On 4 September 2014, the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) took place from 1-4 September 2014 on the theme of ‘The Sustainable Development of SIDS through Genuine and Durable Partnerships.’ The Conference, which was attended by twenty-one heads of state and government, as well as 3,500 delegates produced an outcome document entitled ‘SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway‘.
The SAMOA Pathway reaffirms that SIDS remain a special case for sustainable development, recognizing SIDS’s ownership and leadership in overcoming these challenges.
Among other issues, it addresses climate change, sustainable energy, oceans and seas, gender equality and women’s empowerment, social development; biodiversity, including desertification, land degradation, drought and forests, capacity-building, technology and institutional support for SIDS.
As one of the main priorities for the conference, the bureau members highlighted oceans and their importance to the sustainable development of Small Islands Developing States.
Commenting on the importance of the conference as a whole, the Permanent Representative of Mauritius to the UN, H.E. Mr. Meetarghan stressed that the conference “is a global conference; it is not a conference which is of interest to SIDS only; it is relevant for the international community as a whole.”
In closing remarks, the Prime Minister of Samoa, Mr. Malielegaoi expressed hope that the Outcome Document would become a blueprint for immediate action. He stressed the importance of addressing SIDS’s concerns in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the post-2015 development agenda as well as at upcoming events, including the UN Climate Summit and the Third Global Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction.
Many countries and organizations announced new pledges and partnerships at the Conference, with the aim of boosting SIDS’ capacity to achieve sustainable development. By the close of the meeting, 297 partnerships were recorded.
In parallel with plenary discussions, six multi-stakeholder Partnership Dialogues took place on the themes of: sustainable economic development; climate change and disaster risk management (DRM); social development, health and NCDs, youth and women; sustainable energy; oceans, seas and biodiversity; and water and sanitation, food security and waste management. Forums organized by youth, Major Groups and other Stakeholders, the renewable energy sector and the private sector took place prior to the conference.
For more information about the conference please visit http://www.iisd.ca/sids/sids2014/