Remarks on Small Island Developing States From recovery to resilience in the face of multiple shocks at the 2023 High-Level Political Forum

Michele Sumilas
USAID Assistant to the Administrator of the Bureau for Policy, Planning, and Learning (PPL)
New York, New York
July 11, 2023


Madam President, Excellencies,

Accelerated progress on the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs is one of the best ways to address the interlinked crises we face, as we center our work on upholding the inherent dignity of every human being. In this regard, the United States appreciates the strong partnership we enjoy with the SIDS. We are committed to improving policies and programs to address the particular needs of SIDS’ recovery and transformation. We also recognize their unique challenges and vulnerability to climate change.

In the Caribbean, through the U.S.-Caribbean Partnership to Address the Climate Crisis 2030 (PACC 2030), we are working together to promote climate adaptation and resilience and strengthen energy security, including through partnering on clean energy deployment and supporting countries’ ambitious clean energy goals.

In the Pacific, the United States is working with the Pacific Islands Forum to design and stand up the Pacific Resilience Facility, to help Pacific islands adapt to and manage the impacts of climate change.

The United States recognizes that concessional finance is an important resource that can help developing countries, including SIDS, in their economic development. It is important that such financing be prioritized for the countries most in need and least able to mobilize other sources.

Equally important as concessional finance are the development of and support for policies, frameworks, and institutions to foster the enabling environment required for long-term sustainable economic growth and development and mobilization of private capital.

As U.S. Treasury Secretary Yellen stated recently, the United States has led a coalition of shareholders to evolve and invigorate the multilateral development banks in order to better combat these transboundary challenges in service of our poverty reduction and development goals. We have already seen changes, and next we would like the World Bank to: develop a framework and principles for the targeted use of concessional resources – so that financing to address global challenges is deployed to where it has the highest impact, develop a mechanism to allocate additional resources to countries seeking financing to tackle global challenges, and offer borrowers the option to add climate-resilient debt clauses to their loan agreements. These clauses will help ease pressures on countries if a natural disaster strikes.

We must also make sure that the development banks and specialized trust funds work together as a system. This is particularly important in optimizing the many funds that constitute our climate finance architecture.

Thank you.