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A global bargain for resilient prosperity in Small Island Developing States

Briefing/policy paper

Written by Matthew Bishop, George Carter, Courtney Lindsay, Henrique Lopes-Valença, Emily Wilkinson

Image credit:Panoramic view at Sunrise in St. John's, Antigua and Barbuda. Credit: Paulo – stock.adobe.com

The Fourth International Conference on Small Island Developing States (‘SIDS4’), convening in Antigua and Barbuda in June 2024, will be the most important of the decennial conferences to have ever taken place. The 10-year agenda that emerges from it will need to find solutions to a range of development challenges that could soon become intractable.

Many Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are still reeling from the double shocks of the global financial crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. Underlying these conventional development problems is the threat posed by accelerating climate change. As global temperatures breach the 1.5°C threshold set out in the Paris Agreement, SIDS will be affected more rapidly and severely than any other group of nations.

This brief sets out four main issues that must be at the forefront of the Antigua and Barbuda Accord for SIDS (ABAS) 2024–2034: eligibility for Official Development Assistance (ODA); access to climate finance; long-term debt sustainability; and climate and environmental justice. It outlines points of tension and blockages – as well as potential ways to unblock them – thereby offering stakeholders some reflections to assist with deliberations and drafting of the SIDS4 agreement.