Beginning in early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic arose, exacerbating SIDS’ severe vulnerability to external shocks and unleashing an unprecedented socio-economic and financial crisis.
The COVID-19 pandemic also compounded the lingering effects of the 2008-2009 global financial crisis, after which many SIDS borrowed to underwrite deficit spending and spur economic growth. Already burdened with high debt service costs when COVID-19 struck, many SIDS lack the fiscal space to respond to the extraordinary needs created by the pandemic.
To break this cycle of recurring crises and incomplete recoveries, SIDS strive to build their resilience to environmental and economic shocks. In support of this important quest, the 2014 SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway stresses member States’ commitment “to take urgent and concrete action to address the vulnerability of SIDS”, while recognizing that economic development strategies ought to “[take] into account… individual country circumstances”.
Economic development strategies provide a blueprint for governments and incentives for the private sector to invest in new industries and infrastructure, ideally spurring a cycle of economic growth and structural transformation, towards a resilient economy and sustainable long-term development.
In this context, UNCTAD and the Commonwealth Secretariat propose a seminar for member States on “building economic resilience in SIDS”, to present their ongoing work, and exchange views with member States on alternative development strategies for SIDS and small States.
The specific objectives of the seminar are to:
- Inform SIDS and small States of assistance provided by UNCTAD and the Commonwealth;
- Foster debate on “alternative development strategies for diverse SIDS” based on joint UNCTAD-Commonwealth research; and
- Identify next steps, including further research, policy analysis and technical assistance.
This seminar is open to all and will be of particular interest to the following groups:
- Permanent missions of SIDS in Geneva
- Organizations with an interest in SIDS
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TemaSmall island developing states
Mr. Pierre Encontre
Chief, SIDS and Status Issues Section, UNCTAD
Mr. Kris Terauds
Economic Affairs Officer, SIDS and Status Issues Section, UNCTAD
Dr. Collin Zhuawu
Economic Adviser – Multilateral Trade Commonwealth Secretariat
Ms. Motselisi Matsela
Economic Adviser, Commonwealth Secretariat