Explanation of Position for the Second Committee Adoption of the Follow-up to and implementation of the SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA)

Thomas Carnahan
U.S. Public Delegate
New York, New York
November 18, 2021

Explanation of Position for the Second Committee Adoption of the Follow-up to and implementation of the SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway and the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Program of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States Resolution


On behalf of the U.S. government, I would like to thank the co-facilitators—Samoa and Trinidad and Tobago—for their leadership in shepherding a resolution that addresses the important issues facing Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

We would like to explain our position on a few issues.

The pandemic-related economic downturn has acutely affected many of us, but none more so than SIDS. As we all grapple with the short- and long-term impacts of COVID-19, the United States remains committed to supporting our SIDS partners and friends, including through the Biden administration’s “Small and Less Populous Island Economies Initiative,” an economic cooperation framework designed to strengthen U.S. collaboration with island countries and territories in the Caribbean, North Atlantic, and Pacific regions.

The United States is committed to improving policies and programs to address the particular needs of SIDS, including as it relates to access to concessional finance, and recognizes their unique challenges. We also recognize their vulnerability to climate change.

However, the United States notes that the outputs, and therefore effectiveness, of multidimensional vulnerability indices can vary widely depending on the selected set of indicators.

The United States encourages support for measures to mitigate the second-order economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and longer-term challenges of SIDS without changes to criteria for concessional finance or rules that govern eligibility for, or allocation of, official development assistance. The proper fora to discuss eligibility measures are the Boards of the Multilateral Development Banks and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. We do not accept the UN as the appropriate forum for determining eligibility for, and allocation of, these resources.

The United States is committed to helping SIDS in the face of these challenges. Through USAID, we are working in close partnership with vulnerable Pacific Islands states to improve climate resilience and disaster preparedness. This includes helping countries obtain direct accreditation to successfully apply for and manage multilateral climate finance from the Green Climate Fund and other climate finance entities. As we tackle lasting impacts of the pandemic, the United States will continue to work to ensure those most vulnerable among us are not left behind. Thank you.