Statement by the Republic of Maldives on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States

Informal consultations on the revitalization of the work of the Second Committee

26 January 2016

I take this opportunity to thank you for convening this very important meeting. I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and would like to align ourselves with the statement made by the distinguished representative of the Kingdom of Thailand speaking on behalf of the G77 and China.

When we last met to discuss this issue in the second committee, time constraints limited our ability to take concrete actions. In the first month of 2016, and in year one of implementation of the 2030 Agenda, we need to objectively look into this matter and take tangible actions to align our various Agendas with the UN system. We should recognize that the question of revitalization and rationalization goes beyond the Second Committee; it also relates to how we achieve substantive coherence between the objectives of the 2030 Agenda, work of all the Committees, and across the entire UN system as a whole.

We welcome recognition that the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) is the home of the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda at the global level. Working with this reality, we can then identify the evolving role of the Second Committee to complement and support the work of the HLPF. The revitalisation and rationalisation of the Second Committee's agenda is therefore interlinked with the question of follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda; however, the 2030 Agenda is only one aspect of Second Committee revitalization.

A critical issue will be coordinating with other Committees to ensure coherence and avoid unnecessary overlap and repetition, which will also contribute to having better informed and more clearly structured reports from the Secretary General that are of greater utility to the UN system. To this end, we would like to raise the possibility of undertaking an approach to revitalization that includes consultation with the Third and Fifth Committees in particular. While we may set the political mandates and the direction of the work, let us not forget that it is our colleagues in the Fifth Committee that oversee how the tasks we set for the UN System in particular, can be implemented.

We need to avoid the silo approach that would come from concentrating all discussion of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) in any individual Committee. We encourage the Committee Bureaus and their respective Secretariats to work together openly discussing options to avoid contradictions and duplication.

As SIDS, we acutely feel the burden of reporting under various mechanisms. While we concur with the importance attached to timely and adequate reporting, we must make every effort to build coherence between the SDG reporting framework and the reports issued by the Secretary General reviewing the progress of each resolution. We need to ensure that actions are not duplicated across fora and should aim to minimize reporting burden for Member States.

For SIDS, the Second Committee provides a unique and important forum to discuss and address issues that are of particular significance to us. As you are aware, for various reasons we are unable to participate in a multitude of intergovernmental fora that set global norms, and this is where the Second Committee plays a critical role for SIDS. We therefore urge that as we revitalize the Committee, special care is taken to ensure that we work towards improving the quality of our outputs. In this regard, we call on you, Mr. Chair and your Bureau to present a map of the current status of the agenda items of the Committee that also includes other related processes, so that as we deliberate we can also envision how we can effectively adjust our work plan to attain the best results.

Finally, Mr. Chair, AOSIS is concerned with the present timeline allocated for the discussion of this extremely important matter, and we wish to encourage you to rethink the timeline, as we think rushing through the process would not be in our collective best interest. We also need to take into account the discussions and plans of the ECOSOC and the HLPF, which are critical to the shaping of the work of the Second Committee, as our work must complement these processes.

In closing, Mr. Chair, I wish to reiterate our Group's fullest commitment to this process, and to assure you of our complete dedication and cooperation.

I thank you.