Small Island Developing States (SIDS) face a unique set of vulnerabilities which impede their ability to achieve sustainable development. Structural factors, including their size, remoteness, limited resource base, market size, exposure to climate risks and natural disasters impact socio economic outcomes and their ability to achieve the SDGs. The COVID-19 pandemic amplified those vulnerabilities with many SIDS countries being particularly affected by the drop in international tourism and travels and international remittances. In August 2020, the UN Secretary-General committed the United Nations to advocate for SIDS on the issue of access to concessional finance, and in November 2020 called for the development and coordination of work within the UN on a Multidimensional Vulnerability Index (MVI), including its finalization and use.
This event hosted by the United Nations Resident Coordinators in the Small Island Developing States together with SDSN and the Permanent Mission of Antigua and Barbuda to the United Nations brings together government and UN officials as well as representatives from civil society and academia to discuss the issue of multidimensional vulnerability, including its relevance for international financing mechanisms. The UN RCO of Samoa and SDSN will provide an update on the conceptualization and development of a new MVI and its importance in the context of the SDGs and Agenda 2030. SIDS public officials and civil society organizations will share their experience, identify their priorities post COVID-19, and emphasize the policy relevance of the MVI and the need to urgently address these vulnerabilities by strengthening resilience and access to financing.
Representatives from international organizations and multilateral development banks will share their views on how the concept of multidimensional vulnerability and associated measurement tools can help support better resource allocation and help strengthen resilience and emergency response in the context of SIDS.
The outcome of the 12 July 2021 discussions will inform the next steps in the development of the MVI including the consultations with the SIDS Governments, international and regional financial institutions and the broader development cooperation community.