Communique from the Fifth Summit of AOSIS Heads of State and Government

2005-01-10 AOSIS Download PDF

Topic: Sustainable Development

Adopted at the Swami Vivekananda Convention Centre Port Louis, Mauritius, 12 January 2005.
1. The Heads of State and Government of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) met on 12
January 2005 in Port Louis, Mauritius. The meeting was chaired by The Honourable Paul Raymond
Bérenger G.C.S.K, Prime Minister of the Republic of Mauritius and was attended by the following
Heads of State and Government: H.E The Rt. Hon. Owen S. Arthur, Prime Minister, Minister of
Finance and Economic Affairs of Barbados, H.E The Hon Jim Marurai, Prime Minister of the Cook
Islands, H.E Mr. Anote Tong, President of Kiribati, H.E Mr. Kessai H. Note, President of the Republic
of the Marshall Islands, H.E Mr. Joseph J. Urusemal, President of the Federated States of Micronesia,
H.E Mr. Ludwig Scotty, MP, President of Nauru, H.E Mr. Denzil Douglas, Prime Minister of St. Kitts
and Nevis, H.E Hon Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegoai, Prime Minister, Minister for Foreign Affairs and
Trade of the Independent State of Samoa, H.E Mr. James A. Michel, President of the Republic of
Seychelles, H.E Hon Sir Allan Kemakeza, Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands, H.E Mr. Mari
Alkatiri, Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, H.E Mr. Maatia Toafa, Prime
Minister of Tuvalu.
2. The meeting was also attended by the following Heads of Delegation of AOSIS member States: H.E
Mr. Errol Cort, Minister of Finance and the Economy of Antigua and Barbuda, H.E The Hon. Mr.
Marcus Bethel, Minister for Health and Environment of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, H.E
Hon. John Briceno, Deputy Prime Minister of Belize, S.E.M. Maria Madalena Brito Neves, Minister
of Environment, Agriculture and Fisheries of the Republic of Cape Verde, S.E Sr Ricardo Cabrisas
Ruiz, Minister of Government of Cuba, H.E Hon Francis O. Riviere, Minister for Foreign Affairs,
Trade and Marketing of Dominica, H.E Hon Mr. Kaliopate Tavola, Minister for Foreign Affairs and
External Trade of the Republic of the Fiji Islands, H.E Hon Ann Antoine, Minister for Health, the
Environment and Ecclesiastic Affairs of Grenada, H.E Hon Dean Peart, MP, Minister for Land and
Environment of Jamaica, H.E Hon Camsek Elias Chin, Vice-President of the Republic of Palau, H.E.
Hon. Ferguson John, Minister for Physical Development, Environment and Housing of St. Lucia, H.E
Mr. Douglas Slater, Minister for Health and Environment of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, H.E Hon
Pennelope Beckles, Minister for Public Utilities and the Environment of Trinidad and Tobago, H.E
Hon Sato Kilman, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Vanuatu, H.E Mr
Mohamed Latheef, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative of
Maldives to the United Nations, and the delegations of Guyana, Haiti, Singapore and Suriname.
3. The following special observers were also in attendance: H.E Mr. Fred M. Castro, Administrator,
Guam Environmental Protection Agency, Ministry of Environment, Dr. Roland Antonius, Ministerial
Adviser for the Council of Ministers of the Netherland Antilles, Mr. Rafael Subero-Collazo, Assistant
Secretary of State for the Foreign Affairs of Puerto Rico, Dr. Carlyle Corbin, Minister of State for
External Affairs of United States for External Affairs. Other attendees were Mr. Carlos J. Davila,
Director of the Association of Caribbean States, H.E Mr. Edwin W. Carrington, Secretary General of
the Caribbean Community, Ms. Len Ishmael, Director General of the Organization of Eastern
Caribbean States, Mr. Greg Urwin, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Mr.
Asterio Takesy, Director of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme. and Dr.
Russell Howorth, Deputy Director of the South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission. The
Secretary General of the United Nations, the Secretary General of the International Meeting and the
Under-Secretary General of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations
also attended.
A special report was delivered by Professor Albert Binger, University of the West Indies
Center for Environment and Development.
4. The Heads of State and Government of AOSIS in opening the Summit expressed condolences to the
Governments and Peoples of those countries which suffered significant loss of life and damage from
the 26 December 2004 earthquake and tsunami disaster in the Indian Ocean region.
5. The Heads of State and Government of AOSIS also expressed condolences to the Governments and
Peoples of those countries affected by the 2004 hurricane, cyclone and typhoon season in the
Caribbean and the Pacific and called on the international community to continue to support the
reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts of those States.
6. The Heads of State and Government of AOSIS reaffirmed the continued validity of the BPOA as the
essential blueprint and fundamental framework for the sustainable development of Small Island
Developing States (SIDS). They recognized that poverty eradication and the enhancement of the
quality of life of peoples, including their health, well-being and safety, as called for in the BPOA,
must remain at the heart of the sustainable development aspirations of SIDS.
7. The Heads of State and Government further reaffirmed their continued commitment towards the
achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the other internationally agreed
development goals, and the full implementation of Agenda 21, the Johannesburg Plan of
Implementation and the Monterrey Consensus.
8. The Heads of State and Government of AOSIS reiterated their deep commitment to the principles and
aims of the BPOA. They noted, however, that although the special circumstances and vulnerabilities
of SIDS were recognized and acknowledged at Rio and Barbados, much more needs to be done at the
international level to assist SIDS in overcoming their unique problems.
9. The Heads of State and Government of AOSIS recognized that SIDS themselves had borne most of
the costs associated with the implementation of the BPOA but were constrained by the lack of
resources, as well as deficiencies in institutional and human capacity and inadequate access to science
and technology.
10. The Heads of State and Government of AOSIS recognized that the BPOA is currently being
implemented in a very different global environment from that prevailing at the time of its adoption in
1994. In this regard, they expressed concern that the social, economic and environmental
vulnerabilities of SIDS have increased since the adoption of the BPOA.
11. The Heads of State and Government of AOSIS expressed further concern that recent developments at
the international level such as the 50% drop in Official Development Assistance (ODA) to SIDS,
declining Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flows to SIDS, the diversion of development resources to
meet new security obligations, the graduation of SIDS from concessionary resources, and new trade
rules all serve to further exacerbate their growing vulnerabilities.
12. The Heads of State and Government of AOSIS reaffirmed their commitment to the Strategy for the
further implementation of the BPOA and in this regard underscored that the International Meeting to
adopt the Strategy was timely and of critical importance.
13. The Heads of State and Government of AOSIS emphasized that the outcome of the International
Meeting should inter alia, represent a renewal of international commitment to the sustainable
development of SIDS through the provision of the financial, technical and other forms of support
required to help SIDS build resilience to address the constraints arising from their vulnerabilities.
They further emphasized that the International Meeting should result in the entrenchment of the
concept of the inherent vulnerability of SIDS into international discourse and
ensure that this is taken into account in the development and execution of programmes of assistance provided by the multilateral development, finance and trade institutions.
14. The Heads of State and Government of AOSIS recognized that the implementation of this Strategy,
and sustainable development in general, also requires broad-based participation in policy formulation,
decision making and implementation at all levels. They reaffirmed the need to continue to work for
stable partnerships with all major groups, including non-governmental organizations and the private
15. The Heads of State and Government of AOSIS endorsed the “Buenos Aires AOSIS Ministerial
Declaration on Climate Change” of 17 December 2004 and expressed grave concern that the adverse
effects of climate change, climate variability, sea-level rise and associated phenomena such as the
increase in the intensity and frequency of extreme weather events such as droughts, hurricanes,
typhoons and cyclones, continue to threaten the sustainable development, livelihoods and existence of
SIDS. The failure of countries, to reduce domestic greenhouse gas emissions means that the
vulnerability of SIDS will continue to increase and that adaptation to climate change must continue to
be a major priority for SIDS. They called on those States that have not done so, to ratify and fully
implement the Kyoto Protocol, and for all States to take further urgent action to reduce domestic
greenhouse gas emissions, including through the development and increased use of renewable energy.
They further urged the international community to support SIDS in the development and
implementation of national climate change action plans and strategies.
16. The Heads of State and Government of AOSIS expressed concern at the increasing incidence and
magnitude of natural disasters, such as the December 26, 2004 earthquake and tsunami, and the 2004
hurricane season in the Caribbean, and their devastating effect on the communities of SIDS. They
called for the international community to support appropriate initiatives and mechanisms for
strengthening national and regional capabilities for natural disaster prediction, prevention, and
mitigation, as well as post-disaster reconstruction and rehabilitation. They recognized that the
establishment and further development of early warning systems in all regions is a priority, and called
for international support in this regard. They also called on the international community to take full
advantage of the 10 year review of the Yokahama Strategy for Natural Disaster Reduction, to be held
in Kobe, Japan from 18-22 January, 2005, to address the specific issues of SIDS including the
possibility of establishing insurance and re-insurance arrangements for SIDS as they relate to natural
and environmental disasters.
17. The Heads of State and Government of AOSIS also reaffirmed their strong opposition to the
transportation of radioactive materials through the Exclusive Economic Zones of SIDS, and recalled
that the right to ban such movement and transportation within international law was formally accepted
in the BPOA. They further reaffirmed that the most desirable solution to this problem was a total
cessation of these movements through SIDS regions.
18. The Heads of State and Government of AOSIS expressed concern at the serious negative impact that
the erosion of trade preferences is having on the economies of SIDS, as well as the increased
marginalisation of SIDS in the global economy. They highlighted the need for more effective SIDS
representation in the various trade negotiating fora to continue to make the case for special and
differential treatment.
19. The Heads of State and Government of AOSIS called on the international community, in particular the
distant water fishing nations to work with SIDS to develop their capacity to best manage their marine
resources in order to maximize the sustainable return for SIDS from these resources.
They also called on the international community to support the efforts by SIDS to increase the level of local ownership and management of fisheries initiatives.
20. The Heads of State and Government of AOSIS emphasized the value of increased cooperation among
SIDS towards the implementation of the Strategy and achievement of their sustainable development.
21. The Heads of State and Government of AOSIS in endorsing the SIDS Universities Consortium
Initiative stressed the need for further capacity building measures in support of SIDS. In this regard,
they called on the international community to provide new and additional resources in support of the
SIDS resilience building proposal and the SIDS negotiating skills facility.
22. The Heads of State and Government of AOSIS called on the UN System to enhance its support to
SIDS. They expressed concern that the majority of posts in the SIDS unit and SIDS Net continue to
be funded from voluntary resources and called for further strengthening of the SIDS Unit and SIDS
Network (SIDSNET) as prescribed by the General Assembly in resolutions 57/261, 58/213 and
59/229 to enable the Unit to effectively fulfill its mandate.
23. The Heads of State and Government of AOSIS noted the ongoing efforts being made to review the
institutional arrangements for further strengthening of AOSIS as reflected in paragraph 13 of the
Nassau Declaration and in this regard, encouraged the AOSIS working group established to consider
this matter, to continue its work.
24. The Heads of State and Government of AOSIS expressed their gratitude to H.E Mr. Kofi Annan,
Secretary-General of the United Nations, for attending the 5th AOSIS Summit and further expressed
the need for the concerns of SIDS, highlighted during the course of the International Meeting, to be
taken into account during the 2005 review of the MDGs.
25. The Heads of State and Government of AOSIS expressed their appreciation to the Government and
People of Mauritius for the warmth and hospitality extended in hosting the International Meeting and
the AOSIS Summit.
26. The Heads of State and Government of AOSIS requested the Chairman to submit this Communique to
the Secretary General for circulation as an official document of the International Meeting.

Sub Topic: Cross-cutting

Forum: None