At the outset, let me thank the co-chairs of the Preparatory Committee, Maldives and New Zealand, for convening us this week.
As the Conference’s overarching theme [“Charting the Course toward Resilient Prosperity”] rightly suggests, efforts to strengthen the resilience of SIDS are a guiding principle for our work in the Preparatory Committee, at the Conference itself and beyond. The multi-layered challenges faced by many SIDS are pressing, in some instances existential.
Germany will continue actively working together with the SIDS in tackling these challenges. Financial engagement is just as important as political will. Allow me to briefly highlight a few examples of our engagement:
1) In an effort to make financing for climate action and climate resilience more effective and accessible, the International Climate Initiative of Germany has supported more than 100 projects active in SIDS over the last 15 years.
2) In 2022, Germany has increased its climate finance to more than 6bn EUR – 3 years earlier than planned. 44% of this funding goes to climate adaptation measures, with a focus on the most vulnerable, incl. SIDS.
3) With a contribution of 100 Mio. USD, we are among the top supporters of the new Loss & Damage Fund that will put a special focus on SIDS.
4) Germany was the first donor to the Rising Nations Initiative, aiming at protecting the statehood of Pacific Atoll countries, preserving their sovereignty and safeguarding the rights and heritage of affected populations. We are also proud to co-chair the Coalition on Addressing the Existential Threats of Sea-level rise (C-SET) together with Tuvalu.
SIDS play a pivotal role for higher ambitions in the COP process. We have also been supporting the cause of the SIDS in questions and proceedings of international law and law of the sea, not least regarding the implications of climate change.
To further strengthen our coordination and underscore our commitment, German Foreign Minister Baerbock opened our newest embassy in Suva, Fiji, last year, and appointed two Special Envoys for SIDS issues regionally, one for the Pacific and one for the Caribbean, respectively.
The SIDS 4 conference will be a milestone in addressing the challenges faced by SIDS and to strengthen our multilateral cooperation. Germany looks forward to constructively engaging in this process.
I thank you.