Maldives elected chair of Alliance of Small Island States

The Maldives has been elected as the next Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) during a ministerial meeting in the Seychelles.

“The Maldives spearheaded the efforts to form AOSIS, following the first ever Small States Conference held in the Maldives in November 1989,” explained a press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Formed of 39 low-lying coastal and small island countries, the alliance focuses primarily on issues of vulenerability – particularly in reference to the effects of climate change. It functions as a lobby group within the UN system, of which its members make up 20 percent.

Speaking at the 3rd International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in Samoa in September, former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom – present at the first 1989 AOSIS meeting – called on Alliance of Small Island States to make climate change its “core issue of concern”.

2014 has been made the ‘Year of the Small Island Developing States’ by the UN as an opportunity for the international community to raise awareness of the challenges facings SIDs.