AOSIS Statement at the High Level Meeting on Implementation of New Urban Agenda

2022-04-28 AOSIS Download PDF

Topic: Sustainable Development

I have the honor to deliver these remarks on behalf of the Alliance of Small
Island States (AOSIS).
Let me begin by thanking the President of the General Assembly for
organizing this High-Level debate on strengthening the New Urban Agenda.
We believe this is a timely dialogue, especially considering the global
movement towards carbon neutrality by 2050, while overcoming the lingering
impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as persistent challenges in
sustainable development.
The New Urban Agenda is instrumental in enhancing management of risks
and building resilience to the impacts of climate change and rapid
urbanization. Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are uniquely placed in this
context, as most urban settlements with economic and social activities are
placed in coastal areas, which are often most prone to disasters. At the same
time, urbanization is also expanding in SIDS, placing more of the population at
Therefore it is clear that urban development should be strategic, and based
not only on economic considerations, but also population growth, the
environment and other relevant socio-economic factors. However, there are
significant gaps in current approaches that examine such hazards, as they
often overlook this relationship between multiple hazards, human activity and
environmental factors. One of the main obstacles in obtaining a
comprehensive picture in SIDS, is the persistent capacity challenges in data
collection and management, which needs to be strengthened through
targeted support.
Taking into account the inevitable shift towards urbanization, it is also critical
to strengthen resilience of urban centers, and reduce the inequalities that have
been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. SIDS are facing a multitude of
crises that have overshadowed our ability to respond, and therefore need
greater support from the international community.
Concurrently, barriers on access to finance, especially concessional finance and
ODA, should be reexamined and addressed to ensure that the most vulnerable
countries receive the critical support they need for enhancing resilience. In this
regard, we believe that the Multidimensional Vulnerability Index, which is
currently being developed by the High-Level Panel mandated by the UNGA,
would be a useful tool to better direct resource mobilization.
Strategic and well managed urbanization paves the way for achieving
sustainable development and carbon neutrality in the long-term. On the other
hand, if poorly managed, it will widen inequalities and have severe implications
on climate change, environmental degradation and peace and security.
Therefore, in conclusion, AOSIS reiterates the call for informed and strategic
sustainable urbanization, enabling livelihood opportunities and a better
quality of life for all, in harmony with nature.
I thank you.

Sub Topic: SDGs

Forum: GA

Meeting: GA75