Committed to connecting the world


Small Island Developing States (SIDS)

The small island developing states (SIDS) are vulnerable countries, which were  identified by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED, held in 2009), as a distinct group of developing countries that face particular situations of social, economic and environmental vulnerabilities and constraints.
There are 58 countries identified as SIDS.

SIDS tend to confront similar constraints in their sustainable development efforts, including a narrow resource base depriving them of the benefits of economies of scale; small domestic markets, heavy dependence on a few external and remote markets, and high costs for energy, infrastructure, transportation and communication.

Committed to supporting the SIDS

ITU has mainstreamed the needs of SIDS in all its activities, programmes and projects to achieve its commitments under the Samoa Pathway, adopted during the Third International Conference on SIDS, which was held in Apia, Samoa, in September 2014. The Samoa Pathway set out  new modalities to address the challenges and particular vulnerabilities of SIDS, including in the areas of economic growth, climate change, access to ICTs, and disaster risk reduction.

As part of the concentrated assistance to SIDS, ITU is promoting universal, equitable and affordable access to ICTs for all people in both underserved rural and urban areas, in order to bridge the digital divide. ITU assists SIDS through the development of ICT policies and regulations, infrastructure and technology development, ICT applications and cybersecurity. Given the vulnerability of SIDS to climate change and disasters, ITU helps SIDS set up early-warning systems and develop national emergency telecommunication plans. 

ITU's mandate is to connect the unconnected and to help the most vulnerable countries take advantage of ICTs for development, including through the provision of concentrated assistance. Find out more about ITU's assistance to the LDCs, LLDCs & SIDS.