SIDS DOCK Launch Event 
30 September 2015 | 11:00 | Room 4 NLB
Statement by H.E Thoriq Ibrahim, Minister of Environment and Energy


Hon. Head of Sates, governments and Ministers, Distinguished Excellencies, Colleagues and Honoured Guests,

Let me thank Organizers of this side event St Vincent and Grenadines. Also allow me in extending our most sincere sympathies and solidarity to the government and people of the Commonwealth of Dominica in the wake of Tropical Storm Erika. Dominica has taken great leadership in developing and establishing SIDS Dock, and has been a much-appreciated support to the Small Island Developing State (SIDS) community, and we were greatly saddened to learn of the significant destruction and loss of lives caused by this natural disaster. Events such as this natural disaster are increasingly common and pose an existential threat to SIDS. They further demonstrate the need to act on climate change mitigation and adaptation and we urge our development partners to see this as further motivation to act, and thank those here today who have heard this message. At the same time, SIDS have taken this as an opportunity to lead and the Maldives is gratified to see the realization of SIDS Dock, a SIDS-SIDS organization, on the critical issue such as renewable energy. 

Maldives is proud to be in the first group of signatories to the Memorandum of Agreement on establishing SIDS DOCK, in 2009. We continue to envision this organization as a central part of the answer for SIDS addressing our energy needs, and realizing our fervent commitment tosustainable development. SIDS DOCK will serve as an enabling platform to develop strong partnerships around renewable energy with other governments, non-profit organizations and the private sector, and the Maldives believes strongly in the value of partnerships as a tool to seeing real change. Like many of our fellow SIDS, we are highly reliant on  imported petroleum products to supply our energy needs due to our remote location. The high cost burden of these fossil fuels, due to the current oil price fluctuations and high transportation costs, contributes to the Maldives’ vulnerability and runs counter to our desire to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. As such, the Maldives looks forward to SIDS DOCK enabling a transition towards a low carbon future for sland states, and further heralding a global transition.In support of these efforts Maldives is excited to have a project already underway spearheaded through SIDS DOCK focused on off-grid electrification. It is being developed in partnership with the World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP), with funding of approximately $1 million. Beyond SIDS DOCK, Maldives is also working on a number of other renewables initiatives, including a waste-to-energy project in our second largest city of Addu, through cooperation with the other Development Partners. 

Through our role as Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States, we have noted the benefits of SIDS workingcollectively on priority issues. By speaking with a clear voice on issues of climate change and particularly sustainable development, SIDS have been able to be heard despite our small size. This first formalized institution for SIDS is a promising first step to legitimize our concerns and position within the United Nations, and harness public and private investment to realize not only our newly agreed Sustainable Development Goals, but a truly sustainable future in the Maldives and all SIDS.In concluding, I wish to voice the Maldives’ commitmentto SIDS DOCK.

I thank you Distinguished Chair