Statement by the Republic of Maldives
on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States
ECOSOC Operational Activities Segment
23 February 2016
Panel 3: How to strengthen coordination and integration of development, humanitarian and peace pillars in the work of the UN System?
Distinguished Panelists, Excellencies and Colleagues,
1. I have the honour of delivering this statement on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS).
2. For SIDS it is important to strengthen coordination between development, humanitarian, disaster response, climate change and resilience efforts across the UN systems
3. I again offer our thoughts and prayers to the people of Fiji who are suffering due to Tropical Cyclone Winston. This tragedy makes it alarmingly clear the urgency with which we must fortify the relationship between development, resilience building and humanitarian work. While here in New York, the idea of these pillars working in tandem is often a conceptual exercise, for SIDS these issues are a singular reality.
4. When significant natural disasters such as Tropical Cyclone Winston, or Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu last year, or the Tsunamis of 2004 and 2009, hit SIDS, they not only pose an immediate humanitarian threat; they also undermine development outcomes. In particular, multiple SIDS have had their graduation from Least Developed Country status delayed directly due to damage inflicted by extreme weather events. As these events become more frequent and aggressive with the onset of climate change, the need to integrate efforts between humanitarian response, peace and security, and climate change and disaster risk reduction is no longer an option - for SIDS it is imperative.
5. As we work towards coordination and coherence throughout the entire UN system in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals, it is also important to see how there can be interlinkages made more impactful between cross-cutting issues such as resilience building.
6. Institutionalizing UN wide strategic programming for complicated development situations faces many challenges. One of these challenges is the issue of coordinating horizontally across the UN Secretariat and entities, and vertically at the global, regional and country levels. Inter-agency coordination in the past has also been hindered by perhaps a confusion regarding which tasks or activities should be coordinated across agencies. Strategic plans of UN funds and programs must be flexible to address developing situations but also reflect this much needed coordination.
7. We need to take the upcoming QCPR process seriously and work to identify specific opportunities to find incentives to improve how cross-cutting issues are addressed, whether that is improved allocation of funding or shared responsibility between different UN entities.
8. We look forward to seeing a significant focus on SIDS in the UN's disaster work, particularly as the relationships between humanitarian assistance, sustainable development, disaster management, and climate change increasingly identified, not as separate issues, but as part of a shared experience when it comes to SIDS.
9. I would be happy to hear from the panelists any responses they may have on these aspects.