Earth Negotiations Bulletin

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 A Reporting Service for Environment and Development Negotiations

 

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Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (iisd)

 

Vol. 8 No. 47
Monday, 17 January 2005

SUMMARY OF THE INTERNATIONAL MEETING TO REVIEW THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PROGRAMME OF ACTION FOR THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF SMALL ISLAND DEVELOPING STATES:

10-14 JANUARY 2005

The International Meeting (IM) to Review the Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) convened from 10-14 January 2005, at the Swami Vivekananda International Convention Center in Port Louis, Mauritius. Almost 2000 participants were in attendance, including 18 presidents, vice-presidents and prime ministers, some 60 ministers, and representatives of UN agencies, and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations.

The IM was preceded by two days of informal consultations on Saturday and Sunday, 8-9 January to facilitate preparations for the IM, in particular to advance negotiations on the Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of SIDS.

From Monday to Wednesday, 10-12 January, the IM held five plenary panels on the themes of: environmental vulnerabilities of SIDS; special challenges of SIDS in trade and economic development; role of culture in the sustainable development of SIDS; addressing emerging trends and social challenges for the sustainable development of SIDS; and building resilience in SIDS. The Main Committee met from Monday to Thursday, 10-13 January, to complete negotiations on the Strategy document.

The high-level segment of the IM took place on Thursday and Friday, comprising a general debate and two round tables. The general debate addressed the “Comprehensive review of the implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of SIDS,” while the round tables considered the overall theme of “The Way Forward,” with the first discussing mobilization of resources, and the second addressing capacity building.

Capacity building workshops, side events and partnership activities addressing a wide range of SIDS-related issues were held during the IM, which also saw the launching of the SIDS University Consortium.

 At the conclusion of the meeting, delegates adopted the Mauritius Declaration and the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action on the Sustainable Development of SIDS.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE BPOA

The vulnerability of islands and coastal areas was recognized by the 44th session of the UN General Assembly in 1989, when it passed resolution 44/206 on the possible adverse effects of sea-level rise on islands and coastal areas, particularly low-lying coastal areas. The 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, brought the special case of small islands and coastal areas to international attention when it adopted Agenda 21, a programme of action for sustainable development. Chapter 17 of Agenda 21 on the protection of oceans, all kinds of seas, and coastal areas included a programme area on the sustainable development of small islands. Agenda 21 also called for a global conference on the sustainable development of SIDS.

GLOBAL CONFERENCE ON THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF SIDS: Established by UN General Assembly resolution 47/189, the UN Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of SIDS was held in Bridgetown, Barbados, from 25 April to 6 May 1994. The Conference adopted the Barbados Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of SIDS (BPOA), a 14-point programme that identifies priority areas and specific actions necessary for addressing the special challenges faced by SIDS. The priority areas are: climate change and sea-level rise, natural and environmental disasters, management of wastes, coastal and marine resources, freshwater resources, land resources, energy resources, tourism resources, biodiversity resources, national institutions and administrative capacity, regional institutions and technical cooperation, transport and communication, science and technology, and human resource development. The BPOA further identified cross-sectoral areas requiring attention: capacity building; institutional development at the national, regional and international levels; cooperation in the transfer of environmentally sound technologies; trade and economic diversification; and finance. The Conference also adopted the Barbados Declaration, a statement of political will underpinning the commitments contained in the BPOA.

The Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) was given the responsibility to follow up on the implementation of the BPOA.

UNGASS-22: In September 1999, the 22nd Special Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGASS-22) undertook a comprehensive review and appraisal of the implementation of the BPOA. The Special Session adopted the “State of Progress and Initiatives for the Future Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of SIDS,” which identified six problem areas in need of urgent attention: climate change, natural and environmental disasters and climate variability, freshwater resources, coastal and marine resources, energy, and tourism. In addition to these priority areas, the Special Session highlighted the need to focus on means of implementation through: sustainable development strategies, capacity building, resource mobilization and finance, globalization and trade liberalization, transfer of environmentally sound technology, a vulnerability index, information management through strengthening the SIDS Network, and international cooperation and partnership. The Special Session also adopted a declaration in which member States, inter alia, reaffirmed the principles of, and their commitment to, sustainable development as embodied in Agenda 21, the Barbados Declaration and the BPOA.

MILLENNIUM SUMMIT: In September 2000, at the UN Millennium Summit in New York, world leaders adopted the UN Millennium Declaration (General Assembly resolution 55/2) and in doing so, resolved to address the special needs of SIDS by implementing the BPOA and the outcome of UNGASS-22 rapidly and in full.

WSSD: The World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) convened from 26 August to 4 September 2002, in Johannesburg, South Africa. The WSSD reaffirmed the special case of SIDS, dedicating a chapter of the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI) to the sustainable development of SIDS that identified a set of priority actions, called for a full and comprehensive review of the BPOA in 2004, and requested the General Assembly at its 57th session to consider convening an international meeting on the sustainable development of SIDS.

Non-negotiated partnerships for sustainable development, also known as Type II partnerships/initiatives, were also a key outcome of the WSSD. As of December 2004, 297 such partnerships had been registered with the CSD Secretariat, 53 of which focus on the sustainable development of SIDS.

UNGA-57: In December 2002, the 57th session of the UN General Assembly adopted resolution 57/262, in which the Assembly decided to convene an international meeting in 2004 to undertake a full and comprehensive review of the implementation of the BPOA, and welcomed the offer by the Government of Mauritius to host the meeting. The General Assembly also decided that the review should seek a renewed political commitment by all countries to, and should focus on, practical and pragmatic actions for the further implementation of the BPOA, including through the mobilization of resources and assistance for SIDS. The resolution further decided to convene regional preparatory meetings and an inter-regional preparatory meeting to undertake the review of the BPOA at the national, subregional and regional levels, and invited CSD-11 to consider its role in the review process.

REGIONAL PREPARATORY MEETINGS: From August to October 2003, three regional preparatory meetings for the IM were held for the: Pacific SIDS (4-8 August, Apia, Samoa); Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean and South China Sea (AIMS) SIDS (1-5 September, Praia, Cape Verde); and the Caribbean SIDS (6-10 October, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago). Each of these meetings prepared regional positions, which were presented as Regional Synthesis Reports during the inter-regional preparatory meeting in the Bahamas in January 2004.

EXPERT MEETINGS: In preparation for the inter-regional meeting, four expert meetings were convened from July to December 2003. These meetings addressed: capacity building for renewable energy and energy efficiency; vulnerability of SIDS and enhancing resilience; waste management; and capacity building for sustainable development.

UNGA-58: In December 2003, the 58th session of the UN General Assembly, in resolution 58/213, decided to convene the IM from 30 August to 3 September 2004, and approved the provisional rules of procedure of the meeting. In June 2004, the General Assembly, in resolution 58/213 B, decided to change the dates for the IM to 10-14 January 2005, with informal consultations to be held from 8-9 January, if deemed necessary.

INTER-REGIONAL SIDS PREPARATORY MEETING: The Inter-regional Preparatory Meeting for the BPOA review took place from 26-30 January 2004, in Nassau, Bahamas. At the conclusion of the meeting, SIDS adopted the Nassau Declaration and the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) Strategy Paper for the Further Implementation of the BPOA. The Strategy Paper contains chapters on the priority areas of the BPOA and identifies new and emerging issues, including the graduation of SIDS from least developed country (LDC) status, trade, health and culture.

INTERNATIONAL PREPARATORY MEETING: The Preparatory Meeting for the BPOA review convened from 14-16 April 2004, at UN headquarters in New York, during CSD-12. Delegates conducted a first reading of the AOSIS Strategy, which was endorsed by the G-77/China in March 2004 and used as the basis for negotiations at CSD-12. At the conclusion of the international preparatory meeting, delegates decided to use a compilation text as the basis for further intersessional informal informal consultations. Delegates also adopted draft decisions on the provisional agenda of, and the accreditation of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to, the IM.

INFORMAL INFORMAL CONSULTATIONS: Two rounds of informal informal consultations, facilitated by Amb. Don MacKay (New Zealand), were held from 17-19 May and 7, 8 and 11 October 2004, at UN headquarters in New York, to advance negotiations on the Strategy document. At the conclusion of the October round of consultations, delegates had reached agreement on chapters on: Natural and environmental disasters, Energy resources, Tourism resources, Transport and communication, Science and technology, Sustainable capacity development and education for sustainable development, Sustainable production and consumption, Health, Knowledge management and information for decision-making, and Culture.

MAURITIUS INTERNATIONAL CIVIL SOCIETY FORUM: An international civil society forum met from 6-9 January 2005, in Port Louis, adopting the Declaration of the Mauritius Civil Society Forum, which outlines calls for action by governments and expresses commitments to action by civil society.

INFORMAL CONSULTATIONS: The official opening of the IM was preceded by two days of informal consultations on Saturday and Sunday, 8-9 January, which were held to consider the outcome documents of the IM, and to forward recommendations to the IM on organizational and procedural matters (A/CONF.207/4). Chaired by Amb. Don MacKay, the informal consultations on the outcome documents of the IM focused on advancing negotiations on the Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of SIDS (A/CONF.207/L.1) and reached agreement on chapters on Coastal and marine resources, Land resources, and Graduation from LDC status. The informal consultations on organizational matters were chaired by Jagdish Koonjul, Mauritius Ambassador to the UN, who was elected by acclamation. The informals considered and approved its recommendations to the IM on all aspects of procedural and organizational matters.

REPORT OF THE INTERNATIONAL MEETING

The Mauritius International Meeting opened on Monday morning, 10 January, with delegates observing a minute of silence in memory of the lives lost in the recent tsunami disaster. IM Secretary-General Anwarul Chowdhury recalled the death and destruction caused by the tsunami, and recommended focusing attention on SIDS disaster preparedness in view of the upcoming World Conference on Disaster Reduction (WCDR). He urged: SIDS to enhance regional economic integration and South-South cooperation; the UN to continue to advocate on behalf of SIDS at the highest levels; and intergovernmental regional organizations to monitor and coordinate international resource flows to SIDS.

Paul Raymond Bérenger, Prime Minister of Mauritius, was elected President of the IM by acclamation. In his opening statement, Bérenger reported on the impacts of recent hurricanes and the tsunami on SIDS, and called for consideration of an early warning system as an immediate task for the meeting and the UN. He said Mauritius would propose a political declaration reiterating the international community’s commitments to SIDS.

The plenary then addressed organizational matters in accordance with the recommendations of the informal consultations as outlined in the Report of the informal consultations for the preparation of the IM (A/CONF.207/L.2), adopting the rules of procedure and agenda, and approving the organization of work, accreditation of IGOs and NGOs, and credentials committee. The plenary elected Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, Mauritius Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economic Development, as Vice-President ex-officio, and elected as Vice-Presidents:

  • Mauritius, Cape Verde and Morocco for Africa;
     

  • Tuvalu, Nauru and Timor-Leste for Asia;
     

  • Croatia, Lithuania and Czech Republic for Eastern Europe;
     

  • Belize, Bahamas and Barbados for Latin America and the Caribbean; and
     

  • Italy, Belgium and New Zealand for the Western Europe and Others Group.

The plenary also elected Christopher Fitzherbert Hackett, Barbados’ Permanent Representative to the UN, as Rapporteur-General, and Amb. Don MacKay, as the Chair of the Main Committee. This report summarizes the key proceedings of the IM, including discussions that took place in plenary, the high-level segment, and in the Main Committee. The report further highlights the key provisions contained in the Mauritius Strategy and the Mauritius Declaration.

PLENARY

COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE BPOA: This agenda item was considered in plenary on Monday, and in the high-level segment general debate on Thursday and Friday. On Monday, participants heard statements from representatives of ten UN specialized agencies, four intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) and five NGOs. The Earth Negotiations Bulletin’s coverage of the statements can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/vol08/enb0843e.html  

PANELS: Five plenary panels met from Monday to Wednesday to address: environmental vulnerability, trade and economic development, culture, emerging trends and social challenges, and resilience building. The Earth Negotiations Bulletin’s coverage of the panel discussions can be found at:

HIGH-LEVEL SEGMENT

COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE BPOA: The high-level segment of the IM opened on Thursday morning, with the handing over of the custodianship of the SIDS process from Barbados to Mauritius, and speeches by the IM President, the UN Secretary-General, and the President of the 59th session of the UN General Assembly.

IM President Bérenger called for the creation of a special trust fund to operate early warning systems, and urged consideration of SIDS-specific issues in the outcome of the WCDR and the UN 2005 major event.

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan stressed that the UN will work to ensure that SIDS feature prominently on the international agenda, noting that SIDS issues are indispensable for global collective security.

Jean Ping, President of the 59th session of the UN General Assembly, said the UN needs more machinery for early warning, risk prevention and managing the consequences of natural disasters. He expressed hope that the WCDR will enable global consensus on these issues.

General Debate: Delegates heard statements on the comprehensive review of the implementation of the BPOA on Thursday and Friday, with speakers expressing condolences to the earthquake and tsunami victims in South and Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean regions. Statements focused on: graduation; trade and globalization; disasters; climate change; marine resources; transport of radioactive materials; education, culture, and capacity building; the UN 2005 major event; financing; and monitoring and follow-up to the IM.

On graduation, several countries called for special treatment for SIDS in the multilateral trading system. Speakers urged: review of graduation criteria (Seychelles, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines), use of vulnerability indices (Saint Kitts and Nevis), and the UN to ensure a smooth transition (Cape Verde). The World Bank committed to ensure that no State is prematurely graduated from the Bank’s borrowing eligibility.

On trade and globalization, speakers highlighted: the negative effects on SIDS of erosion of trade preferences (Barbados, Dominican Republic); the need for improved market access for SIDS (Suriname, Kuwait, Tanzania); and the need for an open, transparent, non-discriminatory and rule-based international trading system (Tanzania, Guyana). Nigeria suggested applying the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities to trade matters. Vanuatu recommended using the Mauritius Strategy to integrate trade liberalization into SIDS sustainable development frameworks and provide a safety net against World Trade Organization (WTO) unfair rulings. Luxembourg, on behalf of the European Union (EU), committed to provide technology assistance to increase SIDS’ trade capacities, while not supporting a special WTO category for SIDS. Switzerland supported discussions within the WTO towards the definition of a treatment adequate to SIDS’ special circumstances. Bahamas criticized the use of GDP as a criterion for concessionary funding or special and differential treatment. The US prioritized completion of the Doha Development Agenda. The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) cautioned against using the environment as a pretext for the establishment of trade barriers to the detriment of SIDS. The African Union called for capacity building for trade negotiations. The UN Economic Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) prioritized the need to ensure the economic resilience of SIDS.

On disasters, speakers generally supported early warning systems, risk reduction strategies, rehabilitation and reconstruction. Many supported the establishment of the early warning system in the Indian Ocean, with some speakers calling for regional systems (Equatorial Guinea, Haiti, Australia, Singapore, EU, Mozambique, France), and others for global systems (Suriname, Italy, US). Some noted the need for the establishment of various disaster funds (Seychelles, Mauritius, Dominica, South Africa), and a pivotal role for the UN in disaster management (Madagascar, Bulgaria). Jamaica called for special reinsurance arrangements for SIDS. Malaysia thanked the Paris Club for freezing the debt of tsunami-hit countries, and Bahrain called for a moratorium on bilateral debt repayments from these countries. Senegal called for support from the international community for capacity building related to natural disasters. Speakers also highlighted the importance of the upcoming WCDR for SIDS. Japan said it would launch the “Initiative for Disaster Reduction through official development assistance (ODA),” to enhance promotion of disaster-resilient societies and economies. Stressing the importance of sustainable human settlement developments in SIDS, UN-HABITAT announced the formation of a tsunami human settlements recovery facility focusing, inter alia, on emergency cleanup and environmental remediation.

On climate change, several speakers called for the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, and implementation of, and resource mobilization for, mitigation and adaptation measures in SIDS. The EU and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) stressed the need to strengthen the international response to climate change. Nauru expressed concern that industrialized countries and oil producing countries “continue to be in a state of denial” that climate change is human-induced. Kiribati called for immediate and comprehensive action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and on developed countries to be more forthcoming in meeting their commitments under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Denmark expressed its commitment to further contribute to the Least Developed Countries (LDC) Fund and the Special Climate Change Fund, and, together with Germany, Iceland and Austria, prioritized renewable energy. Switzerland called for the definition of a political approach by the international community to post-2012 commitments. Qatar, on behalf of the G-77/China, said adaptation to climate change is a priority for many SIDS, which look forward to support from the international community for capacity building in adaptation.

On management of waste, the Basel Convention Secretariat highlighted the need for regional integrated waste management action plans for SIDS. Micronesia expressed concern about the lack of liability and compensation arrangements regarding transport of radioactive materials, with the Dominican Republic calling for the termination of radioactive transport and the establishment of an international working group to evaluate the risk of pollution from radioactive transports at sea.

On marine resources, Micronesia called for international cooperation to manage and monitor illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in SIDS’ Exclusive Economic Zones. Iceland emphasized sustainable yield of marine resources, and underscored the need for SIDS to fully implement the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the UN Fish Stocks Agreement. The US Virgin Islands highlighted the specific challenges of non-self-governing territories to control their marine resources, and suggested discussing the issue at the UN 2005 major event. Palau welcomed the new programme of work of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) on island biodiversity.

On education, culture, and capacity building, speakers encouraged: the establishment of a SIDS virtual university (Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago), promotion and protection of cultural diversity (Madagascar and Jamaica), and international support for SIDS capacity building (Kiribati). The EU indicated a commitment to promote regional centers of excellence to attract and retain high-level human capital in SIDS. Singapore announced that it would extend its SIDSTec initiative on technical cooperation among SIDS, highlighting SIDSTec’s role in providing specialized training for SIDS. Bahamas encouraged South-South dialogue on best management strategies for the tourism industry. Guyana noted the need to recognize culture as another pillar of sustainable development. Greece announced an initiative to provide SIDS with legal expertise for horizontal institution-building in environmental protection. The Commonwealth Secretariat called for an international regime to assist in the development of SIDS cultural industries, and urged simplification and rationalization of international reporting requirements for SIDS.

The EU, Ireland, France and Italy encouraged the participation of SIDS at the UN 2005 major event. Speakers supported the inclusion of SIDS concerns into the Secretary-General’s report on the implementation of the Millennium Declaration (Nauru, Malaysia), and the upcoming UN General Assembly discussion on UN reforms (Solomon Islands, China).

On financing, speakers stressed the importance of: resource mobilization and coordination (Solomon Islands), partnerships (China, Palau, Canada, Bulgaria, US, Pacific Islands Forum), and private investment (Kiribati, US, African Union). Palau called for rapid and practical disbursement mechanisms. The Republic of Korea urged the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to embrace SIDS’ financial needs as expressed in the Strategy document, and Malaysia urged an increase in GEF financial and technical support to SIDS. Grenada requested international resources for SIDS’ capacity and resilience building. Micronesia, Tanzania and the African Union called upon developed countries to meet the internationally-agreed ODA targets. Tanzania and China emphasized transfer of environmentally-friendly technology. Kuwait called for doubling development and financial assistance to LDCs, and relieving SIDS’ debts. Denmark, Mexico, Chile, the African Union and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies highlighted the importance of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for SIDS. Canada committed to contribute to an inter-regional ocean governance proposal covering the Caribbean, Pacific, Indian Ocean and Africa, and to host an international conference on the governance of high seas fisheries. Mexico highlighted its strengthened cooperation with the Caribbean SIDS through the Mexican Cooperation Fund and scholarship programmes. Iceland announced an increase in ODA, part of which will be directed to SIDS, and a special SIDS initiative targeting renewable energy and sustainable fisheries. Austria offered workspace for SIDS and LDCs for UN meetings in Vienna to support their active participation in those meetings. The GEF indicated increased resources for climate change adaptation, integrated resource management and capacity building. He further committed to present a strong case for SIDS during the upcoming negotiations for the fourth replenishment, on the basis of the Mauritius Strategy.

Speakers also stressed the importance of monitoring and follow-up to the IM, with Seychelles and Nauru proposing strengthening of the SIDS Unit, and Canada and Chile prioritizing regional approaches. UNEP said it would consider the IM outcome documents at its Governing Council meeting, and ESCAP said it would consider them at the fifth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Development.

ROUND TABLES: Mobilizing resources for the further implementation of the BPOA: This session, which took place on Thursday, was moderated by UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs José Antonio Ocampo and co-chaired by Owen Arthur, Barbados’s Prime Minister and Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs, and Louis Michel, European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Affairs. The Earth Negotiations Bulletin’s coverage of this high-level round table can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/vol08/enb0846e.html  

Building capacity in SIDS: This session, which took place on Friday, was moderated by Leonard Good, GEF CEO and Chairman, and co-chaired by Kessai Note, President of the Marshall Islands, and Jacob Zuma, Deputy President of South Africa. Discussions focused on measures to support SIDS capacity building programmes, in particular how to: create the optimum opportunities for people to realize their potential; utilize regional cooperation mechanisms; pool resources; and engage communities in implementation.

In the discussion SIDS delegates identified priority areas, including the need to address capacity building in areas such as: non-communicable diseases; trade-related negotiating skills; science and technology; traditional technologies and practices; planning, evaluation and monitoring; climate change and disaster preparedness; institutional arrangements; partnerships; communication technologies; SIDS-SIDS, South-South and triangular cooperation; and distance learning.

SIDS delegates also expressed support for the SIDS University Consortium, as well as the EU’s proposal for regional centers of excellence. Saint Lucia proposed that the University Consortium focus on cultural studies. Tuvalu proposed the establishment of a technology development facility for SIDS to promote the advancement of traditional knowledge. Singapore announced it would launch the second phase of the SIDSTec in 2005. Several delegates also drew attention to the “brain drain” and its impact on SIDS. Representatives of SIDS Major Groups highlighted the need to: strengthen civil society organizations’ capacity to implement the BPOA; establish NGO and civil society structures; and focus on the role of the community and local level initiatives.

Italy announced the establishment of an international agency for financing and implementing environmental training courses. Several donor partners outlined their ODA programmes that focus on capacity building and human resource development. The US highlighted the work of the Learning Centre and the Institute@SIDS.

MAIN COMMITTEE

The Main Committee was established on Monday, 10 January, and concluded its work on the Strategy document on Thursday, 13 January. Perina Sila (Samoa) was elected by the Committee as Rapporteur. During the four days, the Committee met as a whole, and in informal consultations and contact groups, which were formed to advance discussions on controversial issues such as climate change, trade, governance, and transport of radioactive materials.

The Main Committee focused its deliberations on the Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of SIDS (A/CONF.207/L.1). At the conclusion of the pre-conference informal consultations, delegates had:

  • reached agreement on: Natural and environmental disasters, Coastal and marine resources, Land resources, Energy resources, Tourism resources, Transport and communication, Science and technology, Graduation from LDC status, Sustainable capacity development and education for sustainable development, Sustainable production and consumption, Health, Knowledge management and information for decision-making, and Culture.
     

  • reached partial agreement on: the introductory paragraphs, Management of wastes, Freshwater resources, Land resources, and Implementation; and
     

  • reached no agreement on: Climate change and sea-level rise, and Trade: globalization and trade liberalization.

Discussions on the introductory chapter focused on: the opening paragraph; reference to common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR); reference to significant declines in ODA to SIDS; and a paragraph concerning the need to avoid unilateral measures that impede the full achievement of economic and social development of affected countries.

Discussions on the opening paragraph took place during the pre-conference informal consultations and on Tuesday in the Main Committee. Mauritius, on behalf of the G-77/China, proposed separating the text into two paragraphs, with the first focusing on the BPOA and the second on internationally agreed development goals and national development plans and strategies. Luxembourg, on behalf of the EU, preferred maintaining both references in one paragraph. Delegates agreed to two separate paragraphs, and to a G-77/China proposal to specify that SIDS national development strategies should include measures to address vulnerability and resilience building.

Discussions on reference to CBDR concluded in the pre-conference informal consultations, when the G-77/China agreed to refer to the “Rio principles including, inter alia, Principle 7 of the Rio Declaration.” While agreeing to the language, the US noted its opposition to singling out elements of the Rio Declaration, and said it would submit an interpretation on this text to the IM.

Deliberations on the reference to significant declines in ODA took place during the pre-conference informal consultations, with the US opposing the reference. Delegates agreed to a Chair’s compromise text referring to an overall decline in ODA to SIDS “as noted in the Secretary-General’s report” on SIDS (E/CN.17/2004/8).

Negotiations on the text concerning unilateral measures took place at the pre-conference informals, in bilateral consultations, and in the Main Committee on Tuesday and Wednesday. The US stressed that the text was not relevant to SIDS, and suggested deleting it. Chair MacKay proposed compromise text that recognized that efforts to implement the Strategy must be in accordance with international law, omitting reference to “unilateral measures.” The G-77/China proposed, and delegates agreed, to move this text to the governance section in the implementation chapter. The G-77/China also proposed amending the Chair’s text to reflect that efforts undertaken in the implementation of the Strategy must be carried out “without coercive measures.” Following some discussion, delegates agreed to a US amendment to the G-77/China text, deleting reference to “coercive measures.”

Climate change and sea-level rise: This issue was raised on Monday in the Main Committee where the US, G-77/China and EU presented alternative texts. It was discussed in a contact group, which met frequently from Tuesday until early Thursday morning.

In the contact group, deliberations focused on whether to include text on:

  • the likelihood of climate change to threaten the existence of SIDS;
     

  • the evolving nature of climate change science;
     

  • the call for ratification of the Kyoto Protocol;
     

  • a need to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions;
     

  • prioritization of the use of renewable energy;
     

  • the use of advanced and cleaner fossil fuel technologies;
     

  • the use of nuclear technologies;
     

  • development and implementation of national adaptation strategies and their integration into national sustainable development strategies (NSSDs); and
     

  • the promotion of financial and technological support, through, inter alia, the GEF.

On Thursday, the Main Committee agreed to text stating that, inter alia:

  • the long-term effects of climate change may threaten the very existence of some SIDS;
     

  • parties that have ratified the Kyoto Protocol strongly urge all States that have not done so to ratify it in a timely manner;
     

  • increased energy efficiency and development and use of renewable energy is promoted as a matter of priority, as well as advanced and cleaner fossil fuel technologies;
     

  • the development and implementation of national adaptation strategies and their integration into NSSDs is needed; and
     

  • SIDS should, with assistance from regional development banks and other financial institutions, where appropriate, establish and strengthen national and regional climate change coordination mechanisms.

Natural and environmental disasters: While agreement on this chapter was reached during the October informal informals, delegates proposed to include new text on the impacts of the recent tsunami and hurricane/cyclone seasons during the pre-meeting informal consultations, and agreed to new text on Monday in the Main Committee.

Management of wastes: Discussion on this chapter at the IM focused on text relating to: control of transboundary movement of hazardous waste; sunken vessels; and transportation of radioactive materials.

Delegates discussed text on the control of transboundary movement of hazardous waste during the pre-conference informal consultations. Following agreement on strengthening work under the Basel Convention, the US, opposed by the G-77/China, proposed deleting reference to the principles of prior informed agreement, liability, compensation, emergency fund, and support for Basel Regional Centers. Delegates agreed to delete this reference.

Text on sunken vessels was discussed in an informal contact group and in the Main Committee on Wednesday. Following Japan’s opposition to the paragraph, delegates agreed to text developed by the informal contact group, which recognizes concerns over the environmental implications of potential oil leaks from “sunken state vessels” to SIDS’ marine and coastal ecosystems, and the need for SIDS to continue to address the issue bilaterally with vessel owners on a case-by-case basis. Delegates also agreed to delete text on action to prevent pollution from sunken vessels, and on acceptance of liability for rehabilitation in the event of such pollution.

Text on transportation of radioactive materials was addressed during the pre-conference informal consultations, in an informal contact group, and in the Main Committee on Wednesday. The G-77/China identified the cessation of the transport of radioactive material and hazardous waste in SIDS regions as the “ultimate goal of SIDS,” and stressed that dialogue with shipping States needs to address safety, disclosure, liability, security and compensation issues. Japan and the US opposed this language, and proposed referring to the excellent safety record for such transports. Delegates agreed on compromise text, prepared by the contact group, stating that:

  • the international community notes that the cessation of transport of radioactive materials through SIDS regions is an ultimate desired goal of SIDS and some other countries, and recognizes the right of freedom of navigation;
     

  • States should maintain dialogue and consultation, under the aegis of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO), on safe maritime transport of radioactive materials; and
     

  • States involved in such transport should continue to engage in dialogue with SIDS and other States to address their concerns.

Delegates agreed to retain a reference to safety, disclosure, liability, security and compensation concerning transport of radioactive materials, proposed by G-77/China. Discussion focused on whether the text should refer to the further development and strengthening of international “regimes,” as proposed by G-77/China, or international “regulations,” as proposed by the EU in accordance with language used under the IAEA and IMO. Delegates agreed to compromise language referring to “international regulatory regimes.”

Coastal and marine resources: Delegates reached agreement on this chapter in informal consultations on Saturday. Regarding the regulation of vessel registrations, agreement was reached on the G-77/China’s request that text be added from UN General Assembly resolution 58/240, which notes the need to build technological and financial capacities to enforce SIDS’ responsibilities under international law, and urges SIDS flag States to consider declining the granting of the right to fly their flag to new vessels. Delegates also agreed to a G-77/China proposal to include language from the JPOI on encouraging distant water fishing nations to provide SIDS with technical and financial support for sustainable fishery management.

Freshwater resources: This section was addressed in the pre-meeting informal consultations. On text referring to saline intrusion, the US proposed, and the G-77/China opposed, replacing provisions stating that climate change exacerbates saline intrusion with text noting that it is exacerbated by, inter alia, inadequate management of water resources. Further consideration of this issue was taken up by the climate change contact group, which agreed on Thursday to text stating that saline intrusion may be exacerbated, inter alia, by sea-level rise, unsustainable management of water resources, and climate variability and climate change. On a paragraph regarding the 4th World Water Forum, Japan proposed text stating that this process presents an opportunity to continue to enhance self-reliance in SIDS. The G-77/China suggested, and delegates agreed to, text noting that the Forum will be an opportunity for SIDS to continue to seek international support to build self-reliance and implement their agreed priority actions, as submitted to the 3rd World Water Forum’s Portfolio of Water Actions.

Land resources: Delegates concluded deliberations on this chapter in informal consultations on Saturday. Discussion focused on whether to include language on the Convention to Combat Desertification (CCD), the CBD, and the use of the GEF to address land degradation. The EU proposed, and delegates agreed, to delete reference to the CBD, which the EU said was not relevant.

Biodiversity resources: Delegates considered this chapter in informal consultations on Saturday and in the Main Committee on Tuesday, with discussions focusing on text concerning access to genetic resources. Delegates agreed to text on developing capacity for protecting and developing traditional knowledge of indigenous groups for access and benefit sharing and, with a minor amendment, to text on developing human and institutional research capacity for biodiversity research.

Delegates opposed a G-77/China proposal to include language on “illegal access” and “immoral appropriation” of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge. Agreement was reached on a Chair’s compromise text reflecting CBD language on unauthorized access and misappropriation of genetic resources and traditional knowledge.

Graduation from LDC Status: Discussions on this section focused on references to the ECOSOC/UN General Assembly resolution on a smooth transition. During the pre-conference informal consultations, delegates agreed to text welcoming the ECOSOC resolution (E/2004/L.56). They also agreed to text noting that smooth transitions take into account vulnerabilities and do not adversely affect long-term sustainable development, and to ensure the involvement of development partners in the formulation of such strategies.

Trade-related text: Discussion on trade-related issues focused on: WTO accession, trade-related technical assistance and capacity building, completion of the Doha negotiations; trade preferences; post-Doha trade liberalization; and financial flows. An informal group of experts was established on Sunday to consider the text. The group agreed to focus on trade-related text in the Implementation chapter before addressing text in the chapter on Trade: globalization and trade liberalization. Following the first reading of all trade-related text, the group prepared revised text, containing agreed language on: the conclusion of the Doha negotiations; WTO accession; post-Doha trade liberalization; financial flows; and a listing of the challenges and concerns facing SIDS integration into the global economy. The list of challenges regarding the relationship between trade and environment, and a paragraph on trade-related technical assistance, were agreed ad referendum. The group also agreed to delete paragraphs in the trade chapter relating to implementation measures.

On Tuesday morning, the group resumed deliberations, agreeing to all trade-related paragraphs, including: the chapeau of the trade chapter, the chapeau of the trade-related text in the subsection of the implementation section on an international enabling environment; graduation; and human resources and institutional capacity to address trade-related interests to SIDS, including the analysis and development of appropriate policies, the development and resourcing of appropriate infrastructure required to address sanitary and phytosanitary measures and technical barriers to trade. The Main Committee adopted the text on Tuesday evening.

National and regional enabling environments: On Tuesday, delegates in the Main Committee decided to maintain existing text on youth involvement.

Implementation: Discussions on the chapter on implementation focused, inter alia, on chapeau language and on financial resources. Trade-related aspects of the chapter were addressed in the trade contact group.

Discussion on chapeau language took place during the pre-conference informal consultations and in the Main Committee on Monday. The G-77/China underscored the role of the international community in facilitating and improving SIDS funding, the EU stressed the need to emphasize the role of national ownership, and the US questioned the need for a chapeau. Delegates agreed on text stating the SIDS will take action, with the necessary support of the international community.

Discussion on financial resources took place during the pre-conference informal consultations and in the Main Committee on Monday. The G-77/China proposed urging, inter alia, the simplification of the access, effectiveness and efficiency of the GEF’s disbursement procedures, the EU proposed text inviting the GEF to consider ways of improving such procedures, and the US called for a reference to the role of GEF Implementing Agencies. Delegates agreed to text urging the GEF, consistent with the decisions of relevant bodies, to simplify and improve, inter alia, the effectiveness and efficiency of its support, including its disbursement procedures and those of its Implementing Agencies.

CLOSING PLENARY

The closing plenary took place on Friday evening, 14 January. IM President Bérenger introduced, and the plenary adopted the Report of the Credentials Committee (A/CONF.2007/9). The Rapporteur of the Main Committee, Perina Sila, submitted the report of the outcomes of the Main Committee (A/CONF.207/L.4 and Adds.1-8), which the plenary adopted by acclamation. Bérenger introduced the Mauritius Declaration (A/CONF.2007/L.6 and Corr.1 and 2), which was initially drafted by Mauritius, informally circulated among delegations during the IM, and discussed in a Friends of the Host group on Thursday and Friday. The plenary adopted the Mauritius Declaration by acclamation. IM Rapporteur-General Hackett submitted the report of the IM (A/CONF.207.L.3 and Adds.1 and 2), which was adopted by the plenary by acclamation. The IM also authorized the Rapporteur-General to finalize the IM report in consultation with the Bureau. Qatar, on behalf of the G-77/China, introduced, and the IM adopted, a resolution expressing thanks to the people and Government of Mauritius (A/CONF.2007/L.5).

In his closing address, IM President Bérenger said the IM met in a context characterized by the painful aftermath of the tsunami and the frustration accumulated among SIDS, because of “10 years wasted” in terms of BPOA implementation. He stressed that in such a context, things at the IM could easily have turned “sour and acrimonious,” and that the IM was a defining moment for SIDS as the issues at stake addressed their very future. He emphasized that the meeting opened a historical window of opportunity and proved once again that small States in general, and SIDS in particular, can fully contribute to international affairs. He noted that the outcome documents “forcefully” remind us that SIDS are a special case, containing renewed and much strengthened commitment, and providing for the further and full implementation of the BPOA. He urged a more focused and substantively increased effort by both SIDS and the international community to implement the measures agreed upon. He welcomed the agreement on language related to climate change and trade, and underscored that Mauritius would spare no effort in translating the commitments and goals into concrete action in the months and years ahead. In conclusion, he said the IM was a resounding success and urged SIDS to ensure that SIDS issues are prioritized during the WCDR and the UN 2005 major event.

In his closing address, IM Secretary-General Chowdhury noted the IM’s unique focus on issues of implementation. He stressed that the UN system will have the most critical role to play in the process of implementation, and proposed a “roadmap” for the Mauritius Strategy. He said the roadmap should serve as an overarching guideline, identifying several intergovernmental opportunities that provide the space for AOSIS and SIDS to highlight and ensure the Strategy is taken into account.

He identified the WCDR as an opportunity to move forward on disaster-related issues, and noted that the resumed session of the General Assembly in February 2005 will adopt the Mauritius Strategy, in order for it to be internalized in the UN system and among member States. He said the internalization process is an important opportunity to involve the UN Resident Coordinators at the country level in the implementation of the Strategy. He proposed that: CSD-13 in April 2005 address the modalities for reviewing the IM’s implementation; the UN Development Programme (UNDP) Executive Board meeting in May 2005 address the IM’s implementation at the country level; UNDP mainstream the Strategy in its programme of work; and the South-South Summit in Qatar in June 2005 internalize the Strategy within the G-77/China. He said the UN General Assembly review of the Millennium Declaration in September 2005 provides an opportunity to address SIDS issues in relation to poverty eradication and the MDGs. Concluding his presentation of the roadmap, he urged the WTO Ministerial meeting in December 2005 to move ahead on the trade issues identified in the Strategy.

In closing, he reiterated his call for a dynamic monitoring system, which he said was not a simple stock-taking exercise, but a process where implementation loopholes can be identified and measures taken. He thanked all those involved in preparing, conducting and contributing to the success of the IM.

The G-77/China, the EU, and Canada, on behalf of JUSCANZ, expressed their appreciation to the Government of Mauritius for its hospitality, and paid tribute to Ambassadors Koonjul and MacKay for their efforts in bringing the process to successful fruition. President Bérenger closed the International Meeting at 7:49 pm.

MAURITIUS STRATEGY FOR THE FURTHER IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PROGRAMME OF ACTION FOR THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF SIDS

The introductory paragraphs describe the overarching issues that concern the implementation of the sustainable development of SIDS. The Strategy states that the BPOA is the blueprint for SIDS and the international community to address sustainable development in SIDS. It also states that the internationally agreed development goals provide the overarching framework for global poverty eradication and development support, and that SIDS national development plans should include poverty reduction strategies and measures that address vulnerability and build resilience, in order to, among others, be a key underpinning of donor and UN system support for SIDS.

The Strategy states that SIDS acknowledge that sustainable development is primarily a national responsibility, but that for SIDS to succeed, the Rio Principles, including, inter alia, the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, as set out in Principle 7 of the Rio Declaration, must be given specific expression for SIDS.

The Strategy notes that SIDS have implemented the BPOA principally through utilization of their own resources, and that efforts have been pursued within limited financial constraints, including an overall decline in ODA to SIDS, as noted in the Secretary-General’s report. It also underscores the need to, inter alia, mobilize domestic resources, attract international flows, and promote international trade as an engine for development.

The Strategy stresses the need to enhance coherence and governance of the international monetary, financial and trading systems in order to complement SIDS’ development plans. On good governance, the Strategy quotes JPOI paragraph 4. On security issues, the text describes the security challenges to SIDS, acknowledges the increased financial and administrative obligations placed on SIDS, and reaffirms the importance of international cooperation and support to SIDS where necessary.

The introductory paragraphs also address, inter alia, South-South and SIDS-SIDS cooperation, culture, the role of youth, and gender equality.

CLIMATE CHANGE AND SEA-LEVEL RISE: The Strategy recognizes that the adverse effects of climate change and sea-level rise present significant risks to the sustainable development of SIDS, and that the long-term effects of climate change may threaten the very existence of some SIDS.

The Strategy states that SIDS, with the necessary support of the international community, will, as an integral component of their national sustainable development strategies, develop and implement national adaptation strategies and facilitate regional and inter-regional cooperation, including within the framework of the UNFCCC. It also states that SIDS, with assistance from regional development banks, should coordinate further to establish or strengthen national and regional climate change coordination mechanisms.

Regarding the role of the international community, the Strategy states that they should, inter alia;

  • fully implement the UNFCCC and further promote international cooperation on climate change;
     

  • continue to take steps, in accordance with the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol, to address climate change, including though adaptation and mitigation, in accordance with the CBDR principle;
     

  • promote increased energy efficiency and development and use of renewable energy, as a matter of priority, as well as advanced and cleaner fossil fuel technologies;
     

  • implement the Buenos Aires Programme of Action on Adaptation and Response Measures;
     

  • work to facilitate and promote the development, transfer and dissemination to SIDS of appropriate technologies and practices to address climate change;
     

  • build and enhance scientific and technological capacities, including in SIDS; and
     

  • enhance the implementation of national, regional and international strategies to monitor the Earth’s atmosphere, and work with SIDS to strengthen their involvement in monitoring and observing systems, and enhance their access to, and use of, information.

NATURAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTERS: The Strategy highlights SIDS vulnerability with regard to disasters, citing the impacts of the 26 December 2004 earthquake and tsunami and the 2004 hurricane/cyclone/typhoon seasons, and notes that SIDS face disproportionately high economic, social and environmental consequences from such disasters. The Strategy states that SIDS have undertaken to strengthen their national frameworks for more effective disaster management, and are committed, with the necessary support of the international community, to:

  • strengthen the Inter-Agency Strategy for Disaster Reduction and related SIDS regional mechanisms as facilities to, inter alia, improve national disaster mitigation;
     

  • use opportunities such as the WCDR to consider SIDS-specific concerns; and
     

  • augment SIDS’ capacity to predict and respond to emergency situations.

MANAGEMENT OF WASTES: The Strategy states that marine debris, ballast waster, shipwrecks with potential to cause environmental hazards due to leaks, and other forms of waste threaten SIDS’ ecological integrity.

It states that further action is required by SIDS, with the necessary support of the international community, to form regional partnerships to develop innovative solutions to waste management, and seek international assistance in this effort; and strengthen the control of transboundary movement of hazardous waste, especially through the enhancement of activities under the Basel Convention and, where applicable, the Waigani Convention. On the promotion of sustainable waste management, the Strategy states that further action is required by SIDS, with the necessary support of the international community, to explore and engage in innovative forms of financing of waste management infrastructure and promote: national, regional and international cooperation to reduce the quantity of waste disposal at sea; and the broad participation in, and early implementation of, the IMO ballast water convention.

The Strategy recognizes the concern with the environmental implications of potential oil leaks from sunken state vessels to SIDS marine and coastal ecosystems, and states that SIDS and vessel owners should continue to address the issue bilaterally on a case-by-case basis. In the Strategy, the international community notes that the cessation of the transport of radioactive materials through SIDS regions is the ultimate desired goal of SIDS and some other countries, and that States involved in the transport of such materials are urged to engage in dialogue with SIDS and other States to address their concerns, including the further development and strengthening, within the appropriate fora, of international regulatory regimes to enhance safety, disclosure, liability, security and compensation in relation to such transport.

COASTAL AND MARINE RESOURCES: The Strategy notes that SIDS continue to be heavily dependent on their marine resources, particularly for the sustainable livelihoods of coastal communities. Recognizing that SIDS’ implementation of UNCLOS continues to be impeded by financial constraints and a lack of capacity, the Strategy states that in order to overcome these constraints, it is important to give appropriate priority at all levels, including in national and regional sustainable development agendas, to ocean issues, including fisheries.

The Strategy states that further action is required by SIDS, with the necessary support of the international community, to enable SIDS, inter alia, to: complete the delineation of maritime boundaries; submit claims to the Continental Shelf Commission; and further work on the assessment of seabed living and non-living resources within their national jurisdiction.

Regarding the building of technical and financial capacities, the Strategy states that further action is required by SIDS, with the necessary support of the international community, to:

  • establish effective monitoring, reporting, enforcement, and control of fishing vessels, including by SIDS as flag States, to further implement international action plans to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, and to manage fishing capacity;
     

  • fully implement surveillance and monitoring systems;
     

  • analyze and assess the status of fish stocks; and
     

  • consider becoming Parties, if not already, to relevant international conservation and management agreements.

The Strategy also encourages distant water fishing nations to provide SIDS with adequate technical and financial support to enhance the effective and sustainable management of their fisheries resources.

The Strategy states that SIDS, in collaboration with other States, will work to put in place integrated policies and sound management approaches, such as marine protected areas, and develop national capacity to monitor, conserve and manage coral reefs and associated ecosystems. It also states that SIDS should address, as a matter of priority, the impacts on the future of health of coral reefs, of coastal development, coastal tourism, intensive and destructive fishing practices, pollution as well as the unreported and illegal trade in corals. The Strategy states that, in order to facilitate these initiatives, the international community should provide technical and financial support for: regional monitoring efforts, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission marine science programmes; representative networks of marine protected areas; and activities to address the impact of coral bleaching.

The Strategy further states that SIDS should work with international development partners on regional initiatives to promote sustainable conservation, and management of coastal and marine resources, drawing upon best practices from other regions; and should, with international development partners, fully implement the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities.

FRESHWATER RESOURCES: The Strategy states that SIDS continue to face water management and water access challenges, caused in part by deficiencies in water availability, water catchment and storage, pollution of water resources, and saline intrusion (which may be exacerbated, inter alia, by sea-level rise, unsustainable management of water resources, and climate variability and climate change). The Strategy states that further action is required by SIDS, with the necessary support of the international community, to meet the MDG and WSSD 2015 targets on sustainable access to safe drinking water and sanitation, hygiene, and the production of integrated water resources management (IWRM) and efficiency plans by 2005. The Strategy requests the international community to provide assistance to SIDS for capacity building for the development and further implementation of freshwater and sanitation programmes, and the promotion of IWRM. The Strategy also states that the 4th World Water Forum in 2006 will be an opportunity for SIDS to continue to seek international support to build self-reliance and implement their agreed priority actions as submitted to the 3rd World Water Forum’s Portfolio of Water Actions.

LAND RESOURCES: The Strategy states that national strategies have to be elaborated on sustainable land use, and that such strategies should include environmental impact assessments and identify necessary policy changes and capacity building needs within the framework of the three pillars of sustainable development.

The Strategy states that further action is required by SIDS, with the necessary support of the international community, to:

  • develop capacity to implement multilateral environmental agreements and other relevant international agreements in relation to land resources;
     

  • develop capacity for sustainable land management and self-generating agroecosystems by building on communal tenure systems and traditional land-use planning and practices for crops, livestock and aquaculture;and
     

  • strengthen land tenure and management systems, move from primary to tertiary agricultural production and diversify agriculture production in a sustainable manner.

SIDS also commit, individually and through SIDS-SIDS partnerships, with the necessary support of the international community, to inter alia: create an enabling environment for sustainably enhancing agricultural productivity and promoting agricultural diversification and food security; and promote sustainable aquaculture.

Regarding sustainable forest management, SIDS commit, with the necessary support of the international community, to inter alia, ensure adherence to national forest policies and legislation that has been developed to safeguard rights of resource owners and legitimate or licensed users through administrative and management mechanisms for alienation, license or transfer of traditional rights for commercial development purposes.

ENERGY RESOURCES: The Strategy states that energy dependence is a major source of economic vulnerability for many SIDS, and many remote and rural SIDS communities have little or no access to modern and affordable energy services.

SIDS commit, with the necessary support of the international community to, develop and implement integrated energy programmes, which should include, inter alia, enhancing energy efficiency, and promoting the development and use of renewable energy as well as advanced clean energy technologies that are affordable and readily adaptable to the circumstances of SIDS. SIDS also commit, with the required support of the international community, to strengthen ongoing and support new efforts on energy supply and services, including the promotion of demonstration projects. The Strategy also states that SIDS and other international partners should work together to promote greater dissemination and application of SIDS-appropriate energy technologies and to strengthen existing mechanisms, such as the UN Renewable Energy Fund and the UNDP Energy Thematic Trust Fund.

TOURISM RESOURCES: The Strategy states that tourism is an important contributor to economic growth in SIDS, and highlights the challenges faced by the sector to, inter alia, exogenous shocks and development.

 The Strategy states that SIDS, with the required support of regional and international tourism organizations and other relevant stakeholders, should, inter alia: monitor impacts of tourism development to ensure that tourism development and social and environmental aspects are mutually supportive, and facilitate the design and refinement of guidelines and best practices appropriate for assessing SIDS’ carrying capacity. The Strategy also states that SIDS, with the required support of regional and international tourism organizations, should find effective ways to develop and implement sustainable tourism development plans, in partnership with relevant stakeholders, and integrate such plans into NSSDs.

BIODIVERSITY RESOURCES: The Strategy states that the achievements of the targets set by the international community in relevant international conventions, in particular those of the CBD, are of particular importance to SIDS. It states that in order to achieve those targets in agreed time frames, SIDS, with the necessary support from the international community, are required to:

  • integrate biodiversity protection into NSSDs;
     

  • address island biodiversity under the CBD in a manner that responds to the unique characteristics of SIDS;
     

  • implement the CBD’s guidelines on biodiversity and tourism development;
     

  • enhance national efforts in the implementation of the CBD’s programme of work on protected areas, including the establishment of marine protected areas consistent with international law and based on scientific information;
     

  • controlling major pathways for potential alien invasive species;
     

  • developing local capacities for protecting and developing the traditional knowledge of indigenous groups for the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the use of genetic resources, taking into account the Bonn Guideline on Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit-sharing;
     

  • participating in the Ad Hoc Open-Ended Group of the CBD on access and benefit sharing to elaborate and negotiate the nature, scope and elements of an international regime on access and benefit sharing, in accordance with the terms of decision VII/19 of the CBD COP;
     

  • developing human institutional capacity for research in biodiversity; and
     

  • supporting SIDS’ effort in building community capacity to conserve important species, sites and habitats.

TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATION: The Strategy notes that while dramatic technological breakthroughs have mitigated the traditional isolation of SIDS, transport and communication remain important challenges in the promotion and implementation of sustainable development. It states that while telecommunications liberalization has presented opportunities and challenges, many SIDS still face access limitations to basic telecommunications.

The Strategy states that SIDS, with the support of the international community, should cooperate and develop viable regional transportation arrangements, including improved air, land and sea transport policies. SIDS commit, with the support of the international community, to take initiatives, inter alia, in such areas as access to and use of information and communications technologies (ICT), and development of community multimedia centers. The Strategy urges SIDS to consider further liberalizing their telecommunications sector as a possible means to address the high costs caused by existing monopoly service providers. The Strategy also encourages the World Summit on the Information Society to consider SIDS concerns and participation in the Summit process.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: The Strategy recognizes that science and technology is a cross-cutting issue for SIDS’ sustainable development, and states that targeted investments for SIDS-appropriate science and technology capacity are critical, given the increasing importance of science and technology in building resilience in SIDS. The Strategy states that further action is required by SIDS, with the necessary support of the international community, to inter alia, incorporate appropriate science and technology elements into NSSDs, and promote and protect traditional knowledge and practices. The Strategy also states that SIDSNet is a critical mechanism in SIDS sustainable development, and needs maintenance, strengthening and further enhancement.

GRADUATION FROM LDC STATUS: The Strategy welcomes the ECOSOC and General Assembly resolutions on a smooth transition strategy for countries graduating from the list of LDCs. The Strategy states that it is critical that the elaboration and implementation of national smooth transition strategies, formulated with development partners, take into consideration the specific vulnerabilities of graduating States and ensures that graduation does not disrupt their development plans, programmes and projects aimed at achieving sustainable development. The Strategy encourages the Committee on Development Policy to continue to reflect the vulnerability of developing countries that face special disadvantages, such as SIDS, in its recommendations concerning LDC status.

TRADE: GLOBALIZATION AND TRADE LIBERALIZATION: The Strategy states that as a result of their smallness, persistent structural disadvantages and vulnerabilities, SIDS face specific difficulties in integrating into the global economy. It also recognizes the importance of intensifying efforts to facilitate the full and effective participation by small economies, notably SIDS, in the deliberation and the decision-making process of the WTO. The Strategy identifies a list of special SIDS concerns including: the WTO accession process; graduation and smooth transition from LDC status; capacity constraints; harmonized, coordinated and sustainably financed technical assistance; structural handicaps and vulnerabilities of SIDS; erosion of preferences; structural adjustment; relationship between trade, environment and development; trade and food security; and the lack of adequate representation in Geneva.

SUSTAINABLE CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT AND EDUCATION FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: The Strategy states that SIDS continue to require support to address the serious challenges they face in capacity development in policy and strategy formulation and implementation. It also states that education strategies and action plans that encompass the wide-ranging needs for improved access to, and quality of, education need to be implemented.

The Strategy states that further action is required by SIDS, with the necessary support of the international community, to further education for sustainable development through: supporting efforts of ministries of education; strengthening distance-learning arrangements; and assisting with basic infrastructure, curriculum development, where appropriate, and teaching training, working towards an integrated gender perspective.

SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION: The Strategy states that SIDS, in response to the call in the JPOI for the development of a 10-year framework of programmes on sustainable consumption and production (SCP), are committed, with the necessary support of the international community, to: consider all initiatives relating to SCP in the context of economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development; and take appropriate measures to facilitate implementation of the ten-year framework of programmes.

NATIONAL AND REGIONAL ENABLING ENVIRONMENTS: The Strategy states that further action is required by SIDS, with the necessary support of the international community, to inter alia:

  • formulate and implement NSSDs by 2005, as agreed to in the JPOI;
     

  • develop appropriate national targets and indicators for sustainable development to respond to the requirements of the internationally agreed development goals;
     

  • improve legislation, administrative and institutional structures to develop and implement sustainable development strategies, and mainstream sustainable development concerns into overall policy development and implementation;
     

  • rationalize legislation that affects sustainable development at the national level; and
     

  • involve youth in visioning sustainable island living.

HEALTH: The Strategy states that health is a key determinant of sustainable development and that the strengthening and further development of SIDS-SIDS cooperation and experience-sharing in the area of health is crucial and should be made a priority. SIDS commit, with the necessary support of the international community, to address HIV/AIDS. The Strategy states that further actions are required by SIDS, with the necessary support of the international community, to effectively control communicable diseases, including HIV/AIDS, and non-communicable diseases, through inter alia:

  • strengthening the health management and financing systems of SIDS to enable them to arrest the HIV/AID epidemic, reduce the incidence of malaria, dengue and non-communicable diseases, and promote mental health;
     

  • technical assistance to facilitate prompt access to funds from the Global Fund to Combat HIV/AIDS;
     

  • enhanced accessibility to effective pharmaceutical drugs at affordable prices; and
     

  • the development and implementation of modern, flexible national public health legislation.

KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT AND INFORMATION FOR DECISION-MAKING: In the Strategy, SIDS recognize new opportunities afforded by the rapid new developments in ICT to overcome limitations of isolation and remoteness and build their resilience. The Strategy states that further action is required by SIDS, with the necessary support of the international community, for inter alia: the identification and addressing of gaps in data and characterization of information related to economic, social, environmental and cultural areas. The Strategy states that that consideration should be given for the establishment of a task force to elaborate a resilience index, and notes that this work would be significantly enhanced by successful implementation of a prescribed list of activities.

CULTURE: In the Strategy, SIDS recognize the importance of cultural identity of peoples and its importance in advancing sustainable development, and the need to develop cultural industries and initiatives. SIDS commit, with the necessary support of the international community, to inter alia: develop and implement national cultural policies and legislative frameworks to support cultural industries and initiatives; and develop measures to protect cultural heritage.

IMPLEMENTATION: The chapter on implementation has sections on: access to and provision of financial resources; science and development and transfer of technology; capacity development; national and international governance; monitoring and evaluation; the role for the UN in the further implementation of the BPOA; and the role of SIDS’ regional institutions for monitoring and implementation. The introduction identifies key areas for action, including: climate change and sea-level rise; energy; intellectual property rights; biodiversity; culture and development; natural and environmental disasters; marine resources; agriculture and rural development; HIV/AIDS; transport and security; sustainable production and consumption; and ICT. The Strategy states that assistance to SIDS will require:

  • substantially increasing the flow of financial and other relevant resources, both public and private, and ensuring their effective use;
     

  • improved trade opportunities;
     

  • access to and transfer of environmentally sound technologies on a concessional or preferential basis, as mutually agreed;
     

  • education and awareness-raising;
     

  • capacity building and information for decision-making and scientific capabilities; and
     

  • national country-driven and country-owned strategies for sustainable development, including poverty reduction and resilience building.

SIDS also reaffirm their commitment to meet the sustainable development goals and priorities in the BPOA by, inter alia, more effective utilization of available resources and reinforcing their NSSDs and mechanisms. The Strategy states that the success of the present Strategy by SIDS at the national level will depend on effective human, institutional and technical capacity development, and effective monitoring and coordination. At the global level, the Strategy states that it is essential that the international community supports these goals and assists in the implementation of actions to achieve them, particularly through the provision of financial and technical support.

Access to and provision of financial resources: In the Strategy, the international community reaffirms its commitment to support the sustainable development of SIDS through the provision of financial resources. It states that this commitment entails a more coherent, coordinated and collaborative approach to the sustainable development of SIDS through, inter alia: strengthened country-driven donor coordination; active support for regional and inter-regional cooperation among SIDS; appropriate harnessing of foreign direct investment; and urging the GEF to simplify and improve access to, and effectiveness and efficiency of, its support, as well as facilitating SIDS’ access to the GEF.

Science and technology transfer: The Strategy states that SIDS and regional and international partners should work together to, inter alia: focus on the dissemination and use of technology that helps resilience building; promote access to technological systems licenses; strengthen science and technological collaboration through North-South and South-South cooperation; and consider of the establishment of a SIDS dedicated technology transfer and development facility.

Capacity development: In the Strategy, the international community commits to supporting SIDS’ efforts to develop human and institutional capacity through, inter alia: cooperation with existing initiatives and programmes to provide resources for education reform; trade-related technical assistance; and facilitation of the development of SIDS’ human resources and international capacity for MEA implementation.

National and international governance: The section on national and international governance comprises subsections on a national enabling environment, an international enabling environment, and trade and finance.

National enabling environment: SIDS commit themselves, with the necessary support of the international community, to inter alia: mobilize resources at the national level; develop NSSDs, including nationally owned poverty reduction strategies and sectoral policies and strategies; promote an enabling environment for investment and enterprise development; and engage the private sector in sustainable development.

International enabling environment: The Strategy states that the international community should take all appropriate measures to promote global economic governance, including support for structural reform, solution to the external debt problem and increased market access for developing countries. It states that international institutions, including financial ones, should pay appropriate attention to SIDS’ particular needs and priorities.

Trade and Finance: The Strategy states that in order to address SIDS’ concerns, the following are of high priority:

  • redoubling efforts towards the successful completion of the WTO negotiations launched at Doha;
     

  • facilitating SIDS accession to the WTO, where appropriate through technical assistance;
     

  • recognizing the importance of long-standing preferences and of the need for steps to address the issue of preference erosion;
     

  • taking into account the specific circumstances of each of the SIDS when assessing the perspective of long-term debt sustainability;
     

  • implementing programmes to facilitate remittances, encourage foreign investment and support the development of SIDS;
     

  • supporting regional representation to the WTO to enhance the effective participation and negotiating capacity of SIDS in the WTO; and
     

  • working to ensure that due account is taken of SIDS in the WTO Work Programme on Small Economies.

The Strategy also requests the UN Secretary-General to consider enhancing, where appropriate, the work programmes of relevant UN agencies, including the UN Conference on Trade and Development, on the special problems of SIDS to provide concrete recommendations to assist SIDS to have access to and derive greater economic opportunities and benefits from the global economy.

Monitoring and Evaluation: In the Strategy, the international community recognizes the importance of regular monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of this programme, including within the overall framework of the integrated and coordinated follow-up to UN summits and conferences.

Role for the UN in the further implementation of the BPOA: The Strategy states that the CSD will continue to be the primary intergovernmental body for the implementation and follow-up to the commitments to SIDS. It requests the UN Secretary-General to: fully mobilize and coordinate the agencies, funds and programmes of the UN system, including regional economic commissions; further mainstream SIDS issues to facilitate coordinated implementation in the follow-up of the BPOA at the national, regional, subregional and global levels; and include in his annual report to the UN General Assembly’s 60th session progress in the implementation of the BPOA. The Strategy further requests the Secretary-General to ensure that the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, through the SIDS Unit, continues to provide substantive support and advisory services to SIDS for the further implementation of the BPOA; and that the UN Office of the High Representative for LDCs, Landlocked Developing Countries and SIDS continues to mobilize international support and resources for the further BPOA implementation. The international community recognizes that SIDS should have the flexibility to report jointly on implementation through simplified procedures for the BPOA, the internationally agreed development goals, including those contained in the Millennium Declaration, and other reporting requirements.

Role of SIDS regional institutions for monitoring and implementation: The Strategy states that SIDS’ regional institutions should play a key role in monitoring the implementation of the Strategy.

POLITICAL DECLARATION

The Declaration comprises 20 paragraphs, stating that the representatives of the “people of the world” participating at the IM, inter alia:

  • reaffirm the continued validity of the BPOA as the blueprint providing the fundamental framework for the sustainable development of SIDS;
     

  • reiterate that the acknowledged vulnerability of SIDS will grow unless urgent steps are taken;
     

  • reaffirm their commitment to support the efforts of SIDS for their sustainable development through the further full and effective implementation of the BPOA;
     

  • reaffirm that SIDS continue to be a special case for sustainable development;
     

  • recognize that the tragic impact of the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami and the recent hurricane season in the Caribbean and the Pacific highlight the need to develop and strengthen effective disaster risk reduction, early warning systems, emergency relief, and rehabilitation and reconstruction capacities;
     

  • recognize that international trade is important for building resilience and sustainable development of SIDS, and call upon international institutions to pay appropriate attention to the particular needs and priorities of SIDS;
     

  • underscore that attention should be focused on specific trade and development related needs and concerns of SIDS;
     

  • commit to full implementation of the UNFCCC and to further promotion of international cooperation on climate change; and
     

  • commit to the timely implementation of the Mauritius Strategy.

The Declaration also addresses the role of: women and youth, conservation of marine biodiversity, cultural identity, and health, particularly HIV/AIDS.

A BRIEF ANALYSIS OF THE MAURITIUS INTERNATIONAL MEETING

The “special case of SIDS” arises from the challenges small islands face as a result of their size, remoteness, and economic and environmental vulnerabilities. However, with varying degrees of economic development and physical vulnerabilities, SIDS continue to struggle to attract the international support they consider necessary for their sustainable development. This can be attributed, in part, to the changing focus of the international agenda since the Barbados Conference in 1994, which is increasingly focused on security concerns, the implementation of the MDGs, and the prioritization of domestic good governance over governance reforms at the international level. Given this changing climate, the IM was seen by many as an opportunity to revitalize international support for the SIDS cause and to realign the BPOA – the blueprint for the sustainable development of SIDS – to the evolving international agenda, including the need to address new and emerging issues such as the impacts of trade liberalization and globalization, information and communication technologies, and health and HIV/AIDS. With this in mind, there were benefits of holding the IM: reprioritize and increase the global political profile of SIDS issues, and attract new impetus from SIDS development partners, including a commitment to financing, in the context of declining ODA flows to SIDS. However, there were potential dangers in having a review process, such as subjecting the BPOA to renegotiation and the weakening of international commitments taken in 1994.

This brief analysis reviews how the IM addressed these and other issues, examining challenges faced at the meeting, focusing on climate change, trade and nuclear shipments, and the steps forward for implementation of its outcomes.

COMPETING AGENDAS

IM President Bérenger characterized the meeting as one taking place in the context of the painful aftermath of the tsunami and much frustration accumulated among SIDS due to “10 wasted years” with regard to BPOA implementation. Bérenger would describe the review as the opening of a historical window of opportunity, always in “danger of banging shut.”

One of the greatest challenges faced by SIDS during the review process was their struggle to maintain control of the agenda. In Nassau, the AOSIS Strategy document was drafted to highlight the priorities identified by SIDS for improving the BPOA’s implementation and identify new and emerging issues to be addressed. In March 2004, the AOSIS Strategy was endorsed by the G-77/China as the basis for negotiations at the April Preparatory Meeting in New York. However, SIDS’ donor partners found the Strategy document impractical, citing concerns regarding: the overt direction to the international community on what it needed to do with regards to BPOA implementation, and a conspicuous lack of commitments by SIDS for their own sustainable development; unpalatable demands for a special category for SIDS within both the UN and the WTO; and the inadequate integration with the MDGs as a lack of recognition of the new development mantra. This was compounded by the uncertainty of criteria for SIDS among different UN entities, which have different interpretations and lists of SIDS. Some delegates suggested that the negotiating text was too aspirational, missing an opportunity to result in action-oriented outcomes. Given these different perceptions of the review, the threat of the IM’s outcome resulting in a lowest common denominator using text from the Monterrey Consensus and the JPOI, instead of defining a new SIDS-based vision for implementation, hung over the negotiations, like a storm cloud waiting to burst.

The issue of climate change proved to be a particularly hot topic at the IM. Addressing this issue was the primary reason for the formation of AOSIS and was highlighted as a priority in Nassau, resulting in pride of place being given to it in the first chapter of the Strategy document. However, at the IM, matters became difficult. Possible tactics during the preparatory process to delay discussions until after the US elections failed in their intent, while growing concern by some developing countries over the idea of new commitments for them in the Kyoto Protocol’s second commitment period soured enthusiasm for revolutionary text.

In contrast to this, AOSIS forcefully called for action in its Buenos Aires AOSIS Ministerial Declaration on Climate Change, issued at UNFCCC COP-10 in December, and reaffirmed its position in its Ministerial Communiqué at the fifth AOSIS Summit held in parallel to the IM on Wednesday. Some even suggested that the heated discussions in Buenos Aires were a strategic blunder on the side of AOSIS, serving only to provide a warning to laggard countries that the IM could prompt future action on climate change by all countries, something which has proved elusive in the UNFCCC COP. One group of countries was alarmed to realize that text on energy, which was agreed at the Preparatory Meeting in New York, did not include reference to the promotion of fossil fuel technologies and strove diligently for its inclusion in the text. Not surprisingly, many seasoned climate negotiators, from both sides, turned up in Mauritius. These concerns led to a continuation of the intensity of discussions at COP-10, with some delegates dubbing the IM’s contact group on climate change as “COP-10bis.” As a result, the climate text was the last section of the Mauritius Strategy to be agreed, and only after delegates concluded with an all-night negotiating session. But climate discussions did not end with the Main Committee and surfaced once again, when the host country tabled the draft political declaration. Although this was subsequently amended, the issue of climate change did not even appear in the initially circulated draft of the Mauritius Political Declaration.

Trade was another issue that held the potential to create acrimonious divisions between the SIDS and their development partners. During the October round of informal informals in New York, delegates stared each other down over SIDS’ insistence on directing the Doha Development Agenda negotiations in the WTO. Despite efforts by SIDS in the pre-Doha negotiations to secure agreement for special and preferential treatment, which they argued, must result in their recognition as a new category of countries in the WTO, the Doha Ministerial Declaration contains precise language opposing a new category for SIDS. Some SIDS saw the IM as an opportunity to re-open this debate. During the IM, the main architects of the Doha Agenda – the US and EU – vehemently opposed the trade language and questioned the validity of a UN process directing or prejudging the WTO negotiations. As anticipated this text also drew the attention of several of the developing countries’ big guns of the trade negotiations, who were also not favorable to the SIDS position. The Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) nations’ recent endorsement of the Mauritius Minister for Foreign Affairs as a candidate for the post of WTO Director-General, also had the potential to further complicate matters. Following two days of informal discussions, agreement on trade came without any hemorrhaging, and delegates emerged with a consensus text that does not provide for a new SIDS category, but contains meaningful references to support the special case of SIDS by prioritizing efforts to integrate them fully into the multilateral trading system, including measures to ensure they can harness the benefits from globalization and trade liberalization.

The inclusion of liability issues regarding the transboundary movement of hazardous waste, World War II shipwrecks, and transportation of radioactive material was another highly contentious point in the negotiations. While some observers were expecting differences among the SIDS regions to lead to visible divisions, the discussions on these issues highlighted the solidarity among the SIDS regions. While issues of WWII shipwrecks were a clear priority for the Pacific SIDS, and transportation issues more specific to Caribbean SIDS, the two regions formed a solid front, stressing the “greatest importance” attached by all SIDS to the need for liability on these issues. On the transboundary movement of hazardous waste, although the reference to liability was deleted based on a suggestion by the US, this may not be of critical importance to SIDS if the Liability Protocol to the Basel Convention enters into force. The paragraph on sunken vessels remained in the Strategy, but due to Japan’s opposition, it was considerably watered down. SIDS earned a twofold victory on the transport of radioactive materials, notwithstanding fierce opposition from Japan and the US, there is recognition by the international community of the cessation of such transport in SIDS region as the “ultimate desired goal” for SIDS; and, despite the EU’s reluctance, the agreed text includes a reference to the further development and strengthening of international regulatory regimes, inter alia, in relation to the transport of radioactive materials.

SIGNIFICANT OTHERS

While attention focused on climate, trade and waste, other significant negotiations took place. One of these was the efforts by the EU to ensure the overall alignment of text to the priorities of the international development agenda. This is not surprising since the EU has already aligned its development cooperation priorities to support the achievement of the MDGs. However, in stark contrast to the difference between the EU and SIDS over the trade text, the two groups shared a common agenda, joining together to ensure the increased impetus in the Mauritius Strategy to prioritize support for resilience building and vulnerability projects, adding social and economic development considerations to the BPOA and making it considerably more attractive to donors. Supporting this recognition, UNDP – the UN’s lead agency for the implementation of the MDGs – launched a SIDS Resilience Building Facility to assist SIDS to develop the capacity to formulate and implement initiatives to reduce their vulnerabilities.

Another area where the IM achieved a significant outcome, and one which is clearly unique in recent international meetings, was the direction it gave to the UN Secretary-General. While most recent UN summits and conferences broadly reference the role of the UN system in follow-up activities, the IM took a great leap forward, providing specific guidance to the UN Secretary-General to champion and mainstream the SIDS case from the top down.

THE MAURITIUS LEGACY

In his closing address, IM Secretary-General Chowdhury presented a “roadmap” for the implementation of the IM’s outcomes, which will attempt to place the SIDS agenda on the broader international arena, including at the World Conference on Disaster Reduction, UN General Assembly, thirteenth session of the Commission of Sustainable Development, UNDP Executive Board, South Summit, UN major event, and the WTO Ministerial Conference.

The question that comes to the mind of many delegates is whether the Mauritius Strategy will make a difference. On the one hand, there is little doubt that the IM strengthened partnerships, increased SIDS’ ownership of responsibility over their sustainable development, renewed and/or reprioritized international community support, improved SIDS-SIDS and South-South cooperation, increased UN specialized agency engagement in SIDS issues, and identified new means of implementation, including through the launching of the SIDS University Consortium. On the other hand, some might criticize the IM’s outcomes, noting that the text does not provide clear direction to other international organizations and processes, such as the international financial institutions and multilateral environmental agreements, and that there were almost no commitments for new and additional financing or projects at the meeting apart from addressing vulnerability to disasters, such as tsunamis.

In the words of the UN Secretary-General, the building of a solid text that commands broad acceptance, based on which the BPOA may be properly implemented, was key. From the perspective of moving forward on implementation, the IM raised the profile of SIDS issues, brought the BPOA in line with current development funding priorities, and forged links with the review of the Millennium Declaration and with the Doha round of trade negotiations. Despite the diversity of views on the IM’s outcomes, the success of the meeting will ultimately depend on how the Mauritius Strategy is implemented by SIDS and their donor partners and integrated into the global development agenda in general.

UPCOMING MEETINGS

WORLD CONFERENCE ON DISASTER REDUCTION: This conference will take place from 18-22 January 2005, in Kobe-Hyogo, Japan. The overall objective of the meeting is to increase the commitment for implementation of disaster risk reduction at all levels and in particular its integration into development planning processes. For more information, contact: WCDR Secretariat; tel: +41-22-917-2529; fax: +41-22-917-0563; e-mail: isdr-wcdr@un.org; internet: http://www.unisdr.org/wcdr/

PACIFIC ISLANDS WORKSHOP 2005: This workshop will be held from 31 January to 4 February 2005, in Canberra, Australia. For more information, contact: David Hegarty; tel: +61-2-6125-4145; fax: +61-2-6125-5525; e-mail: ccp@anu.edu.au; internet: http://rspas.anu.edu.au/asiapacificweek/pacific.php

AVOIDING DANGEROUS CLIMATE CHANGE: A SCIENTIFIC SYMPOSIUM ON STABILIZATION OF GREENHOUSE GASES: This symposium will take place from 1-3 February 2005, at the Hadley Centre for Climate Research and Prediction (Met Office), Exeter, UK. For more information, contact: Rhian Checkland; tel: +44-20-7008-8139; fax: +44-20-7008-8206; e-mail: rhian.checkland@cvg.gov.uk; internet: http://www.stabilisation2005.com

FIRST INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON SMALL ISLAND CULTURE: This conference will take place from 7-10 February 2005, in Kagoshima, Japan. For more information, contact: Phillip Hayward; e-mail: phayward@humanities.mq.edu.au; internet: http://www.sicri.org/sicri05.htm

THIRD MEETING OF THE AD HOC OPEN-ENDED WORKING GROUP ON ACCESS AND BENEFIT-SHARING: This meeting is scheduled from 14-18 February 2005, in Bangkok, Thailand. For more information, contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: secretariat@biodiv.org; Internet: http://www.biodiv.org/doc/meeting.aspx?mtg=ABSWG-03

23RD SESSION OF THE UNEP GOVERNING COUNCIL/GMEF: This meeting will be held from 21-25 February 2005, in Nairobi, Kenya. For more information, contact: Beverly Miller, Secretary for UNEP Governing Council; tel: +254-2-623431; fax: +254-2-623929; e-mail: beverly.miller@unep.org; internet: http://www.unep.org 

PARIS 2005: SECOND HIGH-LEVEL FORUM ON HARMONIZATION AND ALIGNMENT FOR AID EFFECTIVENESS – JOINT PROGRESS TOWARD ENHANCED DEVELOPMENT AID EFFECTIVENESS: The international development community is scheduled to meet in Paris from 28 February to 2 March 2005 to: assess progress in implementing harmonization and alignment on the ground; identify ways to accelerate and scale-up implementation; and sustain and enhance the momentum for and political commitment to fundamental changes that enhance aid delivery. For more information, visit: http://www.aidharmonization.org/ah-wh/secondary-pages/Paris2005

CSD-13 PREPARATORY MEETING: This meeting will be held from 28 February to 4 March 2005, at UN headquarters in New York, in preparation for CSD-13 in April 2005. For more information, contact: UN Division for Sustainable Development (DSD); tel: +1-212-963-2803; fax: +1-212-963-4260; e-mail: dsd@un.org; internet: http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/csd/

2ND INTERNATIONAL FORUM ON PARTNERSHIPS FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: ADVANCING IMPLEMENTATION ON WATER AND ENERGY: This meeting is scheduled to be held from 21-23 March 2005, in Marrakesh, Morocco. For more information, contact: Moroccan Ministry of Territory Planning, Water and Environment; tel: +212-37-77-26-62; fax: +212-37-77-26-40; e-mail: forum@minenv.gov.ma; internet: http://www.minenv.gov.ma/forum-part.2005/

FIFTH MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE ON ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT IN ASIA AND THE PACIFIC: This conference will take place from 24-29 March 2005, in Seoul, Republic of Korea. For more information, contact: Ministry of Environment, Republic of Korea; tel: +82-2-2110-6565; fax: +82-2-503-8773; e-mail: hyejungy@me.go.kr; internet: http://www.mced2005seoul.org

23RD SESSION OF THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL PANEL ON CLIMATE CHANGE: This meeting will take place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 8 April 2005, to continue preparations for the Fourth Assessment Report, scheduled for release in 2007. For more information, contact: IPCC Secretariat; tel: +41-22-730-8208/84; fax: +41-22-730-8025/13; e-mail: IPCC-Sec@wmo.int; internet: http://www.ipcc.ch/

THIRTEENTH SESSION OF THE COMMISSION ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: CSD-13 will take place from 11-22 April 2005, at UN headquarters in New York. For more information, contact: UN DSD; tel: +1-212-963-2803; fax: +1-212-963-4260; e-mail: dsd@un.org; internet: http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/csd/

FIFTH GLOBAL FORUM ON SUSTAINABLE ENERGY: This meeting is scheduled for 11-13 May 2005, in Vienna, Austria. For more information, contact: Irene Freudenschuss-Reichl, Austrian Ministry for Foreign Affairs; tel: +43-5-01150-4486; fax: +43-5-01159-274; e-mail: irene.freudenschuss-reichl@bmaa.gv.at; internet: http://www.gfse.at/gfse5_preannouncement.htm

MEETING OF CBD’S AD HOC TECHNICAL EXPERT GROUP ON GAPS AND INCONSISTENCIES IN THE INTERNATIONAL REGULATORY FRAMEWORKS ON INVASIVE ALIEN SPECIES: This meeting will take place from 16-20 May 2005, in Auckland, New Zealand. For more information, contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: secretariat@biodiv.org; internet: http://www.biodiv.org/doc/meetings/ais/aisteggi-01/other/aisteggi-01-info-part-en.pdf

22ND SESSIONS OF THE SUBSIDIARY BODIES TO THE UNFCCC: This meeting is to be held from 16-27 May 2005, in Bonn, Germany. Following an agreement at COP-10 in December 2004, SB-22 will be preceded by a “Seminar of Government Experts,” which will seek to promote an informal exchange of information on actions concerning mitigation and adaptation, and on policies and measures adopted by governments supporting implementation of existing commitments under the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol. For more information, contact: UNFCCC Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-1000; fax: +49-228-815-1999; e-mail: secretariat@unfccc.int; internet: http://www.unfccc.int

UNFF-5: The fifth session of the UN Forum on Forests is scheduled from 16-27 May 2005, at UN headquarters in New York. This meeting will represent the conclusion of the UNFF�s five year mandate, where delegates will discuss the future of the UNFF, among other things. For more information, contact: Elisabeth Barsk-Rundquist, UNFF Secretariat; tel: +1-212-963-3262; fax: +1-917-367-3186; e-mail: barsk-rundquist@un.org; internet: http://www.un.org/esa/forests

SECOND MEETING OF THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES TO THE CBD SERVING AS THE MEETING OF THE PARTIES TO THE CARTAGENA PROTOCOL ON BIOSAFETY AND FIRST MEETING OF THE WORKING GROUP ON LIABILITY AND REDRESS: These meetings are scheduled from 30 May to 3 June 2005, in Montreal, Canada. For more information, contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: secretariat@biodiv.org; internet: http://www.biodiv.org/doc/meeting.aspx?mtg=MOP-02

SOUTH SUMMIT: This meeting is scheduled to be held from 12-16 June 2005, in Doha, Qatar. For more information, contact: Office of the Chairman of the Group of 77; tel: +1-212-963-0192; fax: +1-212-963-3515; e-mail: g77off@unmail.org; internet: http://www.g77.org/meetings/daily.html

GEF CONSULTATIONS AND COUNCIL MEETING: These meetings will take place from 6-10 June 2005, in Washington, DC. For more information, contact: GEF Secretariat; tel: +1-202-473-0508; fax: +1-202-522-3240; e-mail: secretariat@TheGEF.org; Internet: http://www.gefweb.org/Outreach/Meetings_Events/meetings_events.html

UNICPOLOS-6: The sixth meeting of the UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea will take place from 6-10 June 2005, at UN headquarters in New York. For more information, contact: the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea; tel: +1-212-963-3962; fax: +1-212-963-2811; e-mail: doalos@un.org; internet: http://www.un.org/Depts/los/consultative_process/consultative_process.htm

UNDP EXECUTIVE BOARD ANNUAL SESSION: This session will take place from 13-24 June 2005, in New York. For more information, contact: Director, Executive Board Secretariat and Secretary, UNDP/UNFPA Executive Board; tel: +1-212-906-5576; fax: +1-212-906-5634; internet: http://www.undp.org/execbrd

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON BUILT ENVIRONMENT ISSUES IN SMALL ISLAND STATES: This conference will take place from 14-19 August 2005, in Kingston, Jamaica. The conference is being hosted in the context of the WSSD, the recognition of the special circumstances of SIDS, and the role of academic institutions in this international framework. For more information, contact: Margrietta St. Juste; tel: +876-941-3155; fax: +876-970-2242; e-mail: margrietta@cwjamaica.com; internet: http://www.cdera.org/cunews/uploads/utech_conf_aug2005.pdf

HIGH-LEVEL PLENARY MEETING OF THE 60TH SESSION OF THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON THE FOLLOW-UP TO THE OUTCOME OF THE MILLENNIUM SUMMIT: This meeting will take place from 14-16 September 2005, at UN headquarters in New York. In preparation for the high-level plenary, the UN Secretary-General released a report on the event�s modalities, format and organization, recommending among other things a three-day event taking place at the commencement of the 60th session of the General Assembly in September 2005. The meeting is expected to undertake a comprehensive review of the progress made towards the commitments articulated in the UN Millennium Declaration. The event will also review progress made in the integrated and coordinated implementation of the outcomes and commitments of the major UN conferences and summits in the economic, social and related fields. For more information, contact: Office of the President of the General Assembly; tel: +1-212-963-2486; fax: +1-212-963-3301; internet: http://www.un.org/ga/

FIRST INTERNATIONAL MARINE PROTECTED AREAS CONGRESS: This congress will take place from 23-27 October 2005, in Geelong, Australia. For more information, contact: Congress Organizers; tel: +61-3-5983-2400; fax: +61-3-5983-2223; e-mail: mp@asnevents.net.au; internet: http://www.impacongress.org/

WORLD SUMMIT ON THE INFORMATION SOCIETY - TUNIS PHASE: This Summit is scheduled to take place from 16-18 November 2005, in Tunis, Tunisia. For more information, contact: WSIS Secretariat; tel: +41-22-730-5511; fax: +41-22-730-6393; e-mail: wsis@itu.int; internet: http://www.itu.int/wsis/index-p2.html

SIXTH WTO MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE: This conference will take place from 13-18 December 2005, in Hong Kong, China. For more information, contact: WTO Secretariat; tel: +41-22-739-5111; fax: +41-22-731-4206; e-mail: enquiries@wto.org; internet: http://www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/minist_e/min05_e/min05_e.htm


This issue of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin � <enb@iisd.org> is written and edited by Alexis Conrad, Elisa Morgera, Prisna Nuengsigkapian, Richard Sherman, and Hugh Wilkins. The Digital Editor is David Fernau. The Editor is Pamela S. Chasek, Ph.D. <pam@iisd.org> and the Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James �Kimo� Goree VI <kimo@iisd.org>. The Sustaining Donors of the Bulletin are the Government of the United States of America (through the Department of State Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs), the Government of Canada (through CIDA), the Swiss Agency for Environment, Forests and Landscape (SAEFL), the United Kingdom (through the Department for International Development - DFID), the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Government of Germany (through the German Federal Ministry of Environment - BMU, and the German Federal Ministry of Development Cooperation - BMZ), the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the European Commission (DG-ENV). General Support for the Bulletin during 2005 is provided by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Government of Australia, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway, the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, Swan International, the Japanese Ministry of Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies - IGES) and the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (through the Global Industrial and Social Progress Research Institute - GISPRI). Funding for translation of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin into French has been provided by the International Organization of the Francophonie (IOF) and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Funding for the translation of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin into Spanish has been provided by the Ministry of Environment of Spain. The opinions expressed in the Earth Negotiations Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD or other donors. Excerpts from the Earth Negotiations Bulletin may be used in non-commercial publications with appropriate academic citation. For information on the Bulletin, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <kimo@iisd.org>, +1-646-536-7556 or 212 East 47th St. #21F, New York, NY 10017, USA.