The challenges and vulnerabilities of Small Island Development States (SIDS) have been exacerbated by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This has highlighted the urgent need for decisive actions for sustainable and climate resilient recovery. Only a handful of bilateral and multilateral institutions have supported SIDS in mitigating the impact of the pandemic, with only 4% of available COVID-19 funding for developing countries being spent on SIDS. The economic fall-out suffered globally and by these countries in particular has shown the urgent need to reset the agenda so that it better reflects the challenges faced by SIDS and better enables the international community to find viable solutions to address these challenges. The persistent use of historical measures of GDP per capita for accessing concessional funding captures neither who is most affected, nor who is least able to respond to the pandemic. New consensus needs to be built about what constitutes vulnerability, in order to encompass the multiplicity of inter-linking challenges with which every state now has to deal, so that eligibility for resources such as concessional finance is no longer solely dependent on narrow measures such as GDP per capita.
There has actually been growing acceptance of the need for donors and multilateral organisations to consider factors other than GDP when addressing the vulnerabilities of developing countries and in particular SIDS. Recent experiences of consequences arising from the COVID-19 pandemic have raised awareness and deepened appreciation of the pressing urgency for action to be taken. In this regard the latest United Nations General Assembly mandate, in its resolution 75/215, on the potential development, use, finalization and coordination of work within the UN system on a multidimensional vulnerability index (MVI) of SIDS is an important step in this direction
This session will focus on the theme: A Multidimensional Vulnerability Measure for SIDS. It will be in a format of a Fireside Chat among Heads of Government and Institutions.Proposed guiding questions: