Maldives President to Co-chair global meet on Small Island Developing States

4th International Conference to focus on development challenges for SIDS


May 26, 2024

/ By / New Delhi

Maldives President to Co-chair global meet on Small Island Developing States

As Co-chair of SIDS4, Maldives President Mohammed Muizzu will take up issues of development of Small Island nations

Maldivian President Mohammed Muizzu will co-chair the 4th International Conference on Small Islands Developing States that will begin on May 27 in Antigua and Barbuda.

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With the theme of Charting the course toward resilient prosperity and to discuss developmental challenges being faced by Small Island Developing States (SIDS), the Fourth International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS4) is scheduled to begin on Monday at St John’s in Antigua and Barbuda, in the Caribbean.

According to a press statement, the President of Maldives, Mohammed Muizzu, will participate in the conference as co-chair. Maldives has been at the forefront of raising the issue of the SIDS and the numerous challenges, especially by climate change, that these nations face around the world.

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) were recognised as a distinct group of developing countries facing specific social, economic and environmental vulnerabilities at the United Nations (UN) Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), also known as the Earth Summit, held in June 1992 in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.

In essence, they were formally recognised as a special case both for their environment and development. This was when the SIDS programme was established within the UN. Today, SIDS comprise a distinct group of 37 UN Member States and 20 Associate Members of the UN Regional Commissions spread across three geographical regions.

Maldives President to Co-chair global meet on Small Island Developing States

Small Island Developing States depend on tourism as a key economic driver

The statement adds that Muizzu is among the 15 co-chairs of the interactive dialogue under the theme “Revitalising SIDS Economies for Accelerated and Sustainable Growth” along with Anders Adlercreutz, Minister for European Affairs and Ownership Steering of Finland. Foreign Minister of Maldives Moosa Zameer will deliver closing remarks at the Private Sector Roundtable on May 28 while Environment Minister Thoriq Ibrahim and Housing Minister Ali Haidar Ahmed will be delivering interventions at the interactive dialogues. Both the Environment and Housing Minister will also participate in a number of side events, says the statement.

The statement adds that a majority of SIDS member states depend on the tourism industry as their main economic backbone, employment opportunities, and foreign exchange. At the SIDS4 conference, significant discussions will be held focussing on strategies to alleviate adverse impacts and adapt to changing climate and environmental conditions, ensuring the resiliency of the tourism industry.

The conference will discuss promoting sustainable tourism practices and strategies on ensuring eco-friendly tourism, reducing the carbon footprint of tourism activities, and safeguarding the natural environment while continuing to attract tourists.

The SIDS Conference is held once every decade where a concrete Programme of Action is adopted by the States for a 10-year term.  Spanning over a four-day period, the SIDS4 conference will hold eight plenary meetings and five interactive dialogues of two hours each, to be presided over by two co-chairs, one from a developed state and the other from a developing state.



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