Excellencies, distinguished panelists, ladies and gentlemen,
As small island developing States try to navigate the COVID-19 recovery, the ongoing geo-political tensions and cascading impacts of climate change have further constrained their socio-economic progress.
Digital transformation must be at the heart of building resilience and addressing the unique vulnerabilities of these small economies.
To accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), these countries should leverage the opportunities of digital trade and the digitalization of trade processes to scale up socio-economic wellbeing. At the same time, it is imperative to promote early warning for all in SIDS to address climate emergencies.
Development strategies for SIDS need to address the significant financing and debt vulnerabilities these countries face. Innovative methods that address public debt sustainability and incorporate climate change vulnerability are required for these countries to manage high levels of debt and increase investment in sustainable development.
ECLAC, for example, has been advocating to link long-term resilience financing and the systematic inclusion of state-contingent elements with natural disasters.
And ESCAP is working with development partners to build resilience through and advance the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in Asia-Pacific SIDS through impactful partnerships and initiatives with the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure and the UN development system to revitalize inclusive and resilient growth opportunities; improve equity and social inclusion; and harness climate-resilient development strategies for SIDS.
In conclusion, as the regional commissions are organizing with DESA and OHRLLS the regional preparatory meetings for the upcoming 4th International Conference on SIDS, I would like to express our deep appreciation to the leadership of Excellency Mr. Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda.
I would also like to thank panel members for their insights to address options from recovery to resilience across SIDS.
Thank you very much.