Forum Head Addresses UN High-Level Political Forum On Sustainable Development

Dame Meg Taylor: International community needs to support unique needs of SIDS

By Charlene Lanyon

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, July 20, 2016) – The international community needs to understand and support the unique fragility and vulnerability of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), says Dame Meg Taylor.

The secretary-general of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat made this statement in her address at the UN high-level political forum on sustainable development session in New York yesterday.

Ms Taylor said the definition of fragile and vulnerable countries needed to be expanded to include exposure to climate and disaster impacts.

"At present the number of Pacific states defined as fragile differs across different indices of three international agencies and rather than seeking to expand or re-define the different indicators of fragility, we should embrace self-assessment, where Pacific states define our own fragility and vulnerability," she said.

"This, in turn, will need to be tied to the accessibility of confessional development finance from international financial institutions to ensure our small island economies are not overly burdened with increasing public debt.

"This needs to be in an integrated manner that will bring coherence and reduce transaction costs at national and regional levels."

Ms Taylor said the Pacific region had taken charge of its own development and were proud innovators and providers of development co-operation.

"We encourage our development partners to recognise this evolution and to support such exchanges to build our capacities in a way that is appropriate and effective," Ms Taylor said.

Fiji Times Online.
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