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United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Italy - Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) Fellowship - Building Lasting Capacity in AOSIS Member Governments

Italian Ministry of Ecological Transition (
    Since 2017, the Italian Ministry of Ecological Transition and Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) have developed a lasting partnership to increase the capacity of AOSIS member countries to engage in international negotiations, diplomacy, and international and domestic policy development on climate change, oceans, and sustainable development. The Italy - AOSIS Fellowship Programme provides young professionals with the unique opportunity to gain real-world UN experience while participating in a world-class training programme. The curriculum covers climate change, environmental protection, oceans, and sustainable development. For 2022–2024, 10 Fellows are annually chosen from the three regions of AOSIS.
    Implementation of the Project/Activity
    The Fellowship is implemented by the AOSIS Chair, Fellowship Directors and AOSIS Permanent Missions to the United Nations. For 2022 - 2024, at the Ministry’s suggestion, the focus of the Fellowship expanded to include oceans and sustainable development issues and the annual number of Fellows expanded from 4 to 10 in 2022- 2024.The Fellowship Directors manage the entire fellowship from conducting the thrice-weekly fellowship seminars, creating and providing feedback on assignments, coordinating with AOSIS for the fellow’s work, and working with the Missions. The Italy - AOSIS Fellowship Programme was designed and has been implemented as a complete educational experience recognizing the context of the SIDS and consisting of three mutually reinforcing elements: 1) The Training Component – the SIDS-designed curriculum consists of more than 200 hours of advanced substantive and skills instruction in climate change, sustainable development, environmental protection, and international negotiations. The Fellows participate in lectures from renowned experts, in-depth research and writing projects in an assigned area of specialization, and a custom-designed international negotiation. 2) The Work Experience – based in their country’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations, the Fellows undertake the normal work of a diplomat focussing on environmental issues, which including significant experiences in drafting materials, making interventions, research, briefing, and participating in bilateral and multilateral negotiations. 3) The International Negotiations – as part of their national delegations and supporting the AOSIS thematic coordinators, the Fellows participate in international environmental negotiations. In addition to their work, the negotiations are used an educational tool to understand negotiation strategy, power dynamics and their effect on SIDS and international processes.
    Arrangements for Capacity-Building and Technology Transfer
    The Fellowship focusses on both skills and substantive knowledge in climate change, sustainable development, oceans and the relevant international law and politics. The curriculum is generally divided into three trimesters. The intent is to move from classroom style academic instruction in the first trimester to practical experience as a full AOSIS negotiator by the final trimester. In the first trimester of the programme, the Fellows receive intensive classroom instruction on multilateral negotiation processes, and the science, law and politics of climate change, oceans, and sustainable development also attending classes in global environmental governance at university. The second trimester begins the Fellows engagement with international negotiations as they prepare and attend the UNFCCC negotiations. In the weeks leading up to the sessions, each Fellow is assigned a thematic area (e.g. marine protected areas, mitigation, adaptation, finance, or a specific SDG) and conducts research and analysis on issues pertinent to their thematic area working closely with AOSIS thematic coordinators. In the latter half of the trimester, the Fellowship Directors and external experts conduct a tailor-made 4-week negotiation simulation. The third trimester is focussed on applying the skills and knowledge learned to the process of actual negotiations. The trimester is centred around the negotiation of resolutions in the General Assembly, specifically the sustainable development, macroeconomic and oceans clusters, and the annual UNFCCC COP which serves as the “final exam” of the Fellowship Programme. By this point in their training, Fellows are able to engage fully in the negotiations representing their country and AOSIS. Throughout the year, Fellows attend twice-weekly Fellowship seminar sessions led by the Fellowship Directors. During these meetings, Fellows receive assignments and readings; discuss developments on relevant climate change, sustainable development, and ocean issues; and complete curriculum activities, ranging from lectures by guest speakers to skills trainings and group projects. To date, twenty-eight Fellows have participated in the Fellowship Programme. All of the Fellows that have completed the programme have continued to work on climate change and sustainable development issues, either at the United Nations in New York or in their home country.
    Coordination mechanisms
    The partnership was designed jointly between the Italian Ministry of Ecological Transition and the Chair of AOSIS to meet the expressed needs SIDS to build lasting capacity to continue the engagement in international environmental negotiations. The Fellowship is implemented by regular consultation between the AOSIS Chair and the Italian Ministry, and through consultations between the AOSIS Chair, AOSIS Bureau (representing the three regions of AOSIS), and then the AOSIS Plenary (consisting of the Permanent Representatives of all AOSIS Member States). Fellowship candidates are nominated by their national governments and selected by the AOSIS Bureau. Through regular reporting, all partners are kept-up-to-date on the implementation of the Fellowship and future plans. A Monitoring and Evaluation framework was jointed developed by the Partners and is the basis of reporting between the partners. Annually, the partners meet to evaluate the Fellowship over the previous year, assess the effectiveness of the M&E framework, and plan for future changes to the Fellowship. The Italian Ministry’s commitment to multi-year funding of the Fellowship has allowed incremental and progressive changes to the implementation of the Fellowship.

    Goal 5

    Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

    Goal 5


    End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere


    Whether or not legal frameworks are in place to promote, enforce and monitor equality and non‑discrimination on the basis of sex


    Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation

    Proportion of ever-partnered women and girls aged 15 years and older subjected to physical, sexual or psychological violence by a current or former intimate partner in the previous 12 months, by form of violence and by age


    Proportion of women and girls aged 15 years and older subjected to sexual violence by persons other than an intimate partner in the previous 12 months, by age and place of occurrence


    Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation

    Proportion of women aged 20-24 years who were married or in a union before age 15 and before age 18


    Proportion of girls and women aged 15-49 years who have undergone female genital mutilation/cutting, by age


    Recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work through the provision of public services, infrastructure and social protection policies and the promotion of shared responsibility within the household and the family as nationally appropriate


    Proportion of time spent on unpaid domestic and care work, by sex, age and location


    Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life


    Proportion of seats held by women in (a) national parliaments and (b) local governments


    Proportion of women in managerial positions


    Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights as agreed in accordance with the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences


    Proportion of women aged 15-49 years who make their own informed decisions regarding sexual relations, contraceptive use and reproductive health care


    Number of countries with laws and regulations that guarantee full and equal access to women and men aged 15 years and older to sexual and reproductive health care, information and education


    Undertake reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to ownership and control over land and other forms of property, financial services, inheritance and natural resources, in accordance with national laws


    (a) Proportion of total agricultural population with ownership or secure rights over agricultural land, by sex; and (b) share of women among owners or rights-bearers of agricultural land, by type of tenure


    Proportion of countries where the legal framework (including customary law) guarantees women’s equal rights to land ownership and/or control


    Enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women

    Proportion of individuals who own a mobile telephone, by sex


    Adopt and strengthen sound policies and enforceable legislation for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls at all levels


    Proportion of countries with systems to track and make public allocations for gender equality and women’s empowerment

    Goal 13

    Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

    Goal 13


    Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries


    Number of deaths, missing persons and directly affected persons attributed to disasters per 100,000 population


    Number of countries that adopt and implement national disaster risk reduction strategies in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030


    Proportion of local governments that adopt and implement local disaster risk reduction strategies in line with national disaster risk reduction strategies


    Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning


    Number of countries with nationally determined contributions, long-term strategies, national adaptation plans and adaptation communications, as reported to the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change


    Total greenhouse gas emissions per year


    Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning


    Extent to which (i) global citizenship education and (ii) education for sustainable development are mainstreamed in (a) national education policies; (b) curricula; (c) teacher education; and (d) student assessment


    Implement the commitment undertaken by developed-country parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to a goal of mobilizing jointly $100 billion annually by 2020 from all sources to address the needs of developing countries in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation and fully operationalize the Green Climate Fund through its capitalization as soon as possible


    Amounts provided and mobilized in United States dollars per year in relation to the continued existing collective mobilization goal of the $100 billion commitment through to 2025


    Promote mechanisms for raising capacity for effective climate change-related planning and management in least developed countries and small island developing States, including focusing on women, youth and local and marginalized communities



    Number of least developed countries and small island developing States with nationally determined contributions, long-term strategies, national adaptation plans and adaptation communications, as reported to the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

    Goal 16

    Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

    Goal 16


    Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere

    Number of victims of intentional homicide per 100,000 population, by sex and age
    Conflict-related deaths per 100,000 population, by sex, age and cause

    Proportion of population subjected to (a) physical violence, (b) psychological violence and/or (c) sexual violence in the previous 12 months


    Proportion of population that feel safe walking alone around the area they live after dark


    End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children


    Proportion of children aged 1–17 years who experienced any physical punishment and/or psychological aggression by caregivers in the past month

    Number of victims of human trafficking per 100,000 population, by sex, age and form of exploitation

    Proportion of young women and men aged 18–29 years who experienced sexual violence by age 18


    Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all


    Proportion of victims of (a) physical, (b) psychological and/or (c) sexual violence in the previous 12 months who reported their victimization to competent authorities or other officially recognized conflict resolution mechanisms

    Unsentenced detainees as a proportion of overall prison population

    Proportion of the population who have experienced a dispute in the past two years and who accessed a formal or informal dispute resolution mechanism, by type of mechanism


    By 2030, significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flows, strengthen the recovery and return of stolen assets and combat all forms of organized crime

    Total value of inward and outward illicit financial flows (in current United States dollars)
    Proportion of seized, found or surrendered arms whose illicit origin or context has been traced or established by a competent authority in line with international instruments


    Substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms

    Proportion of persons who had at least one contact with a public official and who paid a bribe to a public official, or were asked for a bribe by those public officials, during the previous 12 months
    Proportion of businesses that had at least one contact with a public official and that paid a bribe to a public official, or were asked for a bribe by those public officials during the previous 12 months


    Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels

    Primary government expenditures as a proportion of original approved budget, by sector (or by budget codes or similar)

    Proportion of population satisfied with their last experience of public services


    Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels


    Proportions of positions in national and local institutions, including (a) the legislatures; (b) the public service; and (c) the judiciary, compared to national distributions, by sex, age, persons with disabilities and population groups

    Proportion of population who believe decision-making is inclusive and responsive, by sex, age, disability and population group


    Broaden and strengthen the participation of developing countries in the institutions of global governance


    Proportion of members and voting rights of developing countries in international organizations


    By 2030, provide legal identity for all, including birth registration

    Proportion of children under 5 years of age whose births have been registered with a civil authority, by age


    Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements

    Number of verified cases of killing, kidnapping, enforced disappearance, arbitrary detention and torture of journalists, associated media personnel, trade unionists and human rights advocates in the previous 12 months
    Number of countries that adopt and implement constitutional, statutory and/or policy guarantees for public access to information


    Strengthen relevant national institutions, including through international cooperation, for building capacity at all levels, in particular in developing countries, to prevent violence and combat terrorism and crime

    Existence of independent national human rights institutions in compliance with the Paris Principles


    Promote and enforce non-discriminatory laws and policies for sustainable development

    Proportion of population reporting having personally felt discriminated against or harassed in the previous 12 months on the basis of a ground of discrimination prohibited under international human rights law

    Goal 17

    Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development

    Goal 17


    Strengthen domestic resource mobilization, including through international support to developing countries, to improve domestic capacity for tax and other revenue collection

    Total government revenue as a proportion of GDP, by source
    Proportion of domestic budget funded by domestic taxes


    Developed countries to implement fully their official development assistance commitments, including the commitment by many developed countries to achieve the target of 0.7 per cent of ODA/GNI to developing countries and 0.15 to 0.20 per cent of ODA/GNI to least developed countries; ODA providers are encouraged to consider setting a target to provide at least 0.20 per cent of ODA/GNI to least developed countries

    Net official development assistance, total and to least developed countries, as a proportion of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee donors’ gross national income (GNI)


    Mobilize additional financial resources for developing countries from multiple sources


    Additional financial resources mobilized for developing countries from multiple sources 

    Volume of remittances (in United States dollars) as a proportion of total GDP


    Assist developing countries in attaining long-term debt sustainability through coordinated policies aimed at fostering debt financing, debt relief and debt restructuring, as appropriate, and address the external debt of highly indebted poor countries to reduce debt distress

    Debt service as a proportion of exports of goods and services


    Adopt and implement investment promotion regimes for least developed countries


    Number of countries that adopt and implement investment promotion regimes for developing countries, including the least developed countries


    Enhance North-South, South-South and triangular regional and international cooperation on and access to science, technology and innovation and enhance knowledge sharing on mutually agreed terms, including through improved coordination among existing mechanisms, in particular at the United Nations level, and through a global technology facilitation mechanism


     Fixed broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants, by speed


    Promote the development, transfer, dissemination and diffusion of environmentally sound technologies to developing countries on favourable terms, including on concessional and preferential terms, as mutually agreed


    Total amount of funding for developing countries to promote the development, transfer, dissemination and diffusion of environmentally sound technologies


    Fully operationalize the technology bank and science, technology and innovation capacity-building mechanism for least developed countries by 2017 and enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology

    Proportion of individuals using the Internet


    Enhance international support for implementing effective and targeted capacity-building in developing countries to support national plans to implement all the Sustainable Development Goals, including through North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation


    Dollar value of financial and technical assistance (including through North-South, South‑South and triangular cooperation) committed to developing countries


    Promote a universal, rules-based, open, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system under the World Trade Organization, including through the conclusion of negotiations under its Doha Development Agenda

    Worldwide weighted tariff-average


    Significantly increase the exports of developing countries, in particular with a view to doubling the least developed countries’ share of global exports by 2020


    Developing countries’ and least developed countries’ share of global exports


    Realize timely implementation of duty-free and quota-free market access on a lasting basis for all least developed countries, consistent with World Trade Organization decisions, including by ensuring that preferential rules of origin applicable to imports from least developed countries are transparent and simple, and contribute to facilitating market access


    Weighted average tariffs faced by developing countries, least developed countries and small island developing States


    Enhance global macroeconomic stability, including through policy coordination and policy coherence

    Macroeconomic Dashboard


    Enhance policy coherence for sustainable development

    Number of countries with mechanisms in place to enhance policy coherence of sustainable development


    Respect each country’s policy space and leadership to establish and implement policies for poverty eradication and sustainable development 

    Extent of use of country-owned results frameworks and planning tools by providers of development cooperation


    Enhance the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, complemented by multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilize and share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources, to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in all countries, in particular developing countries


    Number of countries reporting progress in multi-stakeholder development effectiveness monitoring frameworks that support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals


    Encourage and promote effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships 


    Amount in United States dollars committed to public-private partnerships for infrastructure


    By 2020, enhance capacity-building support to developing countries, including for least developed countries and small island developing States, to increase significantly the availability of high-quality, timely and reliable data disaggregated by income, gender, age, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability, geographic location and other characteristics relevant in national contexts


    Statistical capacity indicators

    Number of countries that have national statistical legislation that complies with the Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics

    Number of countries with a national statistical plan that is fully funded and under implementation, by source of funding


    By 2030, build on existing initiatives to develop measurements of progress on sustainable development that complement gross domestic product, and support statistical capacity-building in developing countries

    Dollar value of all resources made available to strengthen statistical capacity in developing countries

    Proportion of countries that (a) have conducted at least one population and housing census in the last 10 years; and (b) have achieved 100 per cent birth registration and 80 per cent death registration

    Name Description
    Completion of Fellowship Curriculum
    Preparation of Fellows to Participate in International Negotiations
    Integration of Fellow Alumni into National Governments
    Financing (in USD)
    Annual financing of approx USD 900,000 has been secured from Italian Ministry of Ecological Transition
    No progress reports have been submitted. Please sign in and click here to submit one.
    Action Network
    Small Island Developing States
    01 January 2022 (start date)
    31 December 2024 (date of completion)
    Italian Ministry of Ecological Transition
    More information
    SIDS regions
    1. Atlantic, Indian Ocean and South China Sea
    2. Caribbean
    3. Pacific
    4. Other (including Global)
    Samoa pathway priority area
    1. Climate Change
    2. Sustainable Energy
    3. Disaster Risk Reduction
    4. Oceans and Seas
    5. Sustainable Transport
    6. Management of Chemicals and Waste, including Hazardous Waste
    7. Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment
    8. Means of Implementation, including Partnerships
    9. SIDS Priorities for the post-2015 Development Agenda
    Contact Information

    Alessandro, Director General of the Italian Ministry of Ecological Transition