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SIDS Members

Who are the SIDS?

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are low lying and island nations that share similar physical and structural challenges to their development. Most SIDS are remote, small in land area and population (less than 1.5 million), with a very narrow resource base and fragile land and marine ecosystems that are highly vulnerable to natural disasters. Their economies are open and heavily dependent on trade for national income.

These unique development challenges as well as a framework for overcoming them are reflected in the internationally agreed development goals for SIDS.

Challenges Facing SIDS

SIDS share similar sustainable development challenges, including:

  • small population,
  • limited resources,
  • remoteness
  • susceptibility to natural disasters,
  • vulnerability to external shocks,
  • and excessive dependence on international trade.

Their growth and development is often further stymied by:

  • high transportation and communication costs,
  • disproportionately expensive public administration and infrastructure due to their small size,
  • and little to no opportunity to create economies of scale.

51 Small Island Developing States

Currently, fifty-one small island developing States and territories are included in the list used by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs in monitoring the sustainable development of SIDS. These countries are often categorized by their three regions:

  1. The AIMS (Africa, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean and South China Sea)
  2. The Caribbean
  3. The Pacific

These States and territories often work together in the United Nations through the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS).