Your Excellency, Mr. Walton Alfonso Webson, Permanent Representative of Antigua and Barbuda to the United Nations and Co-chair of the Steering Committee on Partnership for SIDS,
Your Excellency, Ms. Vanessa Frazier, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Malta to the United Nations and Co-chair of the Steering Committee on Partnership for SIDS,
I am pleased to address this 7th annual Global Multi-stakeholder SIDS Partnership Dialogue.
I am sharing this honour with my colleague, Mr. Courtenay Rattray, High Representative for the LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS. I congratulate you on your appointment and warmly welcome you to the Steering Committee on Partnerships for SIDS.
Close collaboration between DESA and OHRLLS is important to support the effective implementation of the SAMOA Pathway and to promote the SIDS Partnership Framework, which is designed to monitor progress of existing, and stimulate the launch of new, genuine and durable partnerships for the sustainable development of SIDS.
The theme of this year’s Global Dialogue, “SIDS Partnerships for sustainable, resilient and equitable economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic”, is not only aligned with the overall theme of the current session of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, but also provides a crucial focus on the economic dimension of pandemic recovery. This takes into account the harsh reality of the devastating economic effect of the pandemic on SIDS.
We are starkly aware that for many countries, including in some SIDS, the pandemic is still raging, bringing unprecedented challenges and growing uncertainty to their prospects of sustainable development.
The economic effects of the pandemic have been catastrophic for SIDS who have been severely affected by falling tourism revenues, reduced remittance and capital flows, volatility of commodity prices and growing debt servicing burdens. There is a real and present danger that these impacts could derail and inhibit their implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SAMOA Pathway.
The SAMOA Pathway and the Partnerships Framework provide a structure that could lead us out of the present difficulties and fundamentally alter the trajectory of SIDS national development towards more diversified economies. A few sectors that are ripe to lead the way; include the global services sector, the creative industries, and the green, blue and orange economies. These sectors are also ripe for fostering the types of genuine and durable partnerships that could be attractive to investors in SIDS economies – if backed by an enabling business environment.
Partnerships and collaboration are the key to achieving the 2030 Agenda and the SAMOA Pathway. They help us create collective legitimacy and knowledge as well as mechanisms for collective learning and complex problem solving. They assist us in generating the resources needed for real transformation. Wherever possible new partnerships should be encouraged.
This Global Dialogue provides a valuable platform to reflect on partnerships for SIDS in the context of COVID-19 and beyond. I look forward with interest to the outcomes.
DESA stands ready to continue its support.