United Nationsإدارة الشؤون الاقتصادية والاجتماعية التنمية المستدامة

Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS)

Statement by H.E. Mr Caleb Otto, Permanent Representative of Palau to the United Nations on behalf of the Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS) Troika

at the

Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Eleventh Session on Focus Area 7 on Energy and
Focus Area 8 on Economic Growth, Employment and Infrastructure

7 May 2014, New York
"Check against delivery"

Co-Chair,

This intervention is confined to Focus areas 7 and 8 and is made on behalf of the Pacific Troika in the OWG, namely, Nauru, Papua New Guinea and my own country, Palau as well as for the nine other Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS), represented at the United Nations; namely, the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. We are pleased to be joined by Timor-Leste in this statement.

We align ourselves with the Statement made by Nauru as AOSIS Chair on these two focus areas. Likewise, we also associate ourselves with the intervention on this cluster delivered by Bolivia as the Chair of G77 and China but with the exception of PSIDS who are non- members of G-77 and China.

Co-Chair,

The Focus area 7 on energy rightly speaks to ensuring access to affordable, sustainable and reliable modern energy for all to drive forward sustainable development.

As we noted last November on this cluster, Pacific SIDS is presently energy insecure with heavy dependence on fossil fuel; where access, affordability and sustainability also remain a significant challenge. The energy sector in our region is inherently weak with insignificant domestic and foreign investment in renewable energy sources. The volatility of the global energy market further compounds this challenge. This continues to adversely impact on all sectors of our economies, subsistence and the environment.

Mindful of this background, we note that sustainable energy is indeed a critical enabler for sustainable development. Given energy’s cross-cutting strong links with the economic, social and environmental dimensions, PSIDS is supportive of a dedicated Sustainable Energy Goal.
Co-Chair,
We are in support of the target areas in Focus Areas 7 and 8 however, wish to make the following points which can be further integrated in the targets or within the chapeau.
1. By 2030 ensure not only universal access to sustainable energy but transformative and innovative measures that provide a affordable, safe, secure and reliable energy services.
2. Targets be consistent with science and complemented by application of precautionary, polluter-pays and CBDR principles.
3. Take urgent steps to phase out fossil fuel subsidies while protecting low income and vulnerable populations from negative impacts and channel this support to strengthen the provision of universal access to energy, renewable energy alternatives and harness energy efficiency.
4. Ensure integrated approach in national planning, political commitment, increase investments, forge public-private-partnership to foster successful innovative national and regional sustainable energy sector development and management.
5. Promote research, development and investment in energy efficient and environmentally-friendly technology such as ocean thermal energy conversion, wind and solar energy that is also transferable, affordable, practical and appropriate to the development needs of different countries geared towards phasing out fossil fuel.
6. Commitments made by development partners, including in financing, for the energy sector development are fulfilled for genuine and durable partnership to be forged.
7. Capacity and institutional building including particularly energy data repository under international and regional frameworks such as the UN Secretary-General's Sustainable Energy For All (SE4LL) is vital for sustainability of energy projects; and.
Co-Chair,
For Focus Area 8, we agree with the targets you have developed. We only wish to highlight the major role that healthy, productive, and resilient oceans play in economic growth, employment, infrastructure and overall livelihood in the areas of tourism, fisheries, other sustainable production and use of marine resources and in our own culture. Thank you.