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SIDS Policy & Practice

Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) - ‘The Sustainable Development of SIDS Through Genuine and Durable Partnerships’

1-4 September 2014 | Apia, Samoa

Daily Web Coverage (Click on the Following Links to See our Daily Webpages)
Highlights for Monday, 1 September 2014
Third International Conference on SIDS
The Third International Conference on SIDS officially opened on 1 September 2014

Formal proceedings began on Monday with an opening plenary, where Member States elected Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi, Prime Minister of Samoa, as President of the Conference. They also elected the Conference Vice-Presidents and attended to organizational matters.

Conference President Malielegaoi said the UN Climate Summit to be held in September 2014 in New York, US, should send a clear signal to delegates to make the forthcoming UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 21st Conference of Parties (COP 21) in Paris a ‘conference of hope’ with an ambitious climate treaty agreed in 2015.

UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) President Martin Sajdik stressed that the international community has a special responsibility to SIDS.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UN General Assembly President John Ashe, and many other leaders addressed the delegates during the formal opening.

Member States then engaged in a general debate through the day, while a parallel multi-stakeholder partnership dialogue took place on the theme of ‘sustainable economic development’ in the afternoon. Numerous side events were held through the day and evening.


Opening Plenary

Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General
Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi, Prime Minister, Samoa

John Ashe, President of the UN General Assembly
Baron Divavesi Waqa, President of the Republic of Nauru and Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States
Martin Sajdik, President of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)

Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary General, Economic and Social Affairs and Secretary-General for the Third International Conference on SIDS
Lemalu Nele Leilua, Samoa Umbrella for Non-Governmental Organisations (SUNGO), SIDS Major Group Coordinator

Second Plenary

Panel (L-R): Marion Barthelemy, DESA; Fatima Abdulhabib Fereji, Minister of State at the First Vice President's Office, Zanzibar; and Emer Herity, General Assembly and Economic and Social Affairs.

Denzil Douglas, Prime Minister, Saint Kitts and Nevis
Philip Davis, Deputy Prime Minister, Bahamas
Manasseh Maelanga, Deputy Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands

Partnerships Dialogue

Panel (L-R): Rolph Payet, Minister of Environment and Energy, Seychelles; Murray McCully, Minister of Foreign Affairs, New Zealand; H.E. Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister, Grenada; H.E. Henry Puna, Prime Minister, Cook Islands; H.E. Freundel Stuart, Prime Minister, Barbados; Secretariat; Cletus Springer, Organization of American States; Martin Sajdik, ECOSOC President; and Zhu Min, Deputy Managing Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister, Grenada
Murray McCully, Minister of Foreign Affairs, New Zealand

Martin Sajdik, ECOSOC President
Rolph Payet, Minister of Environment and Energy, Seychelles

A.J. Nicholson, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Jamaica
Brett Mason, Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Australia

Side events throughout the day

Side event: Building resilience for SIDS

This event explained how 'Foresight', the processes of anticipation that identify opportunities and threats which may arise in mid- to long-term versions of the future, can assist all SIDS to develop the capacity of public service to apply foresight methodology in strategic planning and risk management systems. It showcased how foresight can assist SIDS to apply this practical approach for building resilience and adaptability, so promoting sustainable development.


Sialeʻataongo Tuʻivakanō, Prime Minister, Tonga
Helen Clark, UN Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator

Side event: Health and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) based on Healthy Island Vision

Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator, stressed that the NCD crisis is playing out acutely in SIDS, and offered UNDP support and interagency coordination for the Pacific Partnership on NCDs.
Sailele Malielegaoi, Samoa, spoke of the cross-cutting nature of NCDs, and called for strengthened partnerships in the journey towards better health and well-being.

Side event: Small Islands: high stakes and increased opportunities for promoting sustainable consumption and production (SCP)

Panel (L-R): Arab Hoballah, UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Division of Technology, Industry and Economics (DTIE); Denis Lowe, Minister of Environment and Drainage, Barbados; Taafua Maluelue, Associate Minister of Tourism, Samoa; Davanand Virahsawmy, Minister of Environment, Mauritius; and Achim Steiner, Executive Director, UNEP.

Davanand Virahsawmy, Mauritius, shared some innovative SCP initiatives, including the Deepwater Ocean Extraction (DOA) project, which is extracting very cold water to use in air conditioning, and a biomass fuel project that is using sugarcane fibre to produce electricity.
Achim Steiner, UNEP, said the organization is developing a SIDS-focused special initiative within the 10-Year Framework for Sustainable Consumption and Production (10YFP), which will be an entry point for the international community and the UN family to engage with “the unique realities” faced by SIDS.

Denis Lowe, Minister of Environment and Drainage, Barbados, said behavior change is critical in achieving SCP. He said that “the enabling ingredients” for promoting SCP in SIDS have been identified in the SAMOA Pathway, particularly in the context of means of implementation (MOI), including finance, trade, technology, capacity building and international support.
Taafua Maluelue, Samoa, emphasized that the tourism sector must be well managed so as not to destroy the environmental assets that sustain it. He noted the need for access to sustainable energy as well as waste management as crucial to ensuring the economic and cultural objectives of sustainable tourism.

Arab Hoballah, UNEP DTIE; Irwin Larocque, Secretary-General, Caribbean Community (Caricom); David Haynes, Director, Waste Management and Pollution Control, Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP); and Kelera Cavuilati, tourism investment specialist, South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO). Panelists discussed: promoting the achievement of environmental standards in the context of tourism marketing; supporting waste management, including recycling, through taxes and incentives; and encouraging sustainable practices in the tourism sector, for example, in reducing food waste, increasing the consumption of local food products, and disseminating environmental guidelines.

Side event: UN Chief Executives Board for Coordination

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, CEB Chair, hosted this event, which highlighted the UN system’s contributions to the sustainable development of SIDS, and demonstrated how the UN system is working together with and for SIDS on sustainable social and economic development, climate change and disaster risk management, oceans and seas, and other priority areas. Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegao, Prime Minister of Samoa, called for: a rapid, coordinated UN system response to the problems faced by SIDS; a robust global monitoring system that will strengthen accountability at all levels; and increased allocation of resources for SIDS priorities from the regional commissions.


Panel (L-R): Rachel Kyte, Vice President and Special Envoy for Climate Change, World Bank Group; Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director, UN Women; Achim Steiner, Executive Director, UNEP; Irina Bokova, Director-General, UNESCO; Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary General, DESA and Conference Secretary-General; Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General; Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO); Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, Prime Minister, Samoa; Helen Clark, Admistrator, UNDP; Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General, UNCTAD; Shamshad Akhtar, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary, ESCAP; José Graziano da Silva, Director-General, FAO; and Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Relief Coordinator, UNOCHA.

Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), moderated the interactive dialogue, noting four thematic topics would be discussed: sustainable economic development; disaster risk management, particularly in connection to climate change; social development; and intergovernmental processes and working together.
Helen Clark, Administrator, UNDP, stressed the need to support institution building, and accessing sources of finance, particularly climate finance.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted 300 partnerships and initiatives would be launched during the conference, either led or supported by UN agencies.

Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director, noted much could be learned from SIDS with respect to transitioning to a green economy, pointed to the fact 60-80% of food in the tourism industry is imported, and said some SIDS are aiming to use 100% renewable energy in less than a decade.
Rachel Kyte, Vice President and Special Envoy for Climate Change, World Bank Group, emphasized the link between combating climate change, disaster risk and economic stability to build competitiveness. She called for increased investment in building resilience and preparedness, noting that storms not even big enough to trigger an insurance mechanism could wipe out 10% of a country’s GDP.
Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General, UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), cited work on transportation in SIDS and in building e-commerce capacity in SIDS, and the importance of the service industry and access to markets.

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director, UN Women, said that investing in gender equality has a very high rate of return, and called for investing in reproductive rights and health, and education, and addressing violence against women.
Shamshad Akhtar, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary, UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), speaking for the five UN regional commissions, called for effective consultations at the regional level, linking regional commissions with the work of the HLPF, ECOSOC and the GA, and a monitoring and accountability framework.
Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Relief Coordinator, UN/OCHA, supported integrating issues related to vulnerability and response, noting that US$7 is spent on response, while only US$1 is spent on preparedness, and said first responders are the local communiteis themselves.

Side Event: Our Sea of Islands, Our Livelihoods, Our Oceania - The Pacific Ocean Alliance

The event discussed the Pacific Ocean Alliance, which seeks to bring together a broad range of stakeholders with diverse interests in the Pacific Ocean, and will: contribute to effective ocean policy coordination, coherence and implementation; facilitate regional cooperation for the high seas; support national ocean governance and policy processes; and promote integrated decision making at all levels.

Miguel de Serpa Soares, UN Under-Secretary for Legal Affairs and UN Legal Counsel, UN Office of Legal Affairs, discussed guidance provided by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) to assist coastal states to deal with emerging challenges of, inter alia, overfishing, pollution and climate change impacts.
Sue Taei, Conservation International, emphasized the importance of marine protected areas, noting they must be included in exclusive economic zones.

Naoko Ishii, CEO, Global Environment Facility, discussed how to integrate various sectors into a coherent national development strategy, and emphasized regional management harmonization and sharing of market intelligence.


Enele Sopoaga, Prime Minister, Tuvalu, called for a strengthening of tools and mechanisms to help SIDS realize the full potential of their rights and benefits of natural resources.
Moses Amos, Director, Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems, SPC, said that coastal fisheries are the foodbasket of the Pacific, and that ocean resources are a significant renewable resource, and called for greater emphasis on multi-sector and cross-sectoral approaches to address social issues.
Rachel Kyte, Vice President and Special Envoy for Climate Change, World Bank Group, called for better alignment of global and local interests, and SIDS as investment opportunities rather than as destinations for development aid.

Side Event: Linking SIDS and SE4All: From Barbados to Samoa, and Beyond

Panel (L-R): Salvatore Bernabei, General Manager, Enel Green Power Chile and Andean Countries; Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility; Camillo Gonsalves, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Adnan Amin, Director-General, International Renewable Energy Agency; Helen Clark, UNDP; and Reginald Burke, Caribbean Development Policy Centre.

Scenes from around the venue






Funding for coverage of this conference has been provided by the
UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), and the World Bank
UNDP UNEP World Bank

Daily Web Coverage (Click on the Following Links to See our Daily Webpages)
Related Links
Conference resources

*Conference Website *Draft Organization of Work *SAMOA Pathway document
*Side Events *Multi-stakeholder Partnership Dialogues *Parallel Events
*General Assembly Resolutions *Barbados Programme of Action *Mauritius Strategy of Implementation
*International Year of SIDS Website *SIDSnet *Host Country Website


IISD RS resources

*IISD RS report on SAMOA Pathway

*IISD RS summary and analysis of the Inter-Regional Preparatory Meeting (IPM) for the Third International Conference on SIDS, 26-28 August 2013, Bridgetown, Barbados (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF)

bulletIISD RS summary and analysis of the Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean, and South China Sea (AIMS) Regional Preparatory Meeting for the 2014 Third International Conference on SIDS, 17-19 July 2013, Baie Lazare, Seychelles (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF)

bulletIISD RS summary and analysis of the Pacific Regional Preparatory Meeting for the 2014 Third International Conference on SIDS, 10-12 July 2013, Nadi, Fiji (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF)

bulletIISD RS summary and analysis of the Caribbean Regional Preparatory Meeting for the 2014 Third International Conference on SIDS, 2-4 July 2013, Kingston, Jamaica (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF)

bulletIISD RS coverage of the High-level Review Meeting on the Implementation of the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (MSI+5), 24-25 September 2010, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America

bulletIISD RS coverage of the International Meeting to Review the Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of SIDS, 10-14 January 2005, Port Louis, Mauritius

bulletIISD RS coverage of the SIDS Preparatory Meeting for the 10-Year Review of the Barbados Programme of Action, 14-16 April 2004, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America

bulletIISD RS coverage of the Inter-regional Preparatory Meeting for the 10-year Review of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of SIDS, 26-30 January 2004, Nassau, Bahamas

bulletIISD RS coverage of the Twenty-second Special Session of the General Assembly for the Review and Appraisal of the Barbados Programme of Action (BPOA+5), 27-28 September 1999, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America

bulletIISD RS summary report of the Barbados Conference on the Sustainable Development of SIDS, 25 April - 6 May 1994, Bridgetown, Barbados (HTML - PDF)

bulletSIDS-L - A mailing list for news on SIDS policy

bulletSIDS Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of UN and Intergovernmental Activities Addressing SIDS

bulletLinkages Update - Bi-weekly international environment and sustainable development news
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