Seychelles' President calls for new assessment architecture for SIDS and LDCs
The panel also included Louise Mushikiwabo (right), Secretary-General of La Francophonie (OIF) and Baroness Patricia Scotland (left), Secretary-General of the Commonwealth. (State House)
(Seychelles News Agency) - The President of Seychelles, Wavel Ramkalawan, has called for the adoption of a multidimensional vulnerability index (MVI) for small island developing states (SIDS) and vulnerable countries within the United Nations framework and international financial institutions.
Ramkalawan made the statement on Tuesday at a high-level side event under the theme "Achieving a fair and complete measurement of vulnerability: perspectives from the Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) on the vulnerability index." The panel also included Louise Mushikiwabo, Secretary-General of La Francophonie (OIF) and Baroness Patricia Scotland, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, among others.
According to State House, the event was convened by the La Francophonie (OIF) – the organisation of French-speaking countries – and the Commonwealth on the margins of the 5th United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5) taking place in Doha.
Ramkalawan said that in such a volatile and unpredictable climate, it is imperative "that we usher in a new assessment architecture. One which can truly address the needs of SIDS and LDCs in a comprehensive manner. To go beyond GDP per capita as a measurement of development and access to concessionary financing for development needs."
He said there needs to be an index that takes into consideration the intrinsic complexities that data on income, on its own, cannot fully reveal.
"This demands that we identify a fairer way to measure a country's susceptibility to external shocks. It demands a more pragmatic methodology of assessment," said the President.
For three decades, small island developing states (SIDS) have been saying that traditional measures of development, primarily used for the allocation of concessional resources, like GDP per capita, insufficiently capture their vulnerabilities.
The first call for the globally accepted vulnerability index was first made in 1992 at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. However, since then there remains a lack of international consensus on how to characterise and, by extension, mitigate their vulnerabilities.
Ramkalawan said that "the argument we are pushing forward is that the MVI should be universally applicable within the United Nations system and beyond, including international financial institutions. What we are saying is: no country should be penalised for making progress in its development journey. The opportunities extended, or considerations given, to some developing countries should be available to all developing countries, irrespective of income status."
Ramkalawan thanked the OIF and the Commonwealth for their continued support and commitment, one he described as important in the advocacy and implementation of the MVI.
"We are here to make a case for due and appropriate consideration to be given to SIDS. Both the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie and the Commonwealth are sensitive to and supportive of our arguments. Their support and commitment are vital to own efforts towards securing the universal adoption of an MVI," he added.
"Let us all continue to advocate for enduring solutions towards greater resilience for SIDS, and other developing countries," he concluded.