Caribbean States to Exchange Views Ahead of 2014 Global SIDS Conference


Kingston, Jamaica, 1 July

To ensure that the voices of Caribbean states are heard at the 2014 Conference of Small Island Developing States, representatives of Caribbean states will gather in Kingston, Jamaica, on 2-4 July to determine common concerns, exchange experiences and lessons learned, and discuss regional perspectives and positions for the Conference.IWCAM_en

Next year’s Conference, which will take place in Apia, Samoa, from 1 to 4 September 2014, provides an opportunity for the world to examine the unique circumstances that affect sustainable development in small island developing states. Small island developing states have struggled to contend with challenges that range from the impacts of climate change to the escalating price of imported energy.

But even as they seek to address these challenges, small island developing states have also become an incubator for solutions, becoming leaders in the use of renewable energy, in sustainable tourism, and in strengthening resilience.

Conference Secretary-General Wu Hongbo said that a strong and constructive meeting will “ensure that the Caribbean voice is heard loud and clear, throughout the preparatory process, leading to a successful global meeting in Apia next year.” He added, “Small island developing states have a long history of collaborating, learning from one another, shoring up and building on one another’s strengths.” He said the islands had accomplished this while forging their own paths, maintaining their own cultural identity, and fostering individual innovation.

“We look forward to the outcomes of the Caribbean Small Island Developing States preparatory meeting next week in Kingston, as it constitutes an important aspect of our overall preparedness for the Third International Small Island Developing States Conference in Apia, Samoa next year,” said Jamaica’s UN Ambassador E. Courtenay Rattray. “We anticipate that the meeting will enable Caribbean small island developing states to continue the process of identifying gaps in the implementation of programmes and commitments geared towards addressing our countries’ vulnerabilities.

“The meeting will also focus on identifying opportunities,” he added, “such as those in the energy sector and those we can advance through pursuing partnerships with other small island developing states, non-small island developing states-developing country partners and traditional development cooperation partners, as we endeavour to ensure that ultimately Caribbean small island developing states’ sustainable development aspirations are fulfilled.“

The results of each of the island states regional meetings—for the Caribbean, Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean—will be channelled to a ministerial-level meeting in Barbados at the end of August. There, the small island developing states from the three regions will agree on common positions that will guide them during the global preparatory process for the Samoa Conference.

The Jamaica meeting will provide a forum for Caribbean countries to evaluate progress on the commitments made under the 1994 Barbados Programme of Action and the 2005 Mauritius Strategy of Implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action.

The meeting for the Pacific Ocean small island developing states will take place in Fiji on 10-12 July, and Indian Ocean states will meet in Victoria, Seychelles, on 17-19 July. The Barbados ministerial-level meeting will take place 26-28 August.

For more information on the Conference on Small Island Developing States, see http://www.sids2014.org/

For further information, please contact Dan Shepard, UN Department of Public Information, email shepard@un.org; tel 1 212 963-9495


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