President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has stated that the Maldives will remain determined crusaders to the cause of building a sustainable and prosperous future for all Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and that our goal is to reach our destination by 2025 as envisioned. He made this remark at the statement given at the High-level Review of the SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway Multi-stakeholder Roundtable I: Progress, Gaps and Challenges, at the 74th United Nations General Assembly in New York, USA.

Speaking at the meeting, President Solih noted that the mid-term review of the SAMOA Pathway is the midpoint of a journey on which the world embarked in 2014—the envisioned destination of the SAMOA Pathway is a sustainable and prosperous future for all SIDS in the face of unprecedented challenges due to the inherent characteristics that form the collective SIDS identity. He emphasised that SIDS will continue to remain a special case for sustainable development as they cannot graduate from small island status, or the unique circumstances that it encompasses, be it limited resources, geographic dispersion and fragile ecosystems or vulnerability to external economic and environmental shocks.  

“Our countries are particularly susceptible to disasters, and we continue to be disproportionately affected by the adverse impacts of climate change, challenging our very existence,” the President said. “It is time we actually made progress on our ‘accelerated modalities for action.’ For this to happen we need our development partners to work with us as equals, allowing us to steer the course for our own sustainable development. We believe that it is important to understand that returns on investments are not always immediate.” 

He further added that the benefits of investing in essential public needs of SIDS will manifest in greater opportunities, and substantial returns in the long-term opportunities that will arise from peace, stability, and prosperity. The President also noted that financial institutions should consider the reliability and ability of a country to pay, over the viability and profitability of a smaller project investment in isolation while setting rates for lending. 

Moreover, the President called for partners and the international community to deliver on the commitments already made in the SAMOA Pathway, further stating that these have subsequently been supplemented by the Sendai Framework, Addis Ababa Action Agenda, 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement. He also stated that these are all instruments that will collectively help guide Small Island Developing States through the journey of sustainable development set out in the SAMOA Pathway.