United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development



Statement made by H.E. Fernando Escalona, Head of the Argentine Delegation to the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States
Apia, Independent State of Samoa, 3 September 2014

Mr. President of the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States

Head of States

Heads of Government


Distinguished ladies and gentlemen,


It is an honour for my Delegation to address this III International Conference on SIDS.

First of all, I would like to express the deep appreciation and gratitude of my Delegation to the Government and people of Samoa for the warm welcome and great hospitality we have received since our arrival to this beautiful and friendly country. E Sili Sili Ese Samoa !

I am also very pleased to express our congratulations to the Government and people of Samoa, as well as the UN Secretary-General and the President of the General Assembly, for the excellent organization of this Conference.

Mr. President,

My Delegation associates itself to the statement made by the Delegation of the Plurinational State of Bolivia on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.

Argentina is grateful for the opportunity to participate in this Conference in SAMOA, in particular at a time when the outcomes that derive from the Conference of Sustainable Development of Rio + 20 are taking place.

This event is an occasion to show what SIDS are, how they have innovated and contributed to global development. It is also an opportunity to present a very clear picture of their current needs, challenges and risks. At the same time, this conference is a chance for the international community to gain a deeper appreciation of SIDS.

Argentina is committed to support the small islands developing states needs. We have been fully engaged in the preparation process that took place in New York towards the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States and we have been pleased to offer financial support to this very important event.

As a developing country, we share the concerns of SIDS in relation to sustainable development, recognizing that they face a number of specific vulnerabilities and development challenges, and in this sense it is of great relevance to work together in developing this agenda under the G77 and China.

Mr. President,

First and foremost, Argentina is satisfied with the Outcome Document elaborated by the Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that was released in July. We firmly believe that the OWG has fulfilled the ambitious mandate set by Rio+20 and the proposal on SDGs, which will be submitted to the UN General Assembly in order to be considered as part of the broader post-2015 development agenda, reflects the forthcoming challenges faced by the international community. In this regard, we consider as highly positive the inclusion of the developing countries’ concerns, including the ones from SIDS, on the final Outcome Document on SDG’s. We are sure that this inclusion will be instrumental to the effectiveness of the new development agenda.

We recognize the importance of coordinated, balanced and integrated actions to address the sustainable development challenges faced by Small Island developing States, taking into account the three dimensions of sustainable development and responding to them adequately.

Mr. President,

Argentina believes that human development and human rights must be at the core of any successful development strategy that delivers concrete results for our societies.

Also, we consider special attention should be given to promoting gender equality and women's full participation in all sustainable development processes.

We stress the need to enhance capacity-building for sustainable development in developing countries and, in this regard, we call for the strengthening of international cooperation, such as technological and scientific cooperation. We also recognize the increasing role that South-South Cooperation plays as a way of sharing experiences good practices and successful national policies among developing countries, especially among SIDs. Argentina calls for the rise of triangular cooperation, as a way to better articulate the different modalities of international cooperation optimizing their results.

At the same time, we believe that increasing efforts should be made to improve the quality of official development assistance in order to increase its socioeconomic impact. We reiterate the need to promote mechanisms to strengthen the provision of adequate, predictable and additional financial resources.

Mr. President,

Fora such as this International Conference on SIDS allow us to verify that the concern on the negative effects of speculative funds on sovereign debt reestructuring processes is a shared concern by all our countries.

Therefore it is timely to mention the importance it will represent for the international community the approval of the draft resolution presented by the Group of 77 and China next Tuesday 9 September in the United Nations General Assembly, to advance towards a multilateral convention to establish a legal framework for the sovereign debt reestructuring process.

Argentina calls on all States to accompany with their vote the approval of this crucial resolution that will allow to reform the international financial system to make it more just, equitable, efficient, stable and predictable, avoiding in this way the negative effects on the economic development, on the fulfillment of the Millennium Development Goals, the Sustainable Development Goals and the Development Agenda post 2015.

The experience of Argentina, that continues to be victim of extorsive actions of vulture funds, can only represent a call to the international community to reflect upon the negative effects of these speculative funds on our nations and the wellbeing of our peoples.

Indeed, having achieved the reestructuring of its debt with an agreement of 92,4% of bondholders who willingly participated in the process and who receive since 2005 timely payments from Argentina, the speculative funds that represent only 1% of bondholders and decided not to participate in the reestructuring process seek to obtain exorbitant returns hindering Argentina’s process of sovereign debt reestructuring. My country maintains its commitment and political will to pay its sovereign debt to all bondholders. Nevertheless, the actions of the vulture funds not only seek to disrupt the sovereign reestructuring of Argentina’s external debt but also disregard its sovereign immunity.

On 9 September we will all have the opportunity to give a historic step towards building a definitive solution to a problem which is in all countries’ interest.

Mr. President,

Argentina reaffirms the importance of achieving a fairer, stronger and more balanced multilateral trade system, which leaves no room for policies that constitute disguised restrictions on international trade, or unjustifiable or arbitrary discriminations, which are inconsistent with the multilateral trade system.

Off-the-shelf proposals that follow the “one size fits all” idea should be avoided as well as “road maps” that do not recognize the specific conditions, needs and development priorities of developing countries or the principle of common and differentiated responsibilities as reaffirmed in Rio +20 Outcome Document. Progress towards achieving sustainable development objectives can only be achieved if it is adapted to the particular context of each country, in particular bearing in mind the economic and social situation.

Therefore, it is important to highlight that the process should not be steered towards the imposition of standards and environmental objectives that have been freely adopted by the developed countries to developing countries.

Mr. President,

Argentina calls upon countries to prioritize the need to discuss the means of implementation. In this regard, we consider essential to move forward, firstly, to the “implementation gap" in developing countries, based on the existing structural gap, evidenced by the lack of financial resources and latest technologies needed to develop a strategy for sustainable development.

None of the above can be done without adequate access to sources of sustainable energy services. In this regard the international community should promote enhanced international cooperation in order to achieve these goals. It is most pressing to rationalize and reorganize mature energy systems; capitalize on significant hydrocarbon resources; grow energy supply to support economic expansion and solve out infrastructural problems and allow access to basic energy services at affordable prices for all.

Throughout this process, we must continue to strengthen the work of the United Nations and the multilateral system towards sustainable development (social, economic and environmental) and support its work so that the implementation of the post 2015 Agenda maintains its focus on the person, ensures human development and concentrates all efforts on achieving results on the ground for those who most need them. The international community and the people all over the world must see this new agenda as a concrete tool to promote their wellbeing and foster sustainable living, and not as a new bureaucracy that squanders time and resources.

Mr. President,

Finally, we are convinced that this meeting will enable us to develop a productive debate and exchange the different points of view among participants. We expect the outcomes to be comprehensive and reflect the needs and possible strategies and solutions for SIDS to make a positive difference in the lives of millions of people.

Before I conclude, I would like to stress that Argentina’s participation in this relevant Conference must be read as part of our keen interest in diversifying and strengthening our ties with SIDS. Argentina commits its best endeavours towards promoting closer and mutually beneficial bonds with these increasingly important countries. In so doing, we will work wholeheartedly and we will find ways of consolidating mutual awareness and cooperation, while jointly pursuing a fairer and more equitable world.