Mobilizing international solidarity, accelerating action and embarking on new pathways to realize the 2030 Agenda and the Samoa Pathway:
Wednesday, 8 July 2020
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Virtually (held New York time)

Official meeting

COVID-19 has exacerbated the existing challenges confronting Small Island Developing States (SIDS) resulting in a new array of challenges which could potentially inhibit the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and SAMOA Pathway.

The COVID-19 pandemic is first a health crisis. With their relatively weaker healthcare services and systems, SIDS require support in order to respond to this crisis. COVID-19 also can have cascading and scarring effects on economies and societal systems, and its economic impact is already hard felt in many countries. Policy responses need to be implemented with great urgency to address immediate challenges, with the ultimate objective to build back better so as to be resilient to future crises and to embark on accelerated progress towards sustainable development.

Significant financial and other support will be necessary to bolster SIDS’ efforts to respond to COVID-19 and boost economic and other resilience. New and innovative financial instruments that incentivizes ex-ante resilience building are required. In this regard, the support of the international multilateral financial community and other multilateral and bilateral partners are necessary to realize the magnitude of resources required at this time.

In addition, there is emphasis on the need for immediate solutions and effective commitments for long-term debt relief for SIDS. Whilst there has been some support for the suspension of debt repayments for IDA eligible countries, most SIDS do not fall into this category. There is a need to address debt relief and restructuring in all SIDS, with greater flexibility in the assessment of developing countries' fiscal situations, and extended credit facilities.

This session will feature resource persons and country representatives from across the three SIDS regions, who will share their challenges, strategies and approaches in response to COVID-19 and for realizing the transformational change necessary for building resilience in these economies. It will also explore the channels of support currently available, identify where gaps exist, and how the required resources can be leveraged from the international community.

Proposed guiding questions:

  • What kinds of policy reforms are required to ensure that SIDS build back better in the aftermath of COVD-19 and remain on track with the implementation of the SAMOA Pathway and the 2030 Agenda?
  • What are the channels of support currently available for such efforts? How can the required resources be leveraged to effectively assist SIDS?
  • What innovative and other financial approaches, including support for debt restructuring and debt relief, are needed to complement international development assistance?
  • How can SIDS’ efforts be best supported to ensure effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda and SAMOA Pathway at national and regional levels?


  • H.E. Ambassador Munir Akram, Pakistan, Vice President of ECOSOC


  • Ms. Fekitamoeloa ʻUtoikamanu, High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States

Keynote Speaker:

  • H.E. Mr. Aiyaz Sayed- Khaiyum, Deputy Prime Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Justice, Economy, Civil Service, Communications and Public Enterprises, Fiji

Resource persons:

  • H.E. Mr. Abdulla Shahid, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Maldives
  • Ms. Alicia Barcena, Executive Secretary of ECLAC
  • Ms. Terri Toyota, Head, Sustainable Markets Group, World Economic Forum

Lead discussant:

  • Ms. Karol Alejandra Arambula Carrillo, Executive Director and Founder, MY World Mexico (NGO Major Group)

Followed by interactive discussion

Ministerial respondent:

  • H.E. Ms. Marsha Caddle, Minister, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Investment, Barbados
United Nations