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Think Change episode 49: is SIDS4 a turning point for small island nations?

Written by Sara Pantuliano, Walton Webson, Emily Wilkinson, Jean-Paul Adam


Small island developing states (SIDS) suffer disproportionately from external shocks. They face an existential threat from the climate emergency, while global economic uncertainty and geopolitical shifts have derailed recent progress that SIDS have made towards achieving growth and resilience.

That’s why governments of SIDS and their international partners met in Antigua and Barbuda a fortnight ago for the SIDS4 conference, which aimed to formulate a 10-year action plan intended to chart ‘the course toward resilient prosperity’ for small island nations.

In this episode, guests review this seminal conference, setting it in context of the unique challenges that SIDS face. We hear about the strengths of the Antigua and Barbuda Plan (ABAS) that emerged from it and what is missing from this framework. Guests outline reforms that are urgently needed to drive meaningful change for SIDS.


  • Sara Pantuliano, Chief Executive, ODI
  • Ambassador Walton Webson, Permanent Representative of Antigua and Barbuda to the UN
  • Emily Wilkinson, Senior Research Fellow, ODI
  • Jean-Paul Adam, Director for Technology, Climate Change and Natural Resources Management in the UN Economic Commission for Africa

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