Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid on Thursday called on the international community to provide support to Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the areas of fiscal space, concessional financial assistance, and risk reduction.
The minister made the remarks while participating in the virtual panel 'Mobilizing international solidarity, accelerating action and embarking on new pathways to realize the 2030 Agenda and the Samoa Pathway: Small Island Developing States' of the High-Level Political Forum on sustainable development (HLPF), which was organised by the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
Resource persons and country representatives from across the three SIDS regions participated in the session, to shared their respective government's challenges and strategies in responding to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as well as approaches to realise the transformational change necessary to build economic resilience.
Representing Maldives as a Resource Person, Minister Shahid briefed the panel on the impact of COVID-19 on the tourism industry of Maldives, which is the backbone of the island nation's economy. He also shed light on the government’s national recovery plan, and its focus on building resilience and diversifying the economy.
In his remarks, Shahid called on the international community to support SIDS, such as through the provision of fiscal spaces and re-examination of the eligibility criteria for SIDS access to concessional loans and grants.
Moreover, he stressed that multilateral instruments were important to support SIDS with investments in prevention and risk reduction, in order to help such countries to overcome the challenges of high debt and inadequate resources for resilient recovery.
The HLPF is the United Nation's central platform to oversee the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The theme for HLPF's 2020 is 'Accelerated action and transformative pathways: Realizing the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development'.