The Republic of Maldives
on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS)
at the Session on SDGs and targets for the Intergovernmental Negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda
27 March 2015
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 delegate of South Africa on behalf of Group of 77 and China.
Before we delve into the themes, allow us to present our thoughts on the format and outcome of these Roundtables.
- The hopes and stakes are high to develop an ambitious and highly transformative international development agenda that leaves no one behind. The thematic dialogues need to capture that level of ambition. They should go beyond recycling our views and priorities. They should be used to share experiences and recommend best practices, and take action on our political commitments. They should bring out clear and concrete commitments, based on genuine and durable partnerships with the purpose of contributing to eradicating poverty, and achieving sustainable development for all.
- In that sense, they would complement the commitments that will be made in Addis Ababa and in our agenda to realize our agreed objective. As we have repeatedly emphasized, means of implementation and global partnerships will be paramount to achieving our goals. An outcome of the dialogues could, therefore, be the declaration of specific partnerships and initiatives on the themes we would have chosen, in a similar manner as what was organized in the Third International Conference on SIDS, held last September in Apia, Samoa.
- The Samoa conference was constructed around a set of thematic dialogues, the themes of which consisted of key development priorities of SIDS. These dialogues resulted in over 300 multi-stakeholder SIDS partnerships being registered. Subsequently, a partnership platform was established to monitor their implementation making the dialogues meaningful, and pragmatic. We would recommend consideration of a similar format.
Regarding the specific themes, AOSIS welcomes your proposal as it serves as a very good basis for our discussions on this item. Allow me to make additional comments with the aim to strengthen your proposal:
1. First, we fully support devoting a dialogue on climate change in this context. Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time and undermines all of our efforts to achieve sustainable development and poverty eradication. For SIDS climate change poses an existential threat and for some threatens our survival. In this regard, we need to address climate change, our vulnerabilities, and our actions, to tackling this challenge.
2. Second, we are faced with formidable economic, social and environmental challenges and threats. We need to address existing vulnerabilities to make our societies ready to face these challenges. This is why we believe that resilience building should underpin the elaboration of the post-2015 development agenda. A dialogue on resilient development in the context of the three dimensions of sustainable development, not only the economic dimension, would be a great added value to our exercise.
3. Third, AOSIS suggests a dialogue to be devoted to countries in special situations, namely LDCs, SIDS, LLDCs and Africa. These groups of countries each have their specialized programmes of action for their sustainable development in place, such as the Istanbul Programme of Action for LDCs, the Vienna Programme of Action for LLDCs and the SAMOA Pathway for us SIDS. For us, we have made it clear that the SIDS contribution to the Agenda is the SAMOA Pathway and we need to ensure its integration as well as its implementation and follow-up are part of the Agenda. We believe that a discussion on how the UN support system could become more responsive to the needs of these special groups of developing countries to ensure a coherent and coordinated approach with our programmes, will helpful as we move to implement the Agenda.
4. Fourthly, we cannot reiterate enough the importance of means of implementation to realise our very ambitious agenda. Without adequate, sufficient, timely and predictable means of implementation, our Agenda will just remain a wish-list. And therefore, we support your suggestion for one of the roundtables to focus on this important issue.
These are our preliminary comments on the thematic dialogues. AOSIS members stand ready to engage in further discussion on these matters. I thank you.
 AOSIS Leaders Declaration, September 2014, PP2