Small Island Developing States urged to find sustainable solutions

Aug 27, 2013

UNDP Associate Administrator and UN Under-Secretary General, Rebeca Grynspan

BRIDGETOWN.  As the Small Island Developing States (SIDS)  prepare for the e third international Conference of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in Samoa, the Deputy Chief of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and UN Under-Secretary-General, Ms Rebeca Grynspan, yesterday stressed the need for world leaders to take decisive action to reduce poverty and put the world on a sustainable and equitable development path.

In delivery opening remarks at the 3rd Interregional Preparatory Meeting of the Small Island Development States (SIDS) in Barbados, UNDP Associate Administrator Rebeca Grynspan emphasized that rapid environmental degradation, climate change and growing inequalities need immediate attention.

In her address, Ms. Grynspan highlighted that while SIDS have made significant strides towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)  in health, education, gender equality and water and sanitation, action must be taken to address pollution,  rising sea levels, ocean acidification and biodiversity loss.  “These are problems that SIDS in most cases  have done very little to cause and that exacerbate structural vulnerabilities on top of the normal challenges developing countries already face.”

Speaking to close to two hundred delegates from over forty countries she explained that while these challenges were recognized by member states in Rio and it was agreed that environmental, social and economic objectives must be pursued simultaneously, the concept has not yet been put into action.

Grynspan said the time has come to turn promises into action starting with a clear signal to the Apia Conference in Samoa that SIDS will take the lead in doing the right thing and “by continuing to be effective leaders and role models, demonstrating in practice the change they want to see.”

The 2014 conference in Samoa, Ms. Grynspan added, could also be a vehicle for global action by building on the commitment from leaders to increase support for SIDS. She says this could help to generate the financing, technology and support SIDS need and at the same time influence the post 2015-development agenda.

 “SIDS unite diverse actors around strategic initiatives that can trigger long-term sustainable development like supporting the blue economy which could help SIDS carve a niche in the global economy while protecting and harnessing the oceans to develop fisheries, build tourism and identify new resources ,” she said.

Lara Blanco

Deputy Resident Representative
United Nations Development Programme Barbados & the OECS
UN House
Marine Gardens
Christ Church
Phone: 246-467-6003 Fax: 246-429-2448
Mobile: 246-836-6003

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