"Building Resilient Futures in SIDS Using Evidence-Based Planning and Policies, Robust Data Systems and Technologies"

8 April 2024, Geneva, Switzerland. Together with several SIDS countries, UN and regional organizations, UNITAR will welcome SIDS4 conference participants on the occasion of a multi-stakeholder side event highlighting the role of evidence, data and satellite technology for resilient futures in SIDS.

The event will take place on 27 May 2024 from 12:00 to 13:30 AST in Room 6 of the Conference Venue and will provide space for sharing country experiences around one of the five main themes of the Conference: "Leveraging Data and Digital Technologies and Building Effective Institutions for a Resilient Future in SIDS."

SIDS are highly vulnerable to climate change, natural disasters, and external risks due to their dependence on trade and tourism. Their resilience hinges upon agile governance, future-proofed policies, access to comprehensive and timely data, and effective use of technology. A more forward-looking approach based on strategic foresight and systems thinking can help policy-makers identify high-impact actions and design resilient development pathways if supported by timely data and analysis. Operating under constraint, National Statistical Offices (NSOs) are willing to seize new data opportunities: digitalized administrative data, satellite imagery, citizen, and Big Data. The use of geospatial information technology (GIT) can support a whole-of-Government approach to the implementation of climate adaptation strategies and policies. The integration of local knowledge with scientific data and gender perspective underscore the critical role of evidence in empowering civil society and the private sector to navigate challenges.

The session will feature success stories and perspectives from a diverse group of stakeholders, including policymakers, representatives of official statistics and Disaster Risk Management Offices (DRMOs), academia, women’s groups, and UN officials. It will aim to showcase integrated, evidence-based planning examples from various SIDS, highlighting systems thinking and strategic foresight's role in resilient development pathways.

Keynote speakers include:

  • Mr. Nikhil Seth, UN Assistant Secretary-General & UNITAR Executive Director
  • Ms. Elizabeth Agathine, Principal Secretary, Planning Department, Ministry of Finance, Seychelles
  • Mr. Abdullahi O. Abdulkadri, Coordinator, Statistics and Social Development Unit, ECLAC Subregional Headquarters for the Caribbean
  • Mr. Chamberlain Emmanuel, Head, Environmental Sustainability Division, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission
  • Mr. Sivendra Micheal, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, Fiji
  • Mr. Sione Ákauola, Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster, Environment, and Climate Change (MEIDECC), Tonga (TBC)
  • Ms. Nehali Anupriya, SIDS Focal Point, New York Liaison Office, UNDRR
  • Ms. Nadia Meredith-Hunt, Vice-President, Samoa Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Samoa

The session will be organized as a debate, highlight success stories, and offer diverse perspectives from policy-makers, official statistics and DRMO representatives, academia, CSOs, and the private sector.

UNITAR and its partners, including the Governments of Seychelles, Tonga, and Fiji, OECS, UNDESA, RCO for Seychelles and Mauritius, ECLAC, UNDRR, and Samoa Chamber of Commerce & Industry, invite attendees to engage in this vital conversation aimed at enhancing SIDS' resilience through evidence-based approaches and technological innovations.

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