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ACTION PROGRAMME FOR THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF SIDS

During the morning session, Colombia, on behalf of the G-77, submitted an informal paper entitled, "Basic Elements for an Action Programme for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States." This paper was originally drafted by AOSIS and is based on a triangular approach (action at the national, regional and international levels).

Later in the day, the Chair convened an informal meeting to hear preliminary comments on this paper. During the discussion, Brazil and Argentina pointed out that this Conference and the resulting action programme should be in line with the agreements reached in Rio. They pointed out that financial resources were not adequately addressed in the paper. To reinforce the links to UNCED, the paper should reflect activities in other fora, such as the Climate Change and Biodiversity Conventions, the GEF and the CSD.

Belgium, on behalf of the EC, pointed out that the paper has a good list of objectives, but is too general. The paper should: concentrate more on the specific problems of SIDS (economic diversification, transport, tourism, and water resources); mention ongoing work that addresses the specific problems of SIDS; focus more on issues like capacity building and human resources development; and clarify how specific problems of SIDS will be addressed in the context of other relevant global negotiations. Some issues that are not mentioned in the paper and should be included are: dissemination of information; the role of the CSD in follow-up; and better donor coordination, especially at the regional level.

Australia and Iceland agreed with the emphasis on implementation at the national level and the triangular approach. They both supported Canada's proposal to prepare an inventory of what is presently being done at the national level and said that the question of implementation must be considered in time. Iceland also pointed out that this paper should be linked to more efficient UN cooperation. Jamaica expressed concern about the incorporation of the work of many of the UN agencies into this document. He made specific reference to consideration of the latest initiatives on the Law of the Sea, the regional seas programme, and on human settlements.

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