9 February 2017, New York: The Maldives, as the Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) convened an interactive dialogue with His Excellency Mr. Antonio Guterres, the Secretary General of the United Nations, providing an opportunity for Member States to discuss the priorities and issues of importance for Small Island Developing States (SIDS). The meeting was chaired by His Excellency Mr. Ahmed Sareer, the Permanent Representative of Maldives to the United Nations.
When addressing the meeting, the Secretary General acknowledged the unique challenges that SIDS face across all aspects of the UN mandates, and also acknowledged the leadership role that SIDS were undertaking to address these challenges.
During the interactive dialogue, the Chair and a number of Members of AOSIS highlighted specific concerns for SIDS. These included, the wish of the SIDS to see the specific vulnerabilities and special circumstances faced by them to be mainstreamed throughout the UN system as well as the Secretary General to ensure more representation for SIDS in the UN Secretariat in his initiatives to bring broader reforms to make the functioning of the Secretariat more effective and efficient. Many questions were posed to the Secretary General on specific areas of climate change, sustainable development, oceans, SIDS graduation from Least Developed Country status, and access to finance for SIDS in its overall engagement. In his response, the Secretary General touched upon these concerns and assured the Members of his willingness to give high priority to these concerns and work with SIDS towards tackling them.
In addition to the Permanent Representatives of the Member States of AOSIS to the United Nations in New York, the Representatives of the UN Secretariat and the Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (OHRLLS) attended the meeting.