Leaders of Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) from the Pacific, Caribbean, and African, Indian Ocean and South China Sea states will converge at the Wadadli Action Platform to address the most critical issues that hinder Sustainable Development in SIDS.
The two-day meeting, organized by the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), in partnership with the Governments of Denmark and the United Kingdom, will take place on August 8th and 9th, 2022, at St. John’s, Antigua. The event will be a solutions-oriented springboard for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in SIDS. Presenters and participants will include Hon. Abdulla Shahid, President of the United Nations General Assembly, Dr. Hyginus Leon, President of the Caribbean Development Bank, Dr. Natalia Kanem, the Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund, and other United Nations representatives and SIDS global partners who will address the environmental, social, and economic factors which waylay SIDS’ advancement.
“Wadadli, meaning “our own”, signifies the leadership of SIDS in pioneering tailored and sustainable solutions, including through local and traditional knowledge,” said The Honourable Molwyn Joseph, Minister of Health, Wellness and the Environment for Antigua and Barbuda, who will lead the event in his role as Chair of AOSIS.
“Reeling from the aftershocks of the global pandemic and lockdowns which decimated the tourism sector on which many of our economies are based, SIDS require accelerated and concrete action and tailored solutions for recovery. Our countries also contend with debilitating loss and damage from climate change impacts, with GDP losses from tropical cyclones alone, averaging at 3.7% per year. In response, the least amount of Green Climate Fund (GCF) funding compared to other regions was made available for SIDS last year – just 4% of total funding. Many SIDS are struggling to stay afloat, weighed down by onerous debt burdens which may now be exacerbated by the international market disturbance due to the armed conflict in Europe.”
“At the Wadadli Action Platform we aim to transform rhetoric and commitments for enhancing resilience in SIDS, into urgent and tangible actions to ensure our right to thrive,” he added.
With the stakes at an all-time high for these developing and least-developed countries, the Wadadli Action Platform is set to put SIDS challenges in an international spotlight and enhance partnerships to strengthen long-term resilience. The Platform aims to secure new, actionable commitments to address the issues in access to development finance that continue to plague SIDS, such as the long overdue implementation of a Multidimensional Vulnerability Index (MVI) by the International Finance Institutions, to guide their concessional lending and debt restructuring policies. It will also serve as a critical marker on the road to the Fourth International Conference on SIDS in 2024, to take stock and identify key priorities and elements for the development of the new framework for SIDS.
The Wadadli Action Platform agenda will focus on:
· Environmental Resilience in SIDS: Protecting the planet
o Addressing the adverse impacts of climate change.
o Addressing Marine Plastic Pollution for sustaining Ocean-based Economies in SIDS.
· Economic Resilience in SIDS: Access to Development Finance
o Adoption and use of the Multidimensional Vulnerability Index; dissecting the interim report of the Expert Panel.
o Solutions for debt sustainability in SIDS.
· Social Resilience in SIDS: Inclusive and enabling environments
o Promoting formal and informal education, including through digital technologies.
o Gender, youth, economic empowerment and the inclusion of persons with disability.
· The Fourth SIDS Conference: Setting the future for sustainable development
o Monitoring implementation and strengthening national and regional statistical systems.
o Priorities for the post-SAMOA Pathway development – The Next SIDS Blueprint.