Statement by the Republic of Maldives

on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States

at the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

14 July 2016


Session: "Countries in Special Situations"

Mr. Chairman, Excellencies, Distinguished Colleagues,

I have the honour to deliver these brief remarks on behalf of the Alliance of Small island States (AOSIS).

The 2030 Agenda calls for particular attention to be given to countries in special situations and therefore it is very fitting that the HLPF, which is the forum for the follow-up and review of the Agenda to provide space for addressing the specific needs of these countries. AOSIS welcomes this discussion given the special attention required for countries in special situation, which this session is dedicated to.

As we highlighted in the earlier session on SIDS, it is extremely important to build synergy and coherence between the 2030 Agenda and existing agreements, especially for countries in special situations, including the Istanbul Programme of Action for LDCs (IPoA) and the Vienna Programme of Action for LLDCs (VPoA). This is extremely crucial as these agreements addresses the specific challenges which are generic to them and would provide a more detailed assessment of these challenges.

As the implementation of the 2030 Agenda is to be country-led it puts the majority of countries in special situation at a disadvantage, as they are furthest behind in development and lack the capacities to undertake the huge Agenda. Most have yet to fully realize all the MDGs.

Special attention has to be given to the challenges that plague/hinder development in these countries and the provision of focused and scaled-up assistance is required if they are not to be left behind. Like SIDS, the UNDS has to ensure that it incorporates the priorities and activities of these countries into relevant strategic programmes, including the UNDAF, as well as to take fully into account their various issues, and include them in their programmes.

Countries in special situations are not competitors for attention and resources, and should not be seen or understood as such. We must work together so that the collective and individual concerns of countries in special situations are adequately addressed. We have to recognise that different countries are at different starting points in implementing this universal agenda, and therefore the unique, structural challenges faced by the countries under these categories should be given due consideration.

We also urge the international community to help us by adhering to the commitment made last year of "leaving no one behind" by fulfilling their ODA obligations and facilitating long and durable partnerships to benefit countries in special situations. In addition, the UNDS must work with other organizations, such as IFIs to ensure synergies with policies that are consistent with a balanced approach to the three dimensions of sustainable development, while keeping in mind the multidimensionality of poverty.

Thank you.