Damaged dock over turquoise waters in Antigua and Barbuda

Highlights and images for 29 May 2024

St. John's, Antigua and Barbuda

“There is a place for emotion in the United Nations.” This statement at the evening’s Civil Society Forum captured divergent views among participants as the Conference moved toward its final day.

Want to dive deeper into today's talks? Read the full Earth Negotiations Bulletin daily report.

During most of the day’s proceedings, emotion was less evident, perhaps owing to a sense that the finish line was near. General statements delivered during the Plenary continued apace, with 35 interventions from SIDS, other countries, and various agencies and organizations. Topic areas included:

  • waste management and pollution challenges;
  • the needs of women, girls, youth, and vulnerable communities;
  • strengthening early warning systems for disasters;
  • the importance of well-defined trade strategies that prioritize SIDS;
  • using the Multidimensional Vulnerability Index to assess SIDS’ vulnerabilities; and
  • announcement of a commitment by the UN Development Programme and Global Environment Facility of USD 135 million to help 15 SIDS tackle drivers of environmental degradation.
The dais of the 3rd Interactive Dialogue

The dais at the Third Interactive Dialogue during the address by Simon Stiell, Executive Secretary, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

During the interactive dialogue on making climate finance work for SIDS, discussion topics included:

  • streamlining access to concessional financing;
  • negotiations on the decarbonization of the shipping industry; and
  • linking ocean and climate financing.
The dais during the Fireside Chat session

The dais during the Fireside Chat of the Fourth Interactive Dialogue on data and digital technologies

During the interactive dialogue on leveraging data and digital technologies, and building effective institutions for a resilient future in SIDS, discussion topics included:

  • the capacity constraints and other challenges SIDS face in digitalizing their economies;
  • ways data and digital technologies can help deliver resilient prosperity under the Antigua and Barbuda Agenda for SIDS (ABAS);
  • fostering multi-stakeholder partnerships to leverage digital technologies and invest in digital proficiency; and
  • expectations for the SIDS Global Data Hub and the Global Digital Compact.

During the final event of the day—the Civil Society Forum—a consistent theme was that the perspectives of civil society were not adequately reflected in the document, likely owing to a lack of participation in the negotiation process. The Forum launched its own Civil Society Action Plan and Roadmap (2024-2034) with pledges from over 80 civil society organizations in SIDS to pursue it as a way to ensure the implementation of ABAS includes the needs and perspectives of civil society.

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All ENB photos are free to use with attribution. For the 4th SIDS Conference, please use: Photo by IISD/ENB - Diego Noguera