Statement delivered by Nauru on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS)
23 June 2014, United Nations, New York
At the outset allow me to commend you for the stellar work in which you have steered the process of the Preparatory Committee Meetings for the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States, SIDS.
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS). We align ourselves with the statement delivered by the distinguished representative of Bolivia on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
We have reached a critical juncture in the discussions on this document. A document that is first and foremost an account of the development aspirations of the SIDS, and an actionable plan that will help chart the future we want for the people living in our islands.
We, the SIDS, take ownership of this document. Just as we take responsibility for our development challenges and opportunities. In return, we are asking our international partners to demonstrate their commitment to support our endeavours on poverty eradication and sustainable development, in recognition of the unique and particular vulnerabilities of SIDS.
Our vulnerabilities do not, however, relegate us to perpetual dependency. Our history is of a people that have been adapting and creating new ways of survival in the most challenging of environments. We know that if we are supported to strengthen our own knowledge and systems we can help ourselves.
It is 20 years since the first Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States in Barbados. As we prepare to meet in Samoa in September, we are mindful that progress on commitments identified in the Barbados Programme of Action remain uneven and largely off track. We cannot wait any longer to realise the development aspirations of SIDS. We cannot allow the Samoa outcomes to be yet another international document that is rich in text, but lacking in commitment to deliver real progress.
The international community is readying for a global post–2015 development agenda that will be aspirational and transformative. The SIDS ask nothing more or nothing less for our people. We know from the failures of the last 20 years that if the post–2015 agenda is to be truly transformative for our island nations, it must address three fundamental development pillars: climate change, oceans and seas and a renewed means of implementation. These pillars must be at the heart of our collective development efforts. They must be reflected in any renewed commitment of SIDS and our partners to the people of our countries.
The theme of the Samoa Conference is partnerships. For we know that it is only through genuine cooperation that we can achieve our aspirations in a world that is characterised by increasing globalisation, widening inequalities and a continued deterioration of the global environment.
We have an opportunity to now reforge our partnerships to reflect the changing realities of international development. These new relationships must be based on mutual respect and trust. We no longer want a development paradigm that is defined by donors and recipients. We want to work together, in partnership, and through a shared sense of responsibility, but with SIDS taking leadership of their sustainable development priorities.
We can achieve this and reflect our common aspirations through the text of this document. But if it is to hold any weight with our constituents then it simply must reflect a sense of commitment by all who sign up to it.
We, the SIDS, stand ready to uphold our commitment to a new era of global development cooperation, and look forward to our partners joining us. Together we can signal to the world that it is no longer business as usual. That we are committed to a transformative development agenda that will lead us all on the path to achieving our sustainable development, and leaves no one behind.
We look forward to working with our partners at this final SIDS prepcom meeting to ensure that the SAMOA Pathway provides the sufficient means for its implementation through genuine and durable partnerships that can make real and measurable progress on the ground for SIDS beyond the post-2015 agenda. I trust that our partners are ready to work in this same spirit and look forward to close the SAMOA Pathway on schedule.
Let me assure you of our support and the commitment of our group. Thank you.