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Seychelles’ President At UNGA – Economic Equity Is Biggest Impediment to Achieving SDGs


The Seychelles’ President, Wavel Ramkalawan, has reiterated the call of small islands developing states (SIDS) for a globally accepted vulnerability assessment in his address at the 77th session of United Nations General Assembly debate on Tuesday.

Ramkalawan said that economic equity is the biggest impediment to the realisation of the sustainable development goals.

“The blueprint for a better and sustainable future requires financial resources that many of us simply do not have or are unable to access since development cooperation modalities failed to consider vulnerability as a barrier to durable development,” he added.

The Seychelles’ head of state said that time and again small island developing states have consistently reiterated the call for a globally accepted vulnerability assessment put forward in 1992 by the United Nations Conference on environment and development.

“Our island nations have experienced the greatest economic loss from the pandemic with economic contraction averaging 7 percent yet very few of us were able to access the meagre 6 percent of COVID-19 funding allocated to developing countries,” he added.

Ramkalawan said that there was a need to be reminded that “multilateralism gives each one of us the opportunity and the means to solve complex challenges that we cannot overcome on our own. Never have we faced challenges of such magnitude. A world in deep crisis, climate inaction, the aftermath of the pandemic, food insecurity, the rising cost of energy, the war in Ukraine.”

These inter-related challenges that the least responsible for are most affected by and the plight of states in vulnerable situations have never been more pronounced.

“As floods, heatwaves and fires in the western world dominate the news and our social media feeds, let us not neglect nor forget that the impact of slow onset events like sea level rise poses existential threats to small island developing states,” Ramkalawan said.

He said that Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, can attest to this fact as its shores and sea have become encumbered with plastic waste.

Despite the challenges Seychelles face, the island nation has taken several measures to protect its ocean territory of 1.4 million square km.

“Healthy oceans are critical to life on earth and as a foremost proponent of the Blue Economy paradigm, Seychelles has taken bold steps to sustainably harness our ocean for the benefit of our people,” he said.