensuring that development is nationally owned and nationally driven. There is no one-size-fits-all formula to guarantee development effectiveness. Each country should be assessed on its specific situation and needs.
The fulfilment of all ODA commitments to developing countries is more critical than ever, especially for SIDS as they continue to require substantial amounts of external finance.
The report of the Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) underscores that the global nature of climate change calls for the widest possible cooperation by all countries and includes climate change as a cross-cutting issue across all the goals as well as in a dedicated SDG. SIDS remain some of the most vulnerable countries to the effects of climate change.
To address climate change, special commitment needs to be given to SIDS efforts to implement with provision of appropriate financial resources, in line with existing international commitments, within the framework of UNFCCC, climate change adaptation and mitigation projects. (SAMOA Pathway, para 106c)
On Trade, we note the importance of ensuring an inclusive, rules-based, representative trade regime, which takes into consideration existing special and differential treatment provisions for SIDS, including the extension of trade preferences and more flexible rules of origin, and strengthening SIDS capacity for effective participation. Any such regime must take into account the inherent vulnerabilities of SIDS that inhibit their effective participation and integration into the world markets.
We note the inclusion of technology, innovation and capacity building as a key driver towards poverty eradication. We strongly believe that continued investment in education and children, while encouraging the retention of all forms of knowledge within SIDS, as well as investing in SIDS-appropriate, reliable, affordable, modern and environmentally sound technologies are essential enablers and drivers for sustainable development.
Debt sustainability remains an issue of concern for SIDS. AOSIS welcomes consideration of traditional and innovative approaches to promote debt sustainability, including continued eligibility for concessionary financing from international financial institutions as well as strengthening domestic revenue mobilisation.
AOSIS notes with concern the inability of SIDS to effectively take part in international economic decision-making and norm setting and agree that this needs to be addressed. Further, the framework we develop now must include important regulatory measures to protect small economies from future financial crises.
While we note the importance of an effective monitoring, data and follow-up mechanism to ensure the continued delivery of the political commitments of the Addis Ababa outcome document, we note that there is a need for further discussion on how the review processes for this process could be more effectively linked with that of the post-2015 development agenda and other UN bodies and processes. We also note the need to improve the collection of SIDS data, including through electronic submission and regional agencies.
The outcome document of the FfD must be closely related to the post-2015 development agenda by ensuring that the discussions take place within the context of the report of the OWG. The Addis Ababa conference should deliver concrete means of implementation targets of the 16 goals, as well as the 19 targets of goal 17 of the framework. It should also have clear and effective linkages to other processes, including those under the UNFCCC, and reaffirm the existing commitments in the Monterrey and Doha documents in order to ensure effective and coherent implementation.
SIDS remain a special case for sustainable development in view of their unique and particular vulnerabilities associated with their small size, remoteness from markets and inability to achieve markets of scale. For an ambitious and transformative agenda, the FfD outcome document should provide catered attention to the particular diversity and unique sustainable development challenges of SIDS.