Statement by the Republic of Maldives

on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States

at the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

18 July 2016


Mr. Chairman, Excellencies, Distinguished Colleagues,

1. It is my honour to participate at this very important session and I thank all the panelists for a very interesting discussion. Goal 17, in many ways, is critical to achieving all the other Goals in the 2030 Agenda. The best intentions cannot bear fruit without adequate means of implementation. This is also why the Addis Ababa Action Agenda is so dear to us.

2. Small island developing states, like mine, are acutely aware of the importance of national ownership of the 2030 Agenda, of the SAMOA Pathway, and of the Paris Agreement. The Alliance of Small Island States has continually pushed the global community to pursue more ambitious goals in varied processes.

3. While noting the importance of domestic resource mobilization, SIDS have significant challenges in doing so in any meaningful way.  A narrow resource base, coupled with small populations dispersed over many islands make revenue collection extremely difficult and expensive.

4. Attracting private investment poses its own unique challenges because of little to no economic returns, and the inability to generate economies of scale. Moreover, our extreme vulnerability natural hazards can multiply rehabilitation and reconstruction costs. This is why, international public finance is critical and central to meet our sustainable development goals.

5. Might I also add that most SIDS are classified as middle income countries outside the UN, thus severely restricting our access to concessionary financing.  This is why SIDS believe that measuring development based on GDP per capita alone is not ideal. Neither is assessing support a country requires based on income. We believe that countries should be assessed based on their need, with differentiated context-specific approaches.

6. As some of the the smallest, and most vulnerable nations, it is of utmost importance to ensure an enabling international economic environment, including coherent and mutually supporting world trade, monetary and financial systems, and strengthened and enhanced global economic governance to ensure that we get the support we sorely need. We would like for more say and sway in global decision-making.

7. In the information age, the opportunity provided by technology, science and innovation is immense. SIDS have always been ready to partner with our development donors, UN agencies and the business community to identify all avenues to mobilize the means of implementation required to implement our ambitious, universal and inclusive 2030 Agenda. I thank you.