Small Island Developing States

Small Island Developing States

UN-OHRLLS plays a leading role in raising awareness of the special case of small island developing States at the national, regional and global levels.

Since UN-OHRLLS was established in 2001, it has been working through a dedicated Small Island Developing States Unit to mobilize and coordinate the United Nations system and other stakeholders towards supporting implementation, coherent follow-up and monitoring of the Barbados Programme of Action (BPoA) for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and the Mauritius Strategy for Implementation (MSI) at the country, regional and global levels.

With the adoption of the SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action, or SAMOA Pathway, for the decade 2014 - 2024, UN-OHRLLS has focused on supporting the SIDS to achieve the goals of the SAMOA Pathway. This includes building synergies and coherence with other internationally agreed development goals, including the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the Paris Agreement and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

How does UN-OHRLLS work with the UN system and other stakeholders?

UN-OHRLLS plays a leading role in convening the UN system through the Inter-Agency Consultative Group for SIDS to ensure coherent and coordinated support to SIDS and collaborates with UN agencies and other partners on joint events, publications and thematic initiatives to support SIDS. 

Increasing global awareness and debate on development issues of relevance to SIDS is a major area of focus for UN-OHRLLS.  This includes work on enhancing international support to SIDS in implementing the Samoa Pathway and in adapting to and mitigating climate change.

The Office also supports the SIDS Steering Committee on Partnerships, established to monitor the implementation of the more than 300 partnerships announced at the Third International Conference on SIDS. In addition, UN-OHRLLS operates the SIDS Global Business Network, focusing the attention of the business community on partnerships with SIDS.

Aside from SIDS governments and their development partners, UN-OHRLLS also engages with civil society, media, academia, and foundations to raise awareness of and support the sustainable development aspirations of the SIDS. This work also includes supporting journalists from SIDS to build their capacity in reporting on development issues pertaining to SIDS.

How does UN-OHRLLS work directly with SIDS?

Through a system of SIDS National Focal Points established by UN-OHRLLS in 2018, the Office engages directly with representatives from SIDS to ensure coherence in the implementation of the SAMOA Pathway and the 2030 Agenda at the national, regional and global levels. National Focal Points meetings are convened annually.

At UN Headquarters, UN-OHRLLS works with the Permanent Missions of SIDS to facilitate group consultations and provide support in relation to SIDS’ engagement in intergovernmental processes. UN-OHRLLS also works in this context to collaborate on focused events around thematic development issues.

Recent Content

Latest news on the Small Island Developing States 

14 July 2020


NEW YORK 14 July 2020 – The United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries, and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS), in collaboration with the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) and the Clinton Foundation, today released a joint report that details how island policymakers and regulators can work together to enhance the resilience of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems across the Caribbean.

23 October 2019


OSLO, 23 October 2019 – Healthy oceans guarantee productive livelihoods, food security and socio-economic benefits for the world’s small island developing states (SIDS). However, these benefits are being severely tested. The oceans today are severely affected by the climate crisis, over-fishing, pollution and biodiversity loss. New and transformative ocean partnerships are urgently required to support SIDS in building their resilience and coping with the challenges they face.

22 October 2019


HONIARA, 22 October 2019 – On 17-18 October, the United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on Least Developed Country Graduation, in partnership with the Solomon Islands Government, held a 2-day workshop to kickstart the process of preparing for a smooth graduation from Least Developed Country Status.

This followed the decision by the UN General Assembly to grant the Solomon Islands an extended preparation period for graduation having met the necessary criteria in 2018; with formal graduation now due to occur end of 2024.