Statement by the Republic of Maldives
on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States
at the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development
18 July 2016

Mr. Chairman, Excellencies, Distinguished Colleagues,

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

2.  The International Community through the 2030 Agenda, reiterated the need for special attention to be given to specific groups of vulnerable countries in order to facilitate their advancement and overall sustainable development.

3. Since the identification of various groups of countries in special situations (LDCs in 1971, SIDS in 1992, LLDCs in 2003), we have been diligently charting our respective courses through programmes of actions, identifying our specific challenges and beginning our journey to addressing them.

4. For SIDS, the SAMOA Pathway is our most recent blueprint for Sustainable Development. AOSIS has worked diligently to ensure that there is coherence between the 2030 Agenda with that of the Samoa Pathway. This was extremely important as for us, realising the 2030 Agenda is to implement the SAMOA Pathway. This complementarity between the Agenda and the Programmes of Action, as well as the need to establish linkages between the followup processes is clearly mentioned in the Agenda, for this purpose.

5. Means of Implementation, including partnerships will play a critical role in the realization of the 2030 Agenda for SIDS. This is why the Samoa Conference for SIDS focused its attention on building genuine and durable partnerships. And we look forward to working on realising this vision of the SAMOA Pathway.

6. Through various resolutions and continuing commitments, the HLPF is required to give adequate time and sufficient attention to the sustainable development needs of SIDS. One way of doing this is to have a focused discussion on the SAMOA Pathway and we appreciate this year’s discussion. Other ways of doing so would be to mainstream SIDS challenges and priorities throughout the HLPF, including through including lead discussants, panelists and speakers on other panels which are relevant, as well as through looking at a SIDS perspective in the main reports that frame the discussion of HLPF: the SDG Progress Report, and the GSDR. Focusing attention on the groups of countries under special situation, will go a long way in ensuring that no one is left behind.

7. Countries in special situations are not competitors for attention and resources, and should not be seen or understood as such. We must work together so that the collective and individual concerns of countries in special situations are adequately addressed. There is a reason why each country is classified under these categories. It is because there are unique, structural challenges that need to be given due consideration. And we urge to not lose this perspective in the implementation of the agenda.

8. Special attention has to be given to the challenges that hinder development in all the groups of countries in special situation. The UNDS has to ensure that it incorporates the priorities and activities of these countries into relevant strategic programmes, including the UNDAF, as well as to take fully into account their various issues, and include them in their programmes. In addition, the UNDS must work with other organizations, such as IFIs to ensure synergies with policies that are consistent with a balanced approach to the three dimensions of sustainable development, while keeping in mind the multidimensionality of poverty. 

Thank you.