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BARBADOS DECLARATION

The host country circulated a paper containing elements for discussion for the Barbados Declaration (A/CONF.167/PC/L.10). The paper stresses the specific vulnerabilities of SIDS while recognizing their place in an interconnected world and as part of one global ecosystem. It highlights the stewardship by SIDS of the world's oceans and other resources, and catalogues the human resource and economic constraints SIDS face -- "Life on SIDS is thus both an alluring experience and a profound challenge." It concludes with the commitments of SIDS themselves, the international community and NGOs, and notes that the Barbados Conference is an example to the world of how to work together to coordinate action.

On Thursday night, Amb. Besley Maycock (Barbados) introduced the document and a number of delegations offered preliminary remarks. The reaction was generally positive. Some elements, such as the right to develop and people-centered sustainable development, were said to be insufficiently covered. It was agreed that the Declaration should remain accessible to all, as short as possible, and reflect wide consensus. As one delegate indicated, this should not be just another UN document. It was agreed that delegates would forward this document to their capitals and that informal consultations would resume in New York at the end of the month.