Statement at opening of the 2nd Inter-sessional of UN Conference on Sustainable Development

2011-11-15 Ambassador Dessima Williams, Permanent Representative of Grenada to the UN Download PDF

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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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: Cross-cutting

Forum: Conference on Sustainable Development (CSD)