HLPF 2021
Building Resilience &
Ending Vulnerability
in Small Island Developing States

07:30 EST

High-Level Political Forum 2021


Objective: The side event will be co-chaired by the European Union Head of Delegation, H.E. Mr. Björn Olof Skoog and by the Chair of the SIDS regional grouping, Permanent Representative of Antigua and Barbuda, H.E. Mr. Walton Alfonso Webson will be an opportunity to showcase the work done by the Joint SDG Fund in Small Island Developing States, and to present the early results of the Fund’s call for proposals “Building Resilience and   Ending Vulnerability in Small Island Developing States”, launched in May 2021. The newly appointed High Representative for Least Developed, Landlocked Countries, Small Island Developing States, H.E. Mr. Courtenay Rattray, will also participate in the event to highlight the action of the Fund in the context of the broader UN strategy in SIDS.

Background: The Joint SDG Fund is an innovative instrument to incentivize the transformative policy shifts and stimulate the strategic investments required to get the world back on track to meet the SDGs. The UN Secretary-General sees the Joint SDG Fund as a key part of the reform of the UN’s development work by providing the “muscle” for a new generation of Resident Coordinators (RCs) and UN Country Teams (UNCTs) to really accelerate SDG implementation.

To date it has funded 125 joint programmes and proposals in 97 countries/territories focused on integrated social protection or SDG finance; it has stimulated over 600 partnerships working together alongside the UN to support the SDGs; and it has tested over 100 innovative solutions to accelerate the 2030 Agenda. The Joint SDG Fund is a multi-partner trust fund, which is widely considered ‘multilateralism-friendly’ – and is much more suitable for the integrated support at scale essential for achieving the 2030 Agenda.

Flexibility in reallocating funds has also proven critical for rapid responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. With revenues of US$ 173 million to date, the Joint SDG Fund is still far short of the annual US$ 290 million target envisioned by the UN Secretary-General and stipulated in the Funding Compact of the UN Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review. If substantively capitalized, the Joint SDG Fund can become a transformational instrument for the United Nations as it helps the world achieve the SDGs in COVID-19 times.

The Joint SDG Fund’s approach recognizes the potential of SIDS, with at least a third of the calls for proposals launched designated for SIDS. To date, 21 SIDS received funding under the Fund’s Integrated Social Protection and SDG Financing calls, for a total of US$ 24 million.

In June 2021 the Joint SDG Fund launched a new call for building resilience and ending vulnerabilities in the Small Developing Island States (SIDS), with a funding envelope of US$ 30 million. The Fund aims to close the funding gap to achieve the SDGs in SIDS by providing funding to actionable proposals being developed in SIDS. By contributing to progress on multiple SDGs, the joint programmes within this call will produce catalytic results at scale within defined timeframes.


H.E. Mr. Björn Olof Skoog

Head of Delegation, European Union

H.E. Mr. Walton Alfonso Webson

Permanent Representative, Antigua and Barbuda

Mr. Courtenay Rattray

High Representative for Least Developed, Landlocked Countries, Small Island Developing States

Ms. Ulrika Modéer

UNDP's Assistant Administrator and Director of the Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy

Ms. Consuelo Vidal

UN Resident Coordinator in Cuba

Mr. Sanaka Samarasinha

Resident Coordinator in Fiji

Mr. Arthur Erken

Director, Policy and Strategy Division at UNFPA

Mr. Stephen Liberatore

CFA, Head of ESG and Impact for Global Fixed Income at Nuveen

Ms. Ashley Lashley

Youth Advocate