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Launch of ‘Infrastructure for Resilient Island States’ (IRIS) at COP26

Press Release
02/11/2021

- Launch of IRIS on 2 November 2021 at 0830-0900 GMT at COP26, Glasgow, UK

- IRIS witnesses high-level political representation from The United Kingdom, India, Australia, Fiji, Jamaica and Mauritius

- IRIS, a dedicated initiative, has been co-created by the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) with support from Member Countries and organizations and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) representatives

- IRIS aims to support SIDS in achieving sustainable development through a systematic approach to resilient, sustainable, and inclusive infrastructure

- To know more: www.cdri.world/iris/

New Delhi, 2 November 2021: Today, Hon. Prime Minister of The United Kingdom, The Right Hon. Boris Johnson MP; Hon. Prime Minister of India, Shri. Narendra Modi; Hon. Prime Minister of Australia, Mr. Scott Morrison; Hon. Prime Minister of Fiji, Mr. Frank Bainimarama; Hon. Prime Minster of Jamaica, Mr. Andrew Holness and Hon. Prime Minister of Mauritius, Mr. Pravind Kumar Jugnauth launched the ‘Infrastructure for Resilient Island States (IRIS)’ at The World Leaders Summit at COP26 in Glasgow, UK.

Infrastructure for Resilient Island States (IRIS), a dedicated initiative, will provide technical support on the multifaceted issues posed by infrastructure systems and promote disaster and climate resilience of infrastructure assets in SIDS, and share latest knowledge and learnings targeted to specific infrastructure sectors. IRIS will work with SIDS to identify opportunities for partnerships and technical collaborations to strengthen infrastructure systems for resilient development in these countries.

The goal of IRIS will directly contribute to the SAMOA Pathway (SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action), and target to deliver three outcomes with progress monitored against these outcomes through the lifecycle of IRIS. Aligned with SAMOA pathway, the three intended outcomes are: 

  • Improve resilience of SIDS infrastructure to climate change and disaster risk.
  • Strengthen knowledge and partnerships for integrating resilience in SIDS infrastructure.
  • Promote gender equality and disability inclusion through resilient SIDS infrastructure.


Hon. Prime Minister of The United Kingdom, The Right Hon. Boris Johnson MP at the opening of the launch of Infrastructure for Resilient Island States (IRIS) thanked Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on his leadership for the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure. He added that, “It’s incredibly cruel that these vulnerable small island states are right in the frontline of the loss and damage that is caused by global warming. They have done virtually nothing to cause the problem. Every country that has contributed to CO2 must contribute to join this campaign. We have made the US$100 billion commitment a year. We have to help people to adapt and mitigate and change the numbers. We have to bend the curve and stop this increase in CO2.” He added that the UK is also contributing financially to IRIS.

Hon. Prime Minister of India, Shri. Narendra Modi at the IRIS launch in Glasgow at COP26 said that “IRIS gives hope, belief and a great sense of fulfilment to the most vulnerable nations. I congratulate CDRI for this. IRIS and CDRI are just not about infrastructure but about responsibility of human welfare. It is the collective responsibility of all of us towards mankind. I consider the launch of IRIS very important. Through IRIS, it will be easy for SIDS to mobilize technology, finance and necessary information faster. Promotion of quality infrastructure in Small Island States will benefit both lives and livelihoods there.”

Hon. Prime Minister of Australia, Mr. Scott Morrison emphasized that “To address climate change, you have to reduce emissions and that’s a huge part of response to climate change. And we also have to adapt to live with the consequences of climate change that is already occurring, that is already built-in, that has already got an impact of lives and livelihoods, particularly those in island nations all around the world.” He added that a lot more work has to be done, “The joint initiative that we have launched today will share our ambition further to ensure the resilience of Small Island Developing States and through partnerships and expertise to drive greater investment in quality infrastructure.”

Hon. Prime Minister of Fiji, Mr. Frank Bainimarama said that “The world is warming and the impacts are terrifying and the standards we build must be defined by and readied for those intensifying risks. It takes resources to build resilience. But we pay heed to it now or pay a much higher price in the aftermath of climate driven devastation. There is a huge of gap of trillions of dollars which vulnerable nations need and what they have. We can bridge the financing gap between vulnerability and resilience if we fully unleash public and private sector sources of funding. We welcome India’s launch of the infrastructure resilient project for small island states. It’s a promising start. Thank you to Prime Minister Modi Sir for this initiative.”

Hon. Prime Minster of Jamaica, Mr. Andrew Holness congratulated the convenors for this timely initiative and to thank Prime Minister Modi in particular for this invitation. He said that “In Jamaica, our resilience building efforts will shortly be boosted by US$1 million grant from India for the construction of facilities for sustainable agriculture. The initiative being launched today, rightly focuses attention of SIDS as we are on the frontline of the climate crisis. Jamaica sees capital investment as a tool for economic enhancement and also as a tool for climate proofing. It is in this context that we welcome this much needed initiative that reflects our own thinking around the pivotal role played by infrastructure in building resilience.”

Prime Minister of Mauritius, Mr. Pravind Kumar Jugnauth said that “With great pleasure we join for the launch of IRIS by CDRI. Since its inception two years ago by Shri Narendra Modiji, the Coalition has grown into a global partnership platform to assist states big and small in improving disaster resilience of infrastructure. Mauritius is proud to associate itself with the launch of IRIS, a SIDS specific initiative that will undoubtedly help this group of countries to become more resilient, promote inclusive infrastructure and ultimately achieve the UN SDGs.”

About CDRI:

Launched by Hon. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi at the UN Climate Action Summit at New York on 23 September 2019, the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) is a partnership of national governments, UN agencies and programmes, multilateral development banks and financing mechanisms, the private sector, and knowledge institutions that aims to promote the resilience of new and existing infrastructure systems to climate and disaster risks in support of sustainable development.

CDRI promotes rapid development of resilient infrastructure to respond to the Sustainable Development Goals’ imperatives of expanding universal access to basic services, enabling prosperity and decent work