United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


Mr. Chairman,
We associate ourselves with the statement made by the distinguished
representative of Yemen on behalf of the Group of 77.
It is heartening that the CSD has established a practice of holding a
SIDS Day during each review session. The fact that today?s meeting
will lay the groundwork for the September 2010 review of the
Mauritius Strategy of Implementation makes our discussion even
more relevant.
It is satisfying that our meeting has been preceded by a
comprehensive preparatory process, including regional meetings in
Vanuatu, Maldives and Grenada, as well as an inter-regional meeting.
Full participation of SIDS in the review process is key to the event.
Mr. Chairman,
We thank the Secretary-General for the detailed reports on the subject,
which provide updated information for a meaningful review of the
progress made. We note that the SIDS have progressed well on MDGs
related to socio-economic parameters including health. However,
there is reason for concern as economic growth, which is vital for
poverty eradication and for achieving MDGs on a sustained basis, has
not kept up with the pace required. The debt situation of some SIDS
has also deteriorated sharply.
The Secretary-General?s reports have correctly highlighted the
intrinsic vulnerabilities of SIDS and the income distribution
inequalities, not captured in the statistics on per capita GDP and
Human Development Indices. At the same time, it is apparent that the
global financial crisis, the other external shocks and the adverse
impacts of climate change have had a significant adverse impact on
the sustainable development efforts of SIDS.
We concur with the assessment in the Secretary-General?s reports that
the Economic Vulnerability Index of SIDS demonstrates that incomes
do not automatically translate into greater coping ability. There is
need for more objective criteria to evaluate vulnerability. We look
forward to the results of the vulnerability-resilience methodology
being developed by DESA.
The thematic issues of this CSD meet ? transport, mining and
sustainable consumption & production - are particularly relevant for
the developmental effort of the SIDS given their narrow resource base
and remoteness. The high cost of transport of goods to SIDS, for
example, is clearly a result of small volumes and long distances.
Mr. Chairman,
India recognizes fully the special challenges faced by SIDS in the
pursuit of sustainable development. We know the issues on account of
the large number of small islands in India and low lying coastal areas.
Also, because we have, in recent times, revisited our two-decade-old
coastal management system in light of the challenges from climate
change induced sea level rise and the growing pressures on both
biodiversity and on the unique benefits that coastal ecosystems confer.
We in India have looked at new approaches to secure the livelihoods
and habitats of the coastal people through space-technology aids,
tighter standards of environmental protection, cumulative assessments
at higher levels of sophistication and resolution, and the strengthening
of our knowledge base on impacts, vulnerabilities and adaptation.
As part of South-South cooperation, India has been privileged to share
its development experience and technological resource with SIDS in
the belief that human and institutional capacity-building is key to
sustainable development. We have also assisted in implementing
projects in the areas identified by SIDS. Our cooperation has been in
diverse sectors, including adaptation to the adverse effects of climate
change, information and communication, waste management, remote
sensing, hydrographic survey, telemedicine, public transport,
education, irrigation systems, food and agriculture, and fisheries.
Overall, India has committed project aid of US $ 70 million to SIDS,
in addition to US $ 350 million in concessional loans and credit lines.
Such efforts by sister developing countries cannot substitute the
commitments made by our developed country partners that remain
unfulfilled for providing financial and technological resources,
building capacities and providing market access. This should be
remedied, and we hope that the meeting today will help provide the
necessary momentum in this regard.
Let me say, as I conclude, that I have felt very privileged to speak at
this important meeting.
Thank you.