SIDS4 Conference concludes with new commitment, pathway for sustainable development

UN Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed calls for investment in SIDS

World Leaders call for priorities of small island nations to be at the forefront of the global development

#UN Conference for #SIDS2024 Concludes in Antigua and Barbuda with consensus to urgently accelerate climate action

The 4th International Conference on Small Island Development (SIDS4) in Antigua & Barbuda brings the international community together to ensure that small island states, particularly vulnerable to climate change are at the forefront of climate solutions.

By; Muhammad Arif

Antigua and Barbuda : The Fourth International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS4) concluded with the major outcome, the Antigua and Barbuda Agenda for SIDS (ABAS) – a Declaration for Renewed Prosperity – putting forth a new, ambitious pathway for SIDS’ sustainable development.

Speaking at the closing ceremony, the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed emphasized the need for investment in SIDS: “Over the course of the last four days many of you have made commitments to make the ABAS a reality. We recognize the commitments from the European Union, Germany, Netherlands, and the United States. We hope others will also step up.”

She further added that “No effort should be spared to ensure that the voices of vulnerable and marginalized groups in SIDS continue to be heard, including persons with disabilities, older persons, and indigenous peoples.”

About 3,000 participants, including 22 Heads of State and Government, attended the Conference, advocating for the priorities of small island nations to be at the forefront of the global development agenda. Over four days, world leaders together with the private sector, civil society, academia and young people spotlighted challenges, presented innovative and practical solutions and delivered a host of new commitments to accelerate sustainable development in SIDS.

The Conference closed with the unanimous adoption of The Antigua and Barbuda Agenda for SIDS (ABAS) – a Renewed Declaration for Resilient Prosperity which sets out the sustainable development aspirations of SIDS over the next 10 years and the support required from the international community to achieve them.

Li Junhua, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs and Secretary-General of the SIDS4 Conference said “The Antigua and Barbuda Agenda for SIDS, adopted here today, outlines a clear pathway for SIDS to develop smart, context-specific, and inclusive development strategies,”

“The Agenda has the potential to transform the economies of SIDS and put them on a clear path towards sustainable development. Now the real work begins. We are committed to working alongside SIDS to implement the ABAS comprehensively, and with no time to waste.”

Delivering the #UNIDO statement at the General Debate of the 4th International Conference on Small Island Developing States #SIDS4, UNIDO Director General Gerd Müller appealed for a new quality of global cooperation in supporting sustainable economic development in #SIDS: “There must be a clear signal from this conference: global solidarity with SIDS. The industrialized countries must deliver on their commitments: the 0.7% GNI development assistance goal and the loss and damage fund.

The #IndustrializedCountries are responsible for 80% of CO2 emissions – not the SIDS. But only 1.5% of global Official Development Assistance is invested in SIDS, 1.5% – this is unacceptable.” He stressed that SIDS need a massive increase in adaptation funding, investments in economic progress and debt relief, moreover calling upon the private sector to play a much larger role in supporting and investing in #SustainableDevelopment in Small Island Developing States.

To help SIDS meet their ambitions for resilient prosperity, countries agreed to facilitate easier access to affordable and concessional finance, increase the effectiveness of development finance, scale-up biodiversity climate finance, in line with existing obligations and commitments and urgently accelerate climate action.

The SIDS4 Conference is held every ten years, and serves as a crucial platform for small island developing countries to discuss and strategize on sustainable development. This SIDS2024 conference featured essential work and discussions aimed at paving the way for a sustainable future for small island nations.

In his closing ceremony, participants reiterated the importance of collective efforts and international cooperation in addressing the unique challenges faced by small island developing states. The conference concluded with a renewed commitment to achieving sustainable development goals and ensuring a resilient future for all small island nations.

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