United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

New Zealand

Thank you for convening this stocktake meeting, which is indicative of your commitment – and our commitment – to following up on the Samoa Conference.

New Zealand congratulates Samoa and DESA on hosting, organising and delivering the 3rd International Conference on Small Island Developing States.

I also acknowledge the national, regional and inter-regional process, led by SIDS; and the role of AOSIS, chaired by Nauru. And I pay tribute to Ambassador Tan of Singapore and her DPR – and my DPR – for the role they played.

Samoa’s hosting of the Conference was truly remarkable.

This was the largest conference ever held in the Pacific – bigger than anything we’ve hosted in New Zealand.

It went off without a hitch; was remarkably well organised as you put it Mr Chair; and, in the process, it galvanised international political commitment to the sustainable development of SIDS.

It highlighted many challenges faced by SIDS including: climate change; healthy oceans; high debt levels; graduation from LDC status; dependence on fossil fuels; and the sustainable development of fisheries.

Going forward, New Zealand will explore how we can partner with SIDS to advance their sustainable development priorities.

Renewable energy is one area where New Zealand works closely with the Pacific and with the wider SIDS.

Pacific nations spend up to 30 percent of their total import bills on diesel for power generation; so, without renewable energy, we won’t achieve sustainable economic development in our region.

Since last year‘s successful Pacific Energy Summit in Auckland, we‘ve committed $100 million to this process -

• Seventeen renewable energy projects are planned or under way in the Cook Islands, Tuvalu, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu.

• Tokelau has moved from 100 percent diesel to 93 percent renewables.

• During the SIDS Conference, a 2.2 megawatt solar array was opened in Samoa; last year, 1.2 megawatt solar plant in Tonga was commissioned; and there will shortly be a 1 megawatt array in Rarotonga.

• Eight more projects will start shortly in Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Tonga and Vanuatu; and we‘re pursuing geothermal initiatives in Comoros and the Caribbean.

This SIDS Conference wasn’t a one-off event.

Ensuring a sustained commitment to SIDS, and delivering concrete action, will be the true test of its success; and the planned review of UN support for SIDS will also be critical.

It also reminds us of the special needs of SIDS, which must be included in the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

And, Mr President, it lays out a programme of action for us all, as we implement the genuine and durable partnerships formed in support of SIDS at the Samoa Conference; and so New Zealand thanks, applauds and compliments everyone who has made that possible.
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