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Press release: Italy at the SIDS 4 International Conference of Antigua and Barbuda (27-30 May 2024)


The Fourth International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) promoted by the United Nations opens today in St John’s (Antigua and Barbuda). Italy is participating with Ambassador Maurizio Massari, Permanent Representative of Italy to the UN, as Head of Delegation.

Italy is also among the members of the Conference’s Preparatory Committee, among its Vice-Chairs and among its funders along with other member countries. Also in the Italian delegation to the Conference are Special Envoy for Caribbean Countries, Uberto Vanni d’Archirafi, and Special Envoy for Climate Change Francesco Corvaro. Participating in the Conference are several Heads of State and Government of SIDS countries, government representatives from various countries including European ones (for the EU, Development Commissioner Jutta Urpilainen).

The meeting, under the theme “Charting the Path to Resilient Prosperity,” aims to assess the progress made by SIDS on sustainable development and implementation of the 2030 Agenda, and to revive the international community’s political commitment to address the vulnerabilities and urgent needs of these countries. Work over four days will culminate in the adoption of a policy outcome document, which will form the new 10-year Action Plan for Sustainable Development of SIDS.

Among the many events on the sidelines of the conference is the one organized by the International Red Cross for May 30 under Italian co-sponsorship, “Strengthening governance of disasters and climate risk: from hurricanes to health emergencies,” which is linked to ongoing discussions at the UN on the elaboration of an international convention for the protection of people in disasters.

Italy has more than a decade-long commitment to the sustainable development, prosperity and security of SIDS, particularly with those in the Pacific (so-called PSIDS) and the Caribbean (CARICOM). Under our partnership with PSIDS, 51 projects have been approved so far, from climate change mitigation and adaptation to biodiversity protection; for CARICOM, 22 projects have been approved over the years, including those on renewable energy and strengthening integrated water systems.

SIDS were recognized at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro (1992) as a distinct group of developing countries facing specific social, economic and environmental vulnerabilities. The group includes 37 member states of the United Nations and 20 countries that are not members of the United Nations or associate members of its Regional Commissions.