Harnessing the power of migration to accelerate development and for climate resilient prosperity in SIDS

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are home to 3.81 million international migrants and are countries of origin of close to 10 million international migrants whose remittances – amongst various other contributions – amount annually to almost twice as much as the combined Official Development Aid and Foreign Direct Investment going to SIDS. In SIDS, remittances finance sustainable development, climate adaptation and contribute to poverty reduction objectives. They help stabilize macroeconomic volatility and can act as insurance during crises or after disasters.

Whilst remarkable successes and progresses have been made over the last decades, SIDS remain a special case for sustainable development given their unique vulnerabilities. The complex migration profile of SIDS, associated with broader socio-economic trends, illustrates the deep linkages between migration and sustainable development. In the context of demographic shifts, digitalization, and of the unrelenting and compounding impacts of climate change, biodiversity loss, disasters and natural hazards, health and other social related challenges and economic vulnerabilities, and the progressive deterioration in SIDS’ ability to withstand external shocks; migration can and must be part of the solution for SIDS to chart a course towards resilient prosperity.

Safe, orderly and regular migration pathways – including enhanced labour migration between SIDS –can help navigate demographic challenges and build up the set of skills that support economic diversification. As SIDS face difficulties in accessing development and climate finance, diaspora’s economic contributions in the form of remittances and investment can be leveraged as a more sustainable, alternative source of finance. Further, this can be combined with diasporas’ skills, networks and cultural capital to boost growth and support the sustainable development, climate solutions, and just transition of SIDS’ economies.

As the climate crisis, disasters and environmental degradation bring heightened risks and instances of economic and non-economic loss and damage, displacement, planned relocations, forced immobility in SIDS, well-managed migration can be built into adaptation and mitigation solutions for climate and environmental resilience, and to drive solutions to displacement in SIDS.


This side event will gather high level representatives from SIDS Member States, the UN, private sector and civil society to discuss and take forward the vision and solutions to unleash the power of migration to propel SIDS’ sustainable economic development, as envisioned by the Antigua and Barbuda Agenda for SIDS (ABAS).

Building on the latest evidence on the multi-faceted contribution of migrants and migration in SIDS, and on experiences from the implementation of migration-sensitive interventions in support of the SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action Pathway (SAMOA Pathway), it will provide a platform for a broad range of stakeholders from across SIDS regions for sharing successful national and regional models, innovative mechanisms, and lessons learned from practice to inform the shaping up of forward-looking and at-scale migration solutions that can benefit all.


SIDS Conference 2024
28 May 2024 

8:00 - 8:15
Welcome and opening remarks
Guest Speaker address
8:15 - 8:20
Setting the scene
Animated video illustrating the multifaceted contributions of migrants to SIDS’ sustainable development
8:20 - 8:55
Panel discussion
Moderated Davos-style panel featuring representatives from Member States, UN agencies, private sector, civil society, and youth.
8:55 - 9:25
Plenary discussion
9:25 - 9:30
Closing remarks


Fourth International Conference on SIDS - Harnessing the power of migration to accelerate development and for climate resilient prosperity in SIDS

Tuesday 28 May 2024 | 08.00 to 09.30 (ECT) 
Campus of the American University of Antigua


For more information or queries, please contact migration4development@iom.int