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The Antigua and Barbuda Agenda for Small Island Developing States: A Renewed Declaration for Resilient Prosperity (ABAS) was endorsed at the closing of the Fourth International Conference on Small Islands Developing States (SIDS4).

The ABAS is the blueprint to guide SIDS closer towards achieving resilient, sustainable prosperity.
“For the past few days, we have witnessed incredible collaboration, cooperation and shared innovative ideas as we’ve forged new pathways to achieve sustainable development,” said Hon Gason Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda.

“We’re not just concluding a conference; we’re celebrating a new beginning for a brighter future for SIDS. The energy and commitment over the last four days have been nothing short of inspiring.  Your presence in Antigua and Barbuda at SIDS4 and your participation in the High-Level Dialogues demonstrated a collective commitment to the future advancement of SIDS.  This is a testament to the power of global solidarity and shared purpose.”

During the SIDS4, a new Centre of Excellence for SIDS to be housed in Antigua and Barbuda was launched.  This will serve as a global hub for data, technological innovation and investment driving sustainable development across the islands.  Within the next 12 months the first Island Investment Forum will be convened to attract investment in cutting edge technologies for SIDS. It will be held biannually and rotated among SIDS. 

Also announced was the SIDS Debt Sustainability Service Initiative to help address the unsustainable debt burden faced by many of the Small Islands.  It will mobilise bespoke financing for development, labelled a game changer for Islands to create a pathway to financial stability and sustainability.
“These are institutional mechanisms that will allow for the full implementation of the AB SIDS, these mechanisms represent our collective efforts to create a resilient and prosperous future for SIDS,” said Prime Minister Browne who also acknowledged the journey has just begun.

“While we have accomplished much, the journey is far from over, the real work has just begun. We must continue to build on these foundations striving for even greater achievements.”

For the Pacific Small Islands Developing States, the journey towards sustainable development is a continual one.  The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) works in partnership with the Council of Regional Organisations of the Pacific to support Pacific Islands on this journey.

Small Islands Developing States host 12 % of the global bird population and 10 % of mammals, yet many species are at risk of extinction due to climatic and human drivers.  The impacts of climate change are harsh with SIDS suffering losses of USD 94.3 billion due to weather, climate and water-related hazards from 2010 to 2019, compared to the total SIDS GDP of USD 874 billion in 2019.

The cost of delivering aid in SIDS is 4.7 times higher than in other countries due to their remoteness and small size.

Save Tuvalu, save the world

“We agree that the journey is just beginning under the ABAS, however this journey towards sustainable development is one that we have been on for many, many years. Alike our ancestors who braved rough conditions in their voyage for new lands and a better way of life, we also brave harsh impacts that now include the triple planetary crises on our voyage for resilient prosperity,” said Mr Sefanaia Nawadra, the Director General of SPREP.

“Struck by the effects of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution – we know this journey ahead is going to grow harder.  We will need the commitment and action from our international partners to help buoy us towards a resilient Pacific for our people.  We encourage those that can, and are helping, to continue to do so as we implement the ABAS across the next ten years in line with our Blue Pacific 2050 Strategy.”

The Fourth International Conference on Small Islands Developing States took place from 27 to 30 May 2024 in Antigua and Barbuda.

To view the closing please visit:

For more on the SIDS4 and the Antigua and Barbuda Agenda for Small Island Developing States: A Renewed Declaration for Resilient Prosperity (ABAS) please visit: