United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Antigua & Barbuda

New York
Mr. Chairman, distinguishes delegates,
My delegation aligns itself with the statements delivered by the distinguished
representatives of Jamaica and Grenada on behalf of the Group of 77 and China
and AOSIS respectively.
As today?s SIDS Day also serves as the preparatory committee meeting for the
high-level five year review of the Mauritius Strategy for the Implementation of the
Programme of Action for the sustainable development of small island States
(MSI+5), Antigua and Barbuda takes this opportunity to highlight some issues
that we believe require greater focus from the international community in the
context of pursuing full implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action
(BPoA).
Firstly, we must emphasize the importance and continued relevance of the BPoA
and the Mauritius Strategy as the international framework for the sustainable
development of SIDS, and that implementation of BPoA also advances the
implementation of Agenda 21.
Secondly, our vulnerability as a small island developing State has increased
within the last five years due to the combined effects of climate change, high
energy cost, increase in the price of food and the impact of the economic and
financial crisis. Additionally, the financial crisis has necessitated an increase in
borrowing at a very high cost, exacerbating an already high level of
indebtedness.
Such increased vulnerability has negatively impacted on our development
prospects and has led to a reversal of development gains. Furthermore, many of
these factors that increases our vulnerability are not of our own making. For this
reason we believe it is important to conduct a thorough review of the sustainable
development of small island states, which, in accordance with paragraph 5 of GA
resolution 64/199 should allow for a thorough assessment of the progress made,
lessons learned and constraints encountered as well as agree on what needs to
be done to further address our vulnerabilities.
Thirdly, all aspects of the MSI and PBoA are in need of enhanced
implementation efforts, however, we would highlight the following areas for
particular emphasis:
a) Affordable energy, in particular increasing investments in renewable
sources of energy;
b) Integrated sustainable management of coastal resources and fresh water
resources, particularly with respect to adaptation to climate change;
c) Sustainable land-use, including capacity building for sustainable land
management particularly with respect to adaptation to climate change;
d) Access to grant, and concessionary financing, as well as debt forgiveness
to assist SIDs to manage the effects of the financial crisis and to finance
sustainable development strategies;
e) Increased attention to intra- and extra-regional migration, which can
exacerbate social problems and is also linked to the lack of effort to
address the issue of climate change;
Finally, my delegation would like to emphasize that so far resources promised to
assist SIDs to cope with climate change, particularly for adaptation, has not been
forth coming. Further as we follow the climate change negotiations there is a
disturbing trend for some developed countries to want to address this situation
via loans and concessional financing. Mr. Chairman this we consider a violation
of a long held principle of polluter pays and amounts to a perverse incentive for
countries, particularly Annex 1 countries when they profit from polluting the
environment.
In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, my delegation looks forward to the series of
informal consultations which will follow from today?s meeting. We hope that the
negotiations will result in a document that adequately addresses the situation of
SIDS, fully taking into account the challenges that have emerged since 2005 and
fully addressing the implementation gap through enhanced and sustained
international support.
Thank you.
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