Slow progress on Sustainable Development front for small nations2011-12-15 H.E. Ms. Dessima Williams, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Grenada to the UN
Topic: Sustainable Development
Mr. Chairman, Grenada has the honour address you and the Co-Chair H.E Mr. John Ashe and to congratulate and thank you, your distinguished staff and the Secretariat for your leadership. Co-Chairs, Grenada has the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the 43 members of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS). AOSIS aligns itself with the statement made by Argentina on behalf of the G77 & China, Tanzania on behalf of the Africa Group and Nepal on behalf of the LDC’s. As SIDS, we are saddened by the lack of sources of funding to ensure the full participation of developing countries in the UNCSD process. For it is only with the full participation of all states that we can ensure a meaningful outcome from the UNCSD process. A severe lack of funding threatens the ability of representatives from AOSIS countries to attend and participate in the meetings of the preparatory process and the associated negotiations, as well as the Conference itself. To that end, AOSIS calls for sufficient funding for the voluntary trust fund to ensure the effective participation of our delegations in the process. Failing this, AOSIS calls for the Bureau to adopt the revised schedule of preparatory meetings transmitted by the G77 and China to the Bureau on December 13, as this schedule will work to alleviate the funding difficulties that AOSIS members are experiencing in engaging in the UNCSD process. Co-Chairs, We must highlight that the impacts of the ongoing economic and financial crisis continues to be a major challenge for developing countries. Financing for sustainable development has been highly insufficient despite consistent calls from developing countries for this issue to be addressed. Without the necessary financing, developing countries have faced and will continue to face major setbacks in implementing sustainable development, eradicating poverty and achieving the Millennium Development Goals. The global financial and economic crisis has had a significant impact especially on SIDS, who continue to experience increasingly limited access to affordable credit. The existing frameworks for evaluating loan eligibility and assessing interest rates for lending are largely based on GDP and do not take into account the specific vulnerabilities of SIDS, depriving SIDS of concessionary financing and much needed assistance. Mr. Co-Chairs, AOSIS believes that guided by the Rio Principles and Agenda 21, UNCSD 2012 outcomes should provide the necessary political impetus for the range and level of action required to bridge the implementation gap, taking into account that insufficient steps that have been taken at the international level to address the vulnerabilities and to effectively support the sustainable development efforts in developing countries, which grapple with the effects of multiple crises. For SIDS, poverty eradication remains the most pressing issue in the area of sustainable development. Our common goal to eradicate poverty should guide our efforts towards sustainable development, while considering the needs of both present and future generations. We cannot overstate this fact! Various understanding of a Green Economy exist among the SIDS, including that of the Blue Economy. SIDS, will all parties, look forward to defining and shaping what constitutes the Green Economy. We believe that any new structure of institutional Framework for Sustainable Development should include within its core mandate strengthening the implementation of the MSI and BPoA. It should also have an effective answer for the needs and vulnerabilities of developing countries, particularly SIDS, taking into account vulnerabilities to the economic and financial crisis as well as climate change and other new and emerging threats such as piracy. Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time and we express our deep concern that developing countries are particularly vulnerable to and are experiencing increased negative impacts from climate change, ocean acidification and that this is severely undermining food security, efforts to eradicate poverty, sustainable development; and threatens the territorial integrity, viability and the very existence of small Island Developing States. In this regard, we call upon States to immediately and fully implement the provisions of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to ensure the viability and survival of all Nations. We call for the immediate implementation of the Bali Strategic Plan for Technology Support and Capacity Building. It is clear that developing countries lack direct access to technologies. It is in this light that we stress the need for effective mechanisms, enhanced means, appropriate enabling environments and the removal of obstacles to the scaling up of the development and transfer of technology to developing countries. Co-Chairs, The need for the fulfillment of Agenda 21, the Barbados Programme of Action, the Mauritius Strategy for Implementation, and chapter 7 of the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, especially paragraph 58, which mentions Small Island Developing States as a special case both for environment and development is paramount. The international community should therefore significantly augment their efforts to assist SIDS in sustaining momentum realized to date in efforts to implement the BPOA and MSI and achieve sustainable development. This should include improvement and strengthening of the relevant entities within the United Nations system which support SIDS’ sustainable development. Co-Chairs, We reiterate that oceans, seas, coastal areas and their resources, are critical for global food security and for sustaining economic prosperity and the well-being of mankind, in particular the national economies of developing countries. We therefore urge the international community to continue and enhance its support for Small Island developing States to strengthen their implementation of integrated coastal zone management strategies and their scientific research capacity, for the attainment of the development goals, including sustainable development and internationally agreed development goals, such as the MDGs and those contained in Chapter 17 of agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation. We call for the outcome of the high level review of the MSI which identifies the progress and gaps in implementation of commitments made by the international community to assist SIDS with the achievement of Sustainable Development to be implemented. Co-Chairs, AOSIS strongly believe that the success of the UNCSD RIO+20 depends on an integrated approach that involves the three pillars of sustainable development and that its outcome should be focused on implementation, in accordance with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. The UNCSD RIO+20 should identify a framework of action of implementation of commitments and should move the sustainable development agenda forward taking into account the renewed political commitment and assessment of gaps in the implementation. AOSIS echoes the call of G77 and China for one outcome document that has clear action oriented means of implementation, as well as strong political commitments to sustainable development. With respect to the form of the zero draft, AOSIS reiterates the G77 and China’s call for a zero draft that is based on the “Preliminary Elements for the Outline of the Draft Outcome” submitted by the G77 and China to the Bureau in October. We echo the call of other delegations that we must not put questions of procedure, form and length of the outcome document before the substance. I thank you Co-Chairs.
Sub Topic: SDGs
Forum: Conference on Sustainable Development (CSD)
Meeting: 2nd Intersessional Meeting of the UN CSD