Read the latest UN news on the Small Island Developing States.
Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States
The Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States will be held from 1 to 4 September 2014 in Apia, Samoa, to be preceded by activities related to the conference from 28 to 30 August 2014, also in Apia, Samoa. It will focus the world’s attention on a group of countries that remain a special case for sustainable development in view of their unique and particular vulnerabilities.
The UNGA has decided that the Conference will seek to achieve the following objectives:
(a) Assess the progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action and the Mauritius Strategy, building on, inter alia, existing reports and relevant processes;
(b) Seek a renewed political commitment by all countries to address effectively the special needs and vulnerabilities of small island developing States by focusing on practical and pragmatic actions for the further implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action and the Mauritius Strategy, inter alia, through mobilization of resources and assistance for small island developing States;
(c) Identify new and emerging challenges and opportunities for the sustainable development of small island developing States and ways and means to address them, including through the strengthening of collaborative partnerships between small island developing States and the international community;
(d) Identify priorities for the sustainable development of small island developing States for consideration, as appropriate, in the elaboration of the post-2015 United Nations development agenda;
The resolution calls for “a concise, focused, forward-looking and action-oriented political document.” The small island States have also expressed their desire to highlight successful partnerships and areas of innovation.
The preparations for this important Conference are underway now, starting with a robust, SIDS-directed national preparatory process. These national preparations fed into regional meetings in June and July of 2013, followed by an inter-regional preparatory meeting in August.
The global process will begin in early 2014, bringing together the full range of stakeholders, Member States, civil society, private sector representatives, and others. As these partners add their voices to those of the SIDS, the result will be a constructive and meaningful Conference advancing the cause of sustainable development in SIDS, strengthening partnerships, and contributing to the wider dialogue on a sustainable future for all.
About Small Island Developing States
Small Island developing States (SIDS) have their own peculiar vulnerabilities and characteristics, so that the difficulties they face in the pursuit of sustainable development are particularly severe and complex.
- Small size
- Climate change and sea-level rise
- Natural and environmental disasters
for instance, small size can actually be a blessing, and several SIDS, including the Maldives, Tuvalu and several Caribbean island states, are working to achieve “climate neutrality” through the use of renewable energy and other approaches. Another island territory, Tokelau, recently began producing 100% of its energy from solar sources. And as the vice-president of Seychelles remarked in the most recent General Assembly general debate, SIDS are ideal locations for pilot projects in renewable energy and other areas, which can then be rolled out in other countries on a larger scale. SIDS are also leading the way in ocean conservation efforts, and some of the largest Marine Protected Areas in the world are being established in the Pacific and incorporated into the Pacific Island Forum Oceanscape initiative.
As is the case for nations around the world, SIDS are making variable progress toward the Millennium Development Goals, which have 2015 as their projected endpoint. Notable gains have been made in some areas of health, education, and gender parity, while other goals continue to prove challenging for some SIDS. SIDS in all regions are actively involved in shaping the post-2015 development agenda.
*Also LDCs (Source)
The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) will work closely with Mr. Gyan Chandra Acharya, the UN High Representative for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and SIDS (OHRLLS), as well as the partner organizations within and outside the UN system both through the EC ESA Plus and IACG on SIDS. In supporting the Conference, DESA will work with other UN departments, the regional commissions and the UN system as a whole, while mobilizing relevant intergovernmental organizations and major groups, to ensure that the Conference makes a concrete and meaningful contribution to the sustainable development of Small Island Developing States.
For more information visit the official Conference website.
Preparations are under way for the 2014 Conference on Small Island Developing States in Apia, Samoa
To ensure that the voices of the Pacific are heard at the 2014 Conference on Small Island Developing States, representatives of Pacific Ocean small island developing States gathered in Nadi, Fiji from 10 to 12 July to determine common concerns, exchange experiences and lessons learned, and discuss regional perspectives and positions for the Conference.
Next year’s Conference, which will take place in Apia, Samoa, from 1 to 4 September 2014, provides an opportunity for the world to examine the unique circumstances that affect sustainable development in small island developing States, which have struggled to contend with challenges that range from the impacts of climate change to the escalating price of imported energy.
But, even as they seek to address these challenges, small island developing States have also become an incubator for solutions, becoming leaders in the use of renewable energy, in sustainable tourism and in strengthening resilience.
Representatives of Caribbean States are also holding preliminary consultations in Kingston, Jamaica, from 2 to 4 July. Conference Secretary-General Wu Hongbo said that a strong and constructive meeting in Kingston will “ensure that the Caribbean voice is heard loud and clear, throughout the preparatory process, leading to a successful global meeting in Apia next year”. He added, “small island developing States have a long history of collaborating, learning from one another, shoring up and building on one another’s strengths”. The islands, he said, had accomplished this while forging their own paths, maintaining their own cultural identity, and fostering individual innovation.
“We look forward to the outcomes of the Caribbean small island developing States preparatory meeting next week in Kingston, as it constitutes an important aspect of our overall preparedness for the third International Small Island Developing States Conference in Apia, Samoa next year,” said Jamaica’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, E. Courtenay Rattray. “We anticipate that the meeting will enable Caribbean small island developing States to continue the process of identifying gaps in the implementation of programmes and commitments geared towards addressing our countries’ vulnerabilities.”
“The meeting will also focus on identifying opportunities,” he said, citing as examples, “those in the energy sector and those we can advance through pursuing partnerships with other small island developing States, non-small island developing States-developing country partners and traditional development cooperation partners, as we endeavour to ensure that, ultimately, Caribbean small island developing States’ sustainable development aspirations are fulfilled”.
The results of each of the island States’ regional meetings — for the Caribbean, Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean — will be channelled to a ministerial-level meeting in Barbados at the end of August. There, the small island developing States from the three regions will agree on common positions that will guide them during the global preparatory process for the Samoa Conference.
The Jamaica meeting will provide a forum for Caribbean countries to evaluate progress on the commitments made under the 1994 Barbados Programme of Action and the 2005 Mauritius Strategy of Implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action.
The meeting for the Indian Ocean States will meet in Victoria, Seychelles, from 17 to 19 July. The Barbados ministerial-level meeting will take place from 26 to 28 August.