President Ramkalawan takes part in UN high-level political forum on sustainable development |12 July 2021
President Wavel Ramkalawan took part in the 2021 United Nations High-Level Political Forum on sustainable development (HLPF) during a virtual fireside chat session held on Friday afternoon.
The main session themed ‘Coming Together to Help Small Island Developing States to Get on a Path to Realise the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)’ is a forum held every year under the auspices of the UN Economic and Social Council (Ecosoc).
The virtual forum on Friday focused on the theme ‘A Multidimensional Vulnerability Measure for Sids’ provided a platform of discussion among various heads of government, ministers, key stakeholders and institutions.
The fireside chat revolved around guiding questions on the type of resources that are currently available to Sids to enable them to recover from the Covid pandemic and whether all Sids can benefit from such resources.
It also ignited extensive debate on the principles or key elements that should underpin the development of a multidimensional vulnerability measure for Sids.
It highlighted the kinds of vulnerabilities that should be reflected in a framework and what can a multi-dimensional measure be used for. In the context of a multidimensional vulnerability index, participants also held discussions on how such can be used by international financial institutions and the UN system.
During his intervention, President Ramkalawan highlighted some of the vulnerabilities of Sids, particularly Seychelles, vis-à-vis the need to ensure that interventions are targeted and that it addresses the chronic issues that make so many Sids nations dependent on aid.
“It is important to recognise that Sids face a set of complex social, environmental and economic development challenges. If anything, these complexities highlights why Sids are more vulnerable than income data alone might suggest.
Sids face structural challenges due to their remoteness, economic concentration and tourism revenues among others. For most Sids our economies are not diversified and most of the time are heavily dependent on tourism. As Covid-19 has highlighted, loss of revenue has had a devastating effect. We need to remember that the call for concessional resources is not being made in isolation. What countries like Seychelles is calling for, is that the criteria for determining access to concessional financing takes into account the real state of affairs so that it allows us the fiscal space to address our challenges. The time for action is now,” said President Ramkalawan.
Other speakers during the session included the secretary-general of the Commonwealth of Nations, H.E. Baroness Patricia Scotland, ministers and senior officials of various small island nations such as Fiji, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, other Sids alliances and stakeholders.
Press release from State House