AOSIS Statement delivered by

Mr Ismail Raushan Zahir, Second Secretary

on Operational Activities for Development

22 October 2018

Mr. Chairman,   

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Member States of the Alliance of Small Island States (aosis). We align ourselves with the statement delivered by the distinguished representative of Egypt on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.  

First and foremost, through you Mr Chair, we thank the Deputy Secretary-General for her participation in this session and for her presentation of the Secretary-General’s Reports for this Agenda Item. We also take the opportunity to once again applaud the Secretary-General and the Deputy Secretary-General for their continued efforts to engage with Member States and to keep us informed on the matter of the Repositioning of the United Nations development system to deliver on the 2030 Agenda.   

We also thank the Secretary-General for his reports under this agenda item, especially his report entitled Implementation of General Assembly resolution 71/243 on the quadrennial comprehensive policy review of activities for development of the United Nations system, 2018.  Evident in this Report is the need for the un development System and its entities to scale up their capacities and skills sets to appropriately address the specific needs and challenges of countries in special situations, such as sids.   

For sids with highly dispersed islands and populations, reaching the furthest behind first requires innovative strategies as the “traditional and broad-based actions” has been proven to be very limited and somewhat ineffective. It also means building national capacities and utilizing local mechanisms to help, not only in the collection of data but also for programme and project designs and implementation. The members of aosis, since joining the international community in making our commitment in 2015 to the 2030 Agenda, and leaving no one behind, we have remained unwavering, very committed and dedicated to moving our sustainable development along. We were among the first to subscribe to and join the other supportive processes such as the Addis Abba Action Agenda, the Sendai, the New Urban Agenda and the Paris Agreement, which we believe are critically important to attaining sustainable development.   

We are also very cognizant of the great role the un development system plays in our development that is why we remain committed and seized with the matter of the strengthening of the un development system, so that it is better positioned to deliver the type of effective, efficient, coherent and impactful assistance sids require in order for us to fully implement the 2030 Agenda, with the samoa Pathway as the blueprint for our development.   

Mr. Chair, in this regard, we remain concerned that the current funding mechanism for the un development system does not provide the level of predictability or stability that we all hoped for, and therefore we continue to urge our development partners to treat this with great urgency.  We look forward to the continued dialogue on the funding matter. We also wish to reiterate our call for a proper, extensive and inclusive review of the Multi-Country Offices, as within this arrangement lie the destiny of a large number of sids countries and their peoples. This must be done with the full participation of the countries involved, even from the formulation of the process the review will be conducted. This is extremely important in order to find the right formula that would address properly these countries priorities and enhance their chances of achieving the 2030 sustainable development agenda. We look forward to the findings and recommendations from this review process in 2019.  

As you may be aware, next year will be a big year for us sids as it is five years since the samoa Pathway, and we will be convening on 27 September 2019 the high-level Mid-Term Review. We have already begun our preparatory work holding our three regional meetings, in Belize, Mauritius and Tonga, respectively, and at the end of this month, in Samoa, we will hold our interregional meeting.  In this regard, we are counting on the international community’s full support and solidarity, and we urge Member States to contribute to the Trust Fund, as well as to engage constructively, in order to ensure the success of the High-Level Meeting.   

aosis continues to maintain that partnerships are especially important to sids. However, these must be genuine, durable and based on mutual respect. We also see the private sector as having an important role in our movement to sustainable development.  

In this regard, we would like to seek the un’s assistance in formulating policies and guidelines to develop this further. We also believe that private sector partnerships will be beneficial to the un development system and its entities. However, the latter must not be done in a manner that has the un and its entities competing with programme countries for the small pool of local private sector. The un’s role in those circumstances must be to assist countries in tapping into its small local pool, as we expect the un and its entities to seek partnerships with the more international and larger private sector.  

In this regard, we wish to highlight the importance of South-South and triangular cooperation and encourage the funds and programmes of the un development system to continue to include these in their policies and strategic framework. However, we reiterate that these cannot and shall not replace North-South cooperation, which we strongly believe must remain the primary means of development cooperation. We also wish to reiterate our call for the strengthening of the un Office for South-South Cooperation, so that it can be of more assistance to developing countries providing guidelines, ground rules and policy advice, to help to develop further a better foundation and protection for south-south cooperation, while ensuring the sharing of best practices.

I thank you.