Statement by
Ms Farzana Zahir, Deputy Permanent Representative
on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS)
Second Committee – General Debate

8 October 2018

Thank you Mr Chair,

  1. I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS). We align ourselves with the statement delivered by the distinguished Permanent Representative of Egypt, on behalf of G77 and China.
  2. We thank Ambassador Sven Jurgenson of Estonia for his significant efforts in leading the Committee over this past year. We also welcome you, Mr Chairperson, and the bureau and offer our full support.
  3. Let me also thank the presenters this morning, especially the keynote speaker, Mr Kharas, for his insightful and thought provoking protectory on how many people will the world leave behind. A very unique way to address this, but very accurately put, since our collective commitment was to leave no one behind. An important discussion for the work of this committee.

Mr Chair,

  1. The work of the Second Committee is crucial for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and in our efforts towards the achievement of SDGs, the realization of Addis Agenda, and the SAMOA Pathway. The Committee also serves as an important platform for coordinating collective action in addressing issues of sustainable development.
  2. This is an important year for the SIDS. The preparatory process is currently ongoing for the midterm review of the SAMOA Pathway, which will take place on 27 September 2019. We encourage all Member States to participate in this process to track the progress towards achieving sustainable development, share best practices of successes, and identify areas that still require attention and support in the face of growing global challenges.
  3. We are happy to note that SIDS have already held three regional preparatory meetings in Mauritius, Belize, and Tonga. We are currently preparing to hold the inter-regional meeting in Samoa at the end of October, that will do the necessary substantive preparations for next year’s mid-term review, which will be held in New York. We encourage our development partners to actively participate in the review process and reaffirm their commitments to accelerate the implementation of the SAMOA Pathway, as well as to provide resources to the voluntary trust fund.
  4. We also wish to emphasise on the need to step up support for the SIDS in their national efforts in economic development. We therefore reiterate our call for assistance in capacity building, transfer of technology, and access to finance in order to achieve the goals set out in international development frameworks, especially the 2030 Agenda. The United Nations can assume a greater leadership role in fostering such support.
  5. AOSIS believes that the work of the Second Committee must uphold and enhance the repositioning of the UN development system. We must be consistent, coherent, and build synergies across all processes so as to prevent duplication, siloes, and unnecessary competitiveness, which detracts from progress on the ground.
  6. We welcome the Secretary General’s Reports in Second Committee focused on SIDS, in particular the Assessment resulting from the evolving mandates of the SIDS units of the Secretariat. These Reports clearly indicates the limitations in the SIDS units of the Secretariat to perform their obligations to small island developing States in a fruitful manner.
  7. It is the considered view of AOSIS that the units in the UN Secretariat responsible for coordinating the supporting for SIDS need to be better resourced, and such resources have to be more predictable, and sufficient to fulfil the evolving mandates of these units.
  8. The impacts of climate change continue to pose the biggest challenge for sustainable development and economic growth of SIDS. We have submitted some of the most ambitious commitments under the Paris Agreement, despite the fact that our emissions are minuscule on a global scale. This illustrates our political will and determination to realize the purpose of the Agreement, and we recognise the value of the Talanoa Dialogues this year, aimed at stepping up and enhancing climate action.
  9. As we prepare for the COP 24 in Poland later in the year, we urge all countries to accelerate work to agree on Paris Agreement Work Programme, while remaining faithful to the mandates and delicate balance achieved in Paris. We want to see comparable progress across all the items, including interlinked elements to ensure full operationalization of the Agreement. At the same time, we wish to assert that means of implementation remains the most critical aspect for a favorable outcome from COP 24.
  10. We again offer our full support to you Mr Chair, and hope the convergence of intentions will lead constructing consensus that will promote sustainable development for all.

I thank you, Mr Chair.