Statement by

The Maldives on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS)

Informal Meeting of the Second Committee

5 February 2016


Mr. Chairman, Excellencies and Colleagues,

I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS). We align ourselves with the statement delivered by the G77 and China.

Mr. Chairman,

As we have outlined in our previous statements on this issue, AOSIS believes that the revitalization of the Second Committee needs to be undertaken in the context of revitalization of other Committees and indeed the entire UN system. Review of the working methods of the Second Committee in isolation from the discussion on revitalization, say of the Third Committee, or importantly, the functioning of the HLPF, might prove to be inefficient. We take this opportunity to encourage the Committee Bureaus and their respective Secretariats to work together, openly discussing options to avoid contradictions and duplication.

The work of the UN system as a whole needs to take into consideration the new realities as laid out by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We wish to reiterate our call for a mapping exercise to visualize the current agenda items and resolutions in the Second Committee, in an effort to make informed decisions as to possible solutions for revitalising the Committee. We also need a similar exercise for the wider General Assembly to understand where work needs to be consolidated and how unnecessary overlap of issues can be avoided or eliminated.

Regarding the relevance and impact of the Second Committee's work, our work is germane to a multitude of topics in the 2030 Agenda, but by no means is it the only committee that needs to be rationalized in its context. Having said that, it is one of the very few platforms where SIDS can discuss issues not readily accessible to them in other fora. Thus our conversation needs to be broader than streamlining agenda items in the context of the 2030 Agenda, and has to be more carefully executed than merely cutting items. We have to be mindful of how our work can contribute to the 2030 Agenda.

Finally, with regard to possible improvements to the methods of work, we believe that while striving for expediency and effectiveness of our work is important, improving the quality and thoroughness of outcomes is equally if not more desired. Building from that, perhaps we could look into revisiting the timeline and subsequent deadlines of our resolutions. Better coordination between the Bureau and member states to understand issues that are more contentious in nature might help in providing more realistic deadlines. We look forward to participating in the informal informals and listening to what we hope will be a rich and fruitful discussion.

I thank you.