AOSIS prepares for the the 10-year review of the Barbados Program of Action2003-05-05 AOSIS
Topic: Sustainable Development
Thank you Mr. Chairman, I have the honor to speak on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS). We fully associate with the statement just delivered by Morocco on behalf of the Group of 77 and China. Mr. Chairman, the disadvantages and vulnerabilities faced by Small Island Developing States (SIDS) have made sustainable development a unique challenge for the island states themselves and the international community at large. SIDS and islands supporting small communities have been considered “a special case both for environment and development” since UNCED. We are grateful for this opportunity to discuss our requirements for ensuring that the International Meeting in 2004 will indeed be a success. We acknowledge that the decisions that must be taken at this session of CSD will largely be procedural. CSD needs to formally accept its role as the Preparatory Committee for the International Meeting to review implementation of the Barbados Program of Action. Dates and venues must be set for regional and inter-regional preparatory meetings. The respective roles and input from organizations and agencies must be discussed. And we must ensure that the national preparatory process is given sufficient impetus and above all – financial resources. Mr. Chairman, these tasks are laid out in General Assembly resolution 57/262, but are not fully elaborated. We must do so at this session of the CSD. We must also give meaning to the call for the “full and active participation by all SIDS” in the preparatory process. During the negotiations of the abovementioned resolution, our group was assured by the Secretariat that there were sufficient funds available for there to be at least two participants financed from all SIDS to the relevant regional preparatory meetings, as well as to the inter-regional preparatory meeting. These funds would come from regular budget savings, and it was because of our group’s flexibility that the matter was left as an unspoken reassurance. We are determined to have this aspect explicitly included in the CSD decision. Any use of the voluntary fund should in our view be focused on funding of our most relevant NGOs, and for ministerial participation in the inter-regional preparatory meeting. We would consider anything less than the facilitation of our full and effective participation to be a serious setback in our relations with the international community in general, and the United Nations secretariat in particular. At the very least we expect therefore that two delegates from each SIDS be facilitated in participating. Mr. Chairman, on the preparatory process for national assessments, we are expecting that sufficient funds will be made available for our countries to carry out stakeholder consultations using appropriate national mechanisms. We are cognizant that not all SIDS were able to prepare WSSD reports. We should also recognize that for some SIDS there are actual fixed costs in place for such consultations that may not be the same for all SIDS. For example, there are additional costs for archipelagic SIDS that are not present for single island SIDS. There are additional costs for SIDS that have devolved some aspects of sustainable development implementation to NGOs and local authorities. We believe that the Resident Representatives of the UNDP in our regions would be able to ascertain the veracity of any budget proposals that we put forward for assistance to carry through these national assessments. But the financial resources must be made available very soon. The regional preparatory meetings should be held in SIDS regions. We have agreed that the Pacific regional meeting should be held in Apia, Samoa from 4 to 8 August 2003. The Caribbean regional meeting should be held in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago from 18 to 22 August 2003. The inter-regional preparatory meeting will be held in Cape Verde from 26 to 30 January 2004. These aspects should be included in our draft decision. Thank you Mr. Chairman.
Forum: Conference on Sustainable Development (CSD)