United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


Australian Mission to the United Nations E-mail australia@un.int
150 East 42nd Street, New York NY 10017-5612 Ph 212 - 351 6600 Fax 212 - 351 6610 www.AustraliaUN.org
Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting for the 17th Session of
the Commission on Sustainable Development
23 February 2009
SIDS Session
Statement by the Australian Delegation
(Check against delivery)
Madam Chair and distinguished delegates
Australia has always recognised the opportunity to discuss implementation of
sustainable development goals in small island developing states (SIDS) as an
important and integral part of the Commission?s proceedings. With much of the
populations in SIDS reliant on agriculture, forestry and fisheries as a primary
source of livelihood and food, Australia strongly encourages the Commission to
reflect solutions for SIDS in the outcomes of CSD17.
We listened closely to the interventions of the distinguished representatives of
Grenada and Tonga on behalf of SIDS and Pacific SIDS respectively.
Australia has a longstanding commitment to partnerships with SIDS in the
Pacific. Under the new initiative, Pacific Partnerships for Development, partner
countries can expect to benefit from greater long-term predictability of Australia?s
overseas development assistance. These Partnerships commit Australia and our
partners to making faster progress towards the Millennium Development Goals
through mutual respect and responsibility, based on best practice aid delivery to
improve governance, increase investment in economic infrastructure and to
achieve better health, education and social outcomes.
Through the Port Moresby Declaration of March 2008, Australia has also committed
to work to increase its cooperation with other donor countries and organisations, and
international financial institutions across the region. This commitment recognises
that aid is most effective when partner countries lead development efforts and
donors coordinate their assistance to work through partner systems. As a signatory
of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the Accra Agenda for Action,
Australia is firmly committed to integrating these approaches to aid delivery with our
Pacific neighbours.
Australia is already implementing this approach by providing assistance to enhance
food security in the region. For example, the Australian Government is working with
donors and regional organisations, via a World Bank convened working group, to
address the impacts of rising food and fuel prices on Pacific island countries.
Further, Australia is supporting the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries
and Food Security (CTI). This is a new partnership among the governments of
Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, East Timor, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon
Islands (known as the CT6). It builds stronger political will and commitment for
concerted action amongst these countries to conserve marine biodiversity and
effectively manage their marine resources to ensure sustainable industries and food
security in a changing environment.
Adapting to the effects of climate change is another critical issue that Australia is
working with Pacific SIDS to address. As noted at CSD 16, climate change is the
significant cross-cutting issue for Pacific SIDS. Pacific Island Countries will be a
priority focus under the Australian Government's $150 million, three-year
commitment to climate change adaptation. Measures such as this will build upon
existing support, including the long-running Pacific Sea Level and Climate
Monitoring Project and other practical assistance to build resilience to climate
change by improving water resource management, increasing water storage
capacity, diversifying crops and replanting mangroves.

Australia is also investing in the Pacific Land Program to assist countries that wish
to improve their land tenure systems and supports Pacific regional organisations,
including the Secretariat of the Pacific Community and the Pacific Regional
Environment Program.
In these and other ways, Australia will continue to engage and assist small island
developing states, especially in the Pacific. We will continue to draw on our
experiences and technical capacities to assist in implementation of solutions to
the unique challenges small island developing states face on sustainable
Thank you Madam Chair.