Small Island Developing States (SIDS) were recognized at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED or Earth Summit) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil as a distinct group of developing countries facing specific social, economic, and environmental vulnerabilities. SIDS tend to confront similar constraints in their sustainable development efforts, such as a narrow resource base, which deprives them of the benefits of economies of scale. They also have small domestic markets and heavy dependence on a few external and remote markets, as well as high costs for energy, infrastructure, transportation, and communication. Islands tend to be long distances from export markets and sources of imports, have low and irregular international traffic volumes, resulting in a high volatility of economic growth, limited opportunities for the private sector, and a large reliance of their economics on the public sector. Islands also are highly vulnerable to natural disasters and climate change, and have fragile natural environments, which are further threatened by population growth.

Events and Articles

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4th International Conference on SIDS

The fourth SIDS Conference is expected to adopt a new programme of action with specific targets for SIDS sustainable development over the next decade. The conference will also feature five interactive and multi-stakeholder dialogues to address current and emerging challenges and opportunities for sustainable development.
Event 27 May 2024 - 30 May 2024

The Fourth International Conference on Small Island Developing States

Small island developing states (SIDS) are on the frontlines of climate change. They feel the impacts first and most severely, yet they barely contribute to global greenhouse gas emissions. Not only are they vulnerable to devastating hurricanes and cyclones, which are becoming more frequent and extreme, but their dependence on food and energy imports, and tourism revenue, increase their vulnerability to external shocks.

Securing our Future in the Blue Pacific

This event highlighted the launch of the Kiribati Joint Implementation Plan for Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management 2019-2028 and featured voices of youth from Pacific islands who presented on programs aimed at securing their future.
Event 27 September 2019

Island Values, Local Knowledge, Global Solutions

During the event, the Local2030 Islands Network was launched to accelerate action on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Led by islands for islands, the Local2030 Islands Network will serve as the platform to recognize and accelerate island-led SDG implementation as part of the UN Local2030 partnership.
Event 27 September 2019

UN Summits Week 2019

Inside the halls of the UN and outside on the streets of not only New York, but cities around the world where protests were held, the verdict of the people was clear: leaders are failing to address the environmental and development emergency that the world is currently facing.  
Event 23 September 2019 - 27 September 2019