The mid-term review of the SAMOA Pathway is the midpoint of a journey on which the world embarked in 2014.
The destination for which we are aiming is a sustainable and prosperous future for all Small Island Developing States, in the face of unprecedented challenges that we face due to the inherent characteristics that form our collective identity.
Today we are taking stock of how far we have come, assessing how we can accelerate progress, and ensuring that we do not veer off course. From the preparatory process leading up to this Meeting, one thing is clear: we can see the destination is on the horizon, but we need to accelerate our joint efforts to arrive in time.
SIDS will continue to remain a special case for sustainable development. SIDS cannot graduate from our small island status,or the unique circumstances that it encompasses. Our limited resources, geographic dispersion and fragile ecosystems will continue to stay that way.
This means that, our dependency on imports, our inability to achieve economies of scale, and our vulnerability to external economic and environmental shocks, will continue to pose threats to our development.
Furthermore, our countries are particularly susceptible to disasters, and we continue to be disproportionately affected by adverse impacts of climate change, challenging our very existence.
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.
The benefits of investing in essential public needs of countries like ours will manifest in greater opportunities, and substantial returns in the long-term opportunities that will arise from peace, stability and prosperity. Our economy is growing and expanding at an exceptional rate.
We have never defaulted on our sovereign obligations, yet, regardless of the fact the international financial institutions only lend to us at exorbitant rates. I do not see why these institutions cannot consider the reliability and ability of a country to pay, over the viability and profitability of a smaller project investment in isolation.
Today, we are calling for partners and the international community to deliver on the commitments already made in the SAMOA Pathway. These have subsequently been supplemented by the Sendai Framework, Addis Ababa Action Agenda, 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement.
These are all instruments that will collectively help guide Small Island Developing States through our journey of sustainable development set out in the SAMOA Pathway. Our goal is to reach our destination by 2025 as envisioned. We, as SIDS, will remain determined crusaders to this cause.