Statement by the Republic of Maldives on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States
High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development under the Auspices of ECOSOC
ECOSOC Annual Ministerial Review
26 June 2015
Session 1: Opening Plenary
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS). We align ourselves with the statement delivered by the distinguished representative of South Africa, on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
At the outset, let me extend my appreciation for the work that went into convening this session of the High Level Political Forum. We are eager to participate in the discussions and put our views forward. Let me also express our appreciation to the speakers at this panel, for their insights.
As we move from vision to action, the High Level Political Forum will undoubtedly play a key role in delivering this agenda into reality. And Amb Donahue has outlined how this currently is shaping up.
One of the key important strengths of the CSD was its role as the “sole forum to review the implementation of the outcomes of global conferences on Small Island developing states”. The HLPF, in this vein is mandated to continue to devote adequate time to discuss the sustainable development challenges facing SIDS, as well as other countries in special situations. We are therefore encouraged by the inclusion of the discussion on the SAMOA Pathway on 1 July 2015, on “translating vision into action”. It is important that this discussion not only be about the progress made, but a conversation about the key challenges facing SIDS, and Mr Bishtawi earlier alluded to the enormous challenge that climate change poses to SIDS, how we may overcome them, and how the international community may act in concert to address these very specific challenges facing SIDS. It is of utmost importance that we not let the SAMOA Pathway be a dream: but a reality!
Similarly, it is important that the HLPF be focused on translating discussions in action, policy impact an implementation through the UN system. Everyday, we have countless conversations in this building: useful conversations and hopeful ideas, if translated into action, has the potential to change the world. It is our hope that this forum, in its infancy, will avoid these pitfalls, and will not become just another avenue for us to “talk the talk” rather than “walk the talk”. This forum is designed to be effective, to be focused, and to have the necessary clout and will to make change happen. So lets not fall below our own expectations.
We understand that the HLPF is positioned to be a vast repository of information on sustainable development indicators. It will be charged with not just collection of data, but also with ensuring its access to stakeholders as well as analysing the information gathered. To this end, the work of the HLPF is going to be extensive and will require significant resources, planning and implementation.
Keeping in mind, this enormous task, it is of paramount importance to ensure greater focus on capacity building, to ensure that countries are provided adequate support to effectively participate and report on their development targets. Limited capacity limits us from extensive data collection, and the Executive Director of UNFPA also highlighted this deficiency. And this information gap needs to be addressed adequately.
Further, we would also like to mention the need for streamlining of follow up and review processes, in order to ensure that overlap of different processes does not take place, creating reporting fatigue and dis-incentivising small nations to report. Adequate care must be taken to ensure coherence and the necessary linkages, with due respect for the separate mandates and scopes of the various processes. A coordinated and collaborative mechanism should be established to synergise the national, regional and universal reporting and reports to amplify the success stories and lessons and to review the constraints and externalities. The design of the review and followup should therefore take into account these very practical concerns for countries such as SIDS. This issue of coherence has also been addressed here (UNFPA Executive Director)
I thank you.