The Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma has welcomed the election of Maldives and Seychelles as the next two successive Chairs of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), a negotiation coalition of small island and coastal states and observers from across Africa, the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean, Pacific, and the South China Sea.
Mr Sharma said, “I congratulate President Yameen on the election of Maldives as the next Chair of this significant coalition, which would be an important negotiating voice in the current global environment where a new Climate Change framework as well as the Post-2015 Development Agenda are being finalised. We look forward to working with Maldives and AOSIS in preparation for the Finance for Development conference in July 2015 to ensure that concrete actions are formulated for the full implementation of the Samoa Pathway on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States.”
Maldives’ assumption of this important role from 1 January 2015, to be followed by Seychelles as the next AOSIS Chair after Maldives, continues a strong tradition of the leadership of Commonwealth member states in this forum. Former Chairs have included Vanuatu, Trinidad and Tobago, Samoa, Mauritius, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Grenada, and the current Chair-in-Office, Nauru. Maldives was also amongst the founding countries of AOSIS, following the first ever Small States Conference held in Malé in November 1989.
The Secretary-General added, “Small island developing states are amongst the most vulnerable in the world, and partnerships such as AOSIS have a vital role to play in ensuring that international organisations and policies are designed to support small states in developing and strengthening resilience, and to assist them in their national endeavours to deliver equitable and durable development for all.”