United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Group of 77 & China

New York, 23 February 2009
Distinguished Chair,
1. I have the honor to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China. The
Commission on Sustainable Development is mandated to serve as the primary
intergovernmental body responsible for the implementation of and follow-up to
the commitments related to Small Island Developing States (SIDS) including
those contained in the Barbados Programme of Action and the Mauritius Strategy
for Implementation. The G77 and China therefore welcomes the convening of this
session during the Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting of the Commission on
Sustainable Development (CSD), as a valuable opportunity to address challenges
in the implementation of the BPOA and MSI.
2. The Group of 77 and China remains concerned over the state of implementation
of the BPOA and the MSI. While SIDS themselves, have made some progress at
the national and regional levels in building the institutional capacity for
sustainable development, in formulating strategies and action plans, and in
carrying out policy reforms, they continue to encounter many serious problems
and constraints which have slowed down or impeded the process of
3. The lack of financial, technical and human resources, relative to the enormity of
the tasks to be accomplished represents a common challenge faced by SIDS
across all regions. Many critically needed infrastructural projects that require
large investments, such as air and maritime transport, adaptation to climate
change and sea level rise, waste management, energy, tourism infrastructure, road
and telecommunication infrastructure lie beyond the resources of Small Island
Developing States. The global trend of declining ODA levels has been evident in
SIDS, and in many SIDS the availability of domestic financial resources has
actually been diminished by adverse economic developments and natural
disasters. Furthermore SIDS as a group, due to their small size and limited
productive capacities, have not benefited from the expansion of global trade and
4. The impact of the global financial and economic crisis has been particularly
devastating in SIDS given their openness to the global financial and economic
system and high dependence on a narrow range of income generating sectors such
as tourism. The G77 and China calls on the international community to ensure
that the concerns of all developing countries including the SIDS, are taken into
account in ongoing efforts to respond to the global financial crisis.
5. At the International Meeting in Mauritius in 2005 the donor community
committed themselves to increase their level of support to the sustainable
development efforts of SIDS. However these promises and commitments remain
largely unfulfilled. The Group of 77 and China wishes to urge all development
partners to honour, in an urgent manner, all commitments related to SIDS and in
particular those related to the provision of financial resources, technology transfer
and capacity building.
6. The thematic cluster of issues of agriculture, rural development, land, drought and
desertification are of critical importance in SIDS. In SIDS pressures on land
resources have been exacerbated by competing uses, increased demands, land
degradation and climate change. The G77 and China underscores the need for the
international community to provide assistance to SIDS to enable them to build
institutional capacity including appropriate legislative and regulatory frameworks
for coordinated management and monitoring of their land resources. This
assistance should include access to information on land resources and appropriate
tools, and the dissemination of best practices and technologies for implementing
sustainable land-use policies.
7. In the agricultural sector SIDS face unique challenges in their effort to diversify
their economies and markets in order to increase their degree of food security,
self-reliance and promote sustainable livelihoods. Over the past 20 years the value
of SIDS commodity exports has declined considerably as a result of the erosion of
preferences, increased competition and falling commodity prices. The impact has
been particularly severe in poor and rural communities in SIDS. The Group of 77
and China believes that efforts to assist SIDS in this area should align themselves
with national and regional priorities and programmes to promote agricultural
diversification, improve production and productivity, develop trade and marketing
policy frameworks and improve food quality controls.
8. The Mauritius Strategy underscores the serious challenges associated with land
degradation faced by most SIDS. The Group of 77 calls on the international
financial institutions, including the Global Environment Facility (GEF), to
facilitate SIDS? access to financial and technical resources to develop and
implement projects to address land degradation.
9. Additionally, capacity development and science and technology are crucial crosscutting
issues for advancing implementation of the BPoA and MSI in areas
relating to the CSD-17 cluster of issues. Increased focus on capacity development
and science and technology projects and programmes is needed help SIDS
overcome some of their natural resource constraints such as human resource
limitations and limited landmass.

Distinguished Chair,
10. The Group of 77 and China welcomes the decision taken by the General
Assembly in resolution 63/213 to convene a two-day high-level review of
progress made in the implementation of the MSI in September 2010. The Group
believes that the Commission, given its mandated role as the primary
intergovernmental body responsible for the implementation of and follow-up to
the commitments related to Small Island Developing States (SIDS), has a valuable
role to play in this process. The Group hopes that this session of the Commission
will give this matter the urgent attention and consideration it deserves.
I thank you.