SIDS4 Side Event: IBSA and India-UN Fund Championing Advocacy and Walking the Talk on Supporting SIDS Resilience, 30 May 2024

Apr 3, 2024 | Events

  • Date: 30 May 2024
  • Time: 10:00- 11:30 AM New York Time
  • Venue: Room 3, American University of Antigua

Background

SIDS4: Charting the Course Toward Resilient Prosperity

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are in the crossfires of multiple crises: climate change, the economic and social repercussions of COVID-19, and a crisis of debt. The pandemic hugely impacted all island nations, especially those dependent on tourism. Global lockdowns left large holes in islands’ coffers and severely set back efforts to invest in the Sustainable Development Goals. Meanwhile, climate action is becoming increasingly urgent, as weather-related disasters have doubled in two decades: with island nations both most vulnerable and least responsible.

At this time of great peril, opportunity must be seized. Hence, the international community will gather at SIDS4 to review SIDS’ sustainable development progress and propose a new decade of partnerships and solutions to supercharge their path to resilient prosperity.

SIDS – An Utmost Priority in the IBSA and India-UN Fund portfolios

As a grouping, SIDS are the single largest beneficiary of the IBSA Fund and the India-UN Fund. In total, 32 countries have benefitted from 63 country-level projects and 3 multi-country projects (with the India-UN Fund supporting 30 countries, and the IBSA Fund supporting 11). 64% of the portfolio of the India-UN Fund, and 37% of the portfolio of the IBSA Fund, representing a total of $55.5 million ($38.2 million and $17.2 million, respectively), have been allocated to SIDS.

Support for SIDS has been provided across all geographical regions. Overall, 14 SIDS in the Caribbean, 12 SIDS in the Pacific, and 4 SIDS in Africa or the Indian Ocean Rim have accessed these two South-South trust funds.

By design, the India-UN Fund has an intentional focus on supporting SIDS – as its programming guidelines establish that SIDS and LDCs and countries where India only has concurrent diplomatic accreditation are prioritized. In addition, the India-UN Fund also has a funding window dedicated exclusively to the Commonwealth. In addition, in September 2019, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced during meetings with leaders of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Pacific Islands Developing States (PSIDS) alongside the United Nations General, that the India-UN Development Partnership Fund will provide $14 million to projects in the Caribbean and $12 million to projects in the Pacific. Further strengthening the SIDS prioritization to receive the Fund’s support.

The IBSA Fund Board of Directors has historically been highly receptive to the requests and specificities of SIDS, as reflected in their large relative participation in the IBSA Fund portfolio.

Alignment with Conference Priorities

The IBSA and India-UN Funds are both demand-driven and non-prescriptive in the priority areas for support within the framework of the 17 SDGs. Following SIDS governments requests, the areas that have received the most support include climate resilience, through early warning and refurbishment of extreme weather resistant infrastructure; health, notably thanks to COVID-19 response projects; solar energy and its applications; and information technology, both in education and through digitalization.

The SIDS4 conference is structured around five themes:

  • Making Climate Finance Work for SIDS: Building on the Outcomes of UNFCCC COP 28
  • Enhancing Critical Forms of Financing and Aid Effectiveness through Collaborative Partnerships
  • Levering Data and Digital Technologies and Building Effective Institutions for a Resilient Future
  • Investing in human capital: addressing health crisis in SIDS and building the potential of youth; and
  • Revitalizing SIDS Economies for accelerated and sustainable growth.

The IBSA and India-UN Fund are inspiring examples of South-South collaborative partnerships for SIDS resilience and prosperity. This event, organized jointly by the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations in New York, the Permanent Mission of Brazil, the Permanent Mission of South Africa, and the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation will provide an opportunity to discuss projects supported by these trust funds, under various Sustainable Development Goals.

Format

To enable the most conducive environment for horizontal exchanges among peers, the side-event format will be a roundtable discussion with SIDS Ministers. The side event discussion would focus on the results and impact of these Fund’s projects in SIDS and run through pertinent questions such as:

  1. What are the main accomplishments of the project(s) in your country and why/how have they been catalytic for greater change, resilience and sustainable development?
  2. How have these projects responded to the priorities highlighted in the Samoa Pathway?
  3. How have these projects been distinctly South-South in their cooperation approaches, and responsive to the singularities of SIDS and their development needs?
  4. What role did South-South trust funds play in response to crises like COVID19 and climate change?
  5. What have been key success elements of these South-South cooperation projects, and what lessons are worth carrying forward?
  6. What ideas, examples or approaches do these projects inspire to guide us on how the Global South can do more to support SIDS?

Proposed Programme

Moderator: Ms. Dima Al-Khatib, Director, United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) 1. Opening Remarks:  
  • Ms. Dima Al-Khatib, Director, UNOSSC
2. Welcoming remarks by side-event co-hosts:  
  • India Vice-Minister, H.E. Pavan Kapoor, Secretary (West), Ministry of External Affairs of the Republic of India
  • Brazil H.E. Ambassador Elza Marcelino, Brazil’s Ambassador to Jamaica and Permanent Representative to the International Seabed Authority
3. Presentation of the IBSA Fund 2023 Annual Report 4. Remarks by partner countries: 
  • Belize Honorable Minister Orlando Habet, Minister of Sustainable Development and Climate Change of Belize
  • Timor-LesteH.E. Mr. Bendito dos Santos Freitas, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste
  • Guinea-BissauH.E. Ambassador Samba Sané, Permanent Representative of Guinea-Bissau to the United Nations
  • Fiji Dr. Sivendra Michael, Permanent Secretary for Environment and Climate Change of Fiji
5. Closing Remarks– as host-country and partner of the Funds:
  • Antigua and Barbuda – HE. Ambassador Walter Webson, Permanent Representative of Antigua and Barbuda to the United Nations
For any queries, please contact ines.tofalo@unossc.org.