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New Small Island Developing States commit to tackle effects of climate change and obstacles to sustainable development

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Apia Outcome to serve as basis of Samoa Pathway Midterm Review in September 2019
Source: United Nations media release

Apia, SAMOA Facing the increased effects of climate change, natural disasters, and the outsized impacts of global economic shocks on small economies, Small Island Developing States (SIDS) resolved to strengthen their efforts to achieve sustainable development at the conclusion of a three-day meeting that ended this week in Apia, Samoa.

The Apia Outcome, adopted by SIDS, will serve as the basis for the preparation of the inter-governmentally agreed Political Declaration of the High-level SIDS Midterm Review of the SAMOA Pathway, to be held in September 2019. The Apia Outcome reaffirms that SAMOA Pathway is a standalone, overarching framework for guiding SIDS in their global, regional and national development efforts and is an integral part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The just-concluded Inter-regional Preparatory Meeting for the Midterm Review of the SAMOA Pathway, held from 30 October to 1 November, in Apia, Samoa, saw countries recommit to key priority areas including climate change mitigation, disaster risk reduction, the sustainable management of oceans and improved connectivity between SIDS and between SIDS and other states. They called for increased international support for the next five years of the SAMOA Pathway, especially with capacity-building, data collection and monitoring and review.

About 250 representatives from Small Island Developing States’ governments, their partners, the private sector, civil society and the UN system participated in the meeting, organized by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), the UN Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS), and the Government of Samoa. The meeting also included side events focused on opportunities for youth in SIDS, the sustainable ocean economy, and SIDS’ marine heritage.

“Without a doubt, this Midterm review of the SAMOA Pathway – SIDS blueprint for sustainable development – presents a key opportunity to re-examine progress and gaps, to determine priorities ahead, and to reaffirm and reinforce partnerships,” said Liu Zhenmin, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, at the opening of the meeting in Apia.

The meeting in Apia was preceded by the Samoa Partnership Dialogue on 29 October, where SIDS and their partners worked to increase the capacity of stakeholders in forging new, genuine and durable multi-stakeholder partnerships, and strengthen the monitoring and review process of partnerships in SIDS. The Partnership Dialogue resulted in a set of SIDS Partnership Criteria and Norms, a SIDS Partnership Toolbox, a set of SIDS partnership case studies and an analysis of existing SIDS partnerships done by UN DESA.

“We’re small, and we cannot make progress unless we co-op all the help that we can get,” said Lois Young, Belize’s Ambassador to the UN and co-chair of the Partnership Dialogue. “It has to be a win-win situation, both for us and for those who we partner with.”

Additionally, SIDS National Focal Points held their first meeting on 29 October. This network will provide a vital link between work at the global and national levels, facilitating coordination, information sharing and planning for the implementation of the SAMOA Pathway and the SDGs.

About the SAMOA Pathway

The Small Island Developing States Accelerated Modalities of Action Pathway (SAMOA Pathway), adopted at the Third International Conference on SIDS held in Apia, Samoa, in 2014, is a dedicated 10-year programme of action to promote international assistance to address the unique set of challenges the islands face.

The inter-governmental meeting and Partnership Dialogue in Samoa this year provided an opportunity to review and analyse the conclusions of three SIDS regional meetings and partnership dialogues held earlier in 2018 in Mauritius (Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean and South China Sea—AIMS), Belize (Caribbean) and Tonga (Pacific).