Group of 77 and China
STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY AMB. SACHA LLORENTTY, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE PLURINATIONAL STATE OF BOLIVIA TO THE UNITED NATIONS, AT THE FIRST MEETING OF THE PREPARATORY COMMITTEE FOR THE THIRD INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON SMALL ISLAND DEVELOPING STATES (New York, 24 February 2014)
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
During this first Preparatory Committee meeting for the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States. The Group of 77 and China is particularly pleased to lend its support to the SIDS agenda as we begin to commemorate the International Year of SIDS. Also let me announce that the Group will look forward to discuss this issue in the Summit that will take place in June, in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.
In the period leading up to the Rio+20 Conference in 2012, the Group called for the convening of a Third International Conference on SIDS and we were pleased that the decision to hold the Conference was among the main outcomes endorsed by Heads at Rio. We therefore welcome this opportunity to engage in the preparatory process for the Conference, which will be hosted by one of our Members, the Independent State of Samoa.
As you are aware, the Group comprises many countries in a range of circumstances, including Small Island Developing States (SIDS), whose membership of the Group is invaluable, and with whom we work in solidarity to advance the SIDS agenda in a manner that effectively addresses their particular vulnerability and challenges. Like most developing countries, SIDS have made some progress in the pursuit of sustainable development but this progress has been fragile and uneven in the face of ongoing crises whose impact undermines their efforts to combat poverty and hunger, social exclusion and environmental degradation.
Indeed, Small Island Developing Countries face a range of special development and environment challenges. The international community has recognized their unique and particular vulnerabilities since the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, in view of their small size, limited resources, geographic dispersion and isolation from markets. There has been widespread recognition of the existential threat that climate change poses for SIDS, which are on the frontline in terms of experiencing its negative impact. In addition to its well-known environmental impact, climate change has served to inhibit the socio-economic development of SIDS.
Given the ways in which climate change undermines the sustainable development aspirations of SIDS, we must recognize that, in the absence of a comprehensive effort to address the challenges posed by climate change, the various programmes of action for SIDS at the national, regional and international levels will come to naught. It is therefore imperative that, parallel to this process in which we are engaged and which will culminate in the Conference in Samoa, the international community undertakes greater political commitment to the UNFCCC processes in addressing the adaptation needs of SIDS, including the provision of new, additional and predictable financial resources.
While the Group acknowledges some progress has been made at the international level to address the challenges faced by SIDS, we have consistently highlighted the fact that much more remains to be done to address their vulnerabilities and effectively support their sustainable development efforts. This preparatory process in which we are engaged, particularly the negotiations to create an outcome document for the Samoa Conference, provides the international community with an excellent opportunity to make good on the commitments made to SIDS over the years, embodied in the Barbados Programme of Action and the Mauritius Strategy for further Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States.
The Group of 77 and China recognizes the efforts already made in the various SIDS regional preparatory meetings and the existence of the outcome document of the SIDS inter-regional preparatory meeting held in Barbados last August, which will serve as a basis for preparing the zero draft negotiating document. We look forward to participating in the discussions throughout this Preparatory Committee meeting, as well as the remaining preparatory meetings.
In closing, the Group calls upon the international community to take advantage of this opportunity to create an effective framework for advancing the SIDS agenda.
I thank you, Co-chairs.