Permanent Mission of Australia
to the United Nations
New York

230404 - SIDS Partnerships Steering Committee Ambassadorial Meeting


4 April 2023

Statement by H.E. The Hon Mitch Fifield, Ambassador and Permanent Representative, Australian Mission to the United Nations

Can I start by commending the co-chairs for all of their tremendous efforts in leading an energetic and highly successful SIDS Steering Committee in 2022, including the launch of the Partnership Awards.

We look forward to an equally energetic and successful 2023, as we all work together to support preparations for the Fourth SIDS Conference.

At this, the mid-point of the 2030 Agenda and in the lead up to the Fourth SIDS Conference, let’s seize the opportunity to take stock and to reimagine a stronger, a more inclusive, and a more sustainable future, particularly for the most vulnerable.

Australia is proud to be facilitating the political declaration of the mid-term review of the Sendai Framework, together with our good friend from Indonesia, Ambassador Tata. And can I thank all Member States for their really constructive participation in that process so far.

It is well understood, particularly in this room, that disasters can disproportionately affect SIDS, owing to their unique and particular vulnerabilities, and there is a critical need to build the resilience of SIDS.

Australia sees an important opportunity to connect the MTR process with the preparatory process for the Fourth SIDS Conference to ensure that the future SIDS program is really underpinned by resilience.

We also commend the work of the High-level Panel to Develop a Multidimensional Vulnerability Index, to finally bed down a shared understanding of what vulnerability and resilience mean, based on the best academic and practical evidence. And we look forward to finalisation of the Panel’s work.

However, we do know that data and statistics is a key challenge – for all developing countries but particularly for SIDS. Collectively, SIDS are missing data for key development indicators, due to barriers such as the high costs of data collection in small populations, often spread across remote islands.

And we would welcome consideration of how this Committee could prompt partnerships to address this.