Excellencies and dear friends,
Let me start by expressing my gratitude to the Honourable Fiamē Naomi Mataʻafa, Prime Minister of Samoa and Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States, for graciously hosting this gathering. I commend you, Madam Prime Minister, the Government and people of Samoa, for the outstanding leadership of AOSIS this year.
Excellencies, we gather at a critical juncture for several reasons.
First, we meet at a time when we are on the brink of seeing the results of an effort that began in 1991. We eagerly await the finalization of the Multidimensional Vulnerability Index report. We must leverage every opportunity to rally IFIs to adopt the MVI as a holistic metric beyond GDP and be better informed of the vulnerabilities of developing countries. In this vein, I welcome the establishment of the AOSIS-DAC Task Force, and I am confident that their efforts will bear fruit. I also welcome the initiative to hold a briefing on the sidelines of the IMF/World Bank Spring meetings, with the Ambassadors of SIDS countries represented in Washington DC.
Second, we stand only a few months away from the conclusion of the first-ever Global stocktake (GST) under the Paris Agreement. The IPCC has already sounded the alarm about the consequences of going beyond 1.5 degrees. We must strive to achieve the results we have been advocating for – a robust and ambitious GST outcome document at COP28 that sets our course right on climate action under the Paris Agreement. Our aim should be to secure an ambitious political declaration supported by a comprehensive technical annex. We must also use our collective political will to encourage partners to operationalize the Loss and Damage Fund. Let us seize the opportunity presented by UNGA78 to raise our voices, build momentum, and ensure its realization at COP28.
Third, we have just concluded our preparatory meetings for the Fourth International Conference for Small Island Developing States. We are just months away from starting negotiations on the next 10-year Programme of Action for SIDS. We must ensure that this Programme of Action accurately reflects our development agenda. The new action plan must be focused, results oriented, and geared towards addressing emerging and future challenges.
In our capacity as the Co-Chair of the Preparatory Committee of the Fourth International SIDS Conference, I assure you that the Maldives is fully committed to ensuring that the next SIDS blueprint builds upon the successes for the previous three SIDS programme of actions, and in ensuring the Conference is a success.
Excellencies, distinguished members of the AOSIS family,
The political declaration before us serves as a compelling testament to the seriousness of our vulnerabilities and the huge stakes in play.
I have every confidence that with our unified strength as AOSIS, we can successfully navigate through this critical moment and emerge from it victorious.
I thank you.