Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Samoa will be time for action

NEXT year’s SIDS conference in Samoa must be one that takes a clear path of action on the myriad of issues affecting these countries.

UN Under-Secretary-General and UNDP Associate Administrator, Rebeca Grynspan, outlined that waste, pollution, rising sea levels, ocean acidification, and biodiversity loss were growing threats to food security and sustainable livelihoods, growth opportunities, tourism and health.

“These are problems that SIDS, in most cases, have done very little to cause, and that exacerbate structural vulnerabilities on top of the normal challenges developing countries already face. To generate the political commitment and international support needed to tackle these challenges, Apia will need to be far more than a review conference.

“UNDP, together with the Inter Agency Consultative Group, is committed to supporting your preparations, to realise – as called for by the General Assembly – an outcome that is ‘focused, forward-looking and action oriented,’” she remarked.

She made the comments while delivering her remarks at the Inter-Regional Preparatory Meeting of SIDS at the Hilton Barbados.

Mutual accountability

Speaking on actions being taken on development on the international front, she outlined that next year’s conference in Apia, Samoa could help SIDS build on this momentum, by not only engaging citizens in this path, breaking global conversation to influence the future development agenda, but by getting out ahead through setting concrete targets and systems for mutual accountability, that can fit within the future framework.

With SIDS being world leaders in the commitments to cut 45 per cent in emissions within the next 17 years, she said that this figure was considerably higher than the pledges of the world’s richest countries.

“SIDS are also out ahead in terms of trilateral and South-South Co-operation. SIDS have much to teach each other and the world about policies linking growth and social protection, with initiatives to protect biodiversity and rebuild after disasters,” she noted. (JMB)

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