Open Debate on Small Islands and Developing States

By Ghazal Rahmanpanah

On 30 July 2015, the Security Council held an open debate on security issues facing Small Island and Developing States (SIDS). The debate Concept Note recognised that the 52 SIDS, including 37 Member States or one-fifth of all members, face a range of peace and security issues exacerbated by particular vulnerability due to size and geographic location. New Zealand, currently holding the Security Council presidency, proposed the debate and emphasised the special role of island states on the ‘frontlines of climate change.’ Secretary General Ban Ki Moon opened the debate by stating, "small island developing states do not have the resources to combat threats by themselves. Only through global partnership can we secure their sustainable and peaceful future."

Many states missed the opportunity to discuss gender equality as a crosscutting issue that impacts many of the concerns addressed in this debate. It has been show that climate change and food insecurity affect women differently than men, and often disproportionately.  Additionally women are often the victims of human trafficking and frequently subjected to sexual/gender-based violence during the process.

Read our full analysis of the SIDS debate here>>