Small Island Developing States call for action to address challenges for sustainable development

30 Sep 2013

imageA cross-section of Small Island States Representatives gathered in Barbados

BRIDGETOWN — Delegations from the Caribbean, Pacific and AIMS (Atlantic, Indian, Mediterranean and South China Sea) gathered in Barbados from 26-28 August 2013 for the Inter-Regional Preparatory Meeting have finally agreed and adopted the, ‘Small Island Developing States (SIDS Integrated and Enabling Cooperation Framework for the Barbados Programme of Action (BPoA) and Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation (MSI),’ an outcome document to guide their negotiations going into the 68th session of the UN General Assembly.  

The  ‘zero draft’  outcome document, adopted weeks after the conclusion of the Interregional Preparatory Meeting of the Small Islands States in  Barbados, reaffirms that,  “SIDS remain a special case for sustainable development in acknowledgement of their unique characteristics, challenges and vulnerabilities and the ongoing impact of these on their ability to achieve sustainable development and build resilience.”    Given the unique and persistent structural vulnerabilities of SIDS, in the agreement they are calling for a post 2015 sustainable development agenda that is people centred, focusing on eradicating poverty, engendering equality and achieving environmental sustainability.

The Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Integrated and Enabling Cooperation Framework for the Barbados Programme of Action (BPoA) and Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation (MSI), recognizes that whilst SIDS have taken action towards providing universal access to energy, switching to renewable energy and reducing dependence on fossils, the international community should,
“provide adequate and predictable financial support and investments as well as technological transfer and capacity building to develop and implement national, regional and inter-regional energy policies.”

“An urgent need to address the security implications of climate change, including violation of territorial integrity, existential threat, more frequent and severe climate-related disasters, threats to water and food security, increased natural resource scarcity, and forced displacement and the human dimensions of climate change, including, where necessary, initiatives for preparing communities for relocation,” states the agreement.  Small islands states have signalled that further efforts to secure, and operationalize, an international mechanism under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change UNFCCC to address loss and damage resulting from the impacts of human-induced climate change is urgently needed.

SIDS commitments to further implementation of the BPoA, MSI, addressing new and emerging challenges, and opportunities, include:

  • Financing: provision of additional and predictable financial resources by bilateral donors, international financial institutions and the UN system in accordance with national priorities;
  • Capacity Building: a coordinated and coherent UN system-wide capacity initiative in collaboration with regional commissions and regional intergovernmental organizations;
  • Technology Transfer: development, transfer and diffusion of affordable, SIDS-adapted and environmentally sound technologies and corresponding know-how on favorable terms;
  • Data Collection and Management: strengthening of data systems and partnership initiatives to enable effective follow up of implementation and attainment of development goals;
  • Trade: extension of trade preferences by partners in various trade and economic agreements to assist SIDS in their response to the global economic challenges; and
  • International Financial System: international support to national and regional initiatives that serve to enhance participation of SIDS in the decision making and norm setting processes.

“SIDS remain committed to ensuring the full and effective implementation of the BPoA and MSI and urge development partners to fulfill their commitments by providing in a timely and predictable manner financial and technical support to ensure the successful implementation of the BPoA and MSI and other internationally agreed outcomes”.

Joseph Goddard, Permanent Representative of Barbados to the UN, said that, through the outcome document, SIDS expressed their will to achieve a world where poverty is no more and SIDS economic conditions are synonymous with sustained prosperity.

 Wu Hongbo, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, said that text will serve as the basis for negotiations with SIDS partners in the global preparatory process for the Third International Conference on SIDS and the UN will continue to contribute to preparations, including fostering partnerships.

Ali’ioaiga Feturi Elisaia, Permanent Representative of Samoa to the UN, added the gathering in Apia in 2014 will not be a SIDS conference but a global conference on SIDS issues, and highlighted partnerships among SIDS, developed and developing countries, civil society and the private sector.

To access the outcome document, visit: http://www.sids2014.org

Lara Blanco

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