United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


Statement delivered by Nauru First Preparatory Committee Meeting for the Third International Conference on SIDS Monday 24th February, 2014 United Nations Headquarter, New York
Distinguished Co-chairs,
I wish to congratulate you and the other members of the Bureau on your election and for your excellent work in convening this first Preparatory Committee Meeting for the Third International Conference on SIDS. Let me assure you of my delegation’s support and cooperation throughout this process.
Nauru aligns itself with the statements made by the G77 & China and AOSIS.
Thank you for allowing me to speak in my national capacity to highlight our national sustainable development priorities as a small island developing State.
As you are aware, this Year is a celebration of SIDS and we should take a moment to celebrate and share our uniqueness, diversity and commonalities with our partners.
Distinguished Co-chairs,
Nauru takes pride in its unique identity and the common bonds its shares with other SIDS. Our national report highlighted that Nauru exemplify the ‘special case’ described in the Earth Summit. We are small in size – a population of 10,000 people, extremely isolated, with a narrow resource base, isolated from markets with diseconomies of scale and a number of capacity limitations.
Moreover Nauru’s aspirations to achieving its sustainable development are further constrained by our limited resource base, dependency on imported food and energy, as well as high our dependence on foreign aid. We are extremely vulnerable to external forces, such as global food and energy prices, financial and economic crises.
Nauru’s marine and coastal fisheries continue to be a source of food security for most people, particularly for low-income households. Due to the dependence on coastal and marine resources for livelihood and food security, Nauru is highly vulnerable to climate change, sea level rise, ocean acidification and natural disasters.
Nauru has limited resources with the exception of phosphate, and the mining of phosphate. The mining has destroyed and degraded about 90% of our island surface area. The degradation of our island surface has led to the deprivation of fresh water, among others. The ‘special case’ of Nauru is amplified by the limited availability of fresh water resources and the destructive environmental impacts of the mining.
Nauru’s priorities to achieving its sustainable development includes the need to address the challenges of freshwater resources, integrated waste management, ensure quality education, transform our energy source from dependence on fossil fuels to one that is
more sustainable including renewable sources. We also need to address the environmental degradation and place significant importance of our communities to rehabilitating our mined land.
One of the primary challenges of time is climate change. The adverse intensified effects of climate change will multiply and further distress the achievement of our sustainable development.
There is a need to build an inclusive and resilient society. For that to happen we need to ensure that our partners and our partnerships are those ones that deliver results on the ground and are effective. This will continue to remain a key priority for our government.
Taking stock of what we agreed 20 years ago and looking beyond 2015 for sustainable futures is what we need to set our work to do today. SIDS issues and priorities are to be given prominence in the zero draft. As a SID we need to take ownership of this process and our sustainable development and seek full cooperation and support of the international community.
I thank you.