United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS)

Statement

on behalf of Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS) and Timor-Leste

to the
Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States
First Preparatory Committee Session

by

H.E. Mr Robert G. Aisi
Permanent Representative/Ambassador
of Papua New Guinea to the United Nations
and Chair of Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS)

24 February 2014, New York

Co-Chairs, Excellencies and Distinguished Delegates,

I am honoured to speak on behalf of the 12 Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS), represented at the United Nations; namely, the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and my own country, Papua New Guinea. We are pleased to be joined by our neighbour Timor-Leste in this remark.

With the exception of those PSIDS members who are not G-77 members, we align ourselves with the remarks make by the distinguished Chair of G77 and China, the Plurinational State of Bolivia. We also associate with the Statement delivered by AOSIS Chair and our fellow Pacific Island member, Nauru.

Co-Chairs,

Our felicitations go to Singapore and New Zealand for their respective appointment as Co-Chairs of the inter-governmental process for the September 2014 Samoa Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States.

Likewise, we applaud the respective Bureau members, for stepping up to the plate and offering their services for our shared mutual interests and concerns. We wish you well in your important mandate and assure you of our commitment to remain constructively engaged with you and all other stakeholders.

Co-Chairs,

Today, the international community and, particularly the Small Island Developing States, are at an important crossroad. Our individual and collective destiny, as sovereign States; whether small or large, weak or powerful, poor or rich; are in our hands.

As we embark on reshaping the "future we want", under the auspices of the SIDS-specific internationally agreed development goals such as the BPoA, MSI, JPoI as well as the MDGs and the evolving Post-2015 Development Agenda process, let us be reminded to put to good use the practical lessons we have learnt over the past two decades; avoid the pitfalls that have blighted the attainment of our full development potential; and embrace new innovative and workable measures for a transformative development agenda for our people's and communities shared wellbeing.

Co-Chairs,

The past year's SIDS-owned and led national, regional and inter-regional preparatory work that reviewed our past development implementation scorecard and identified the gaps and new and emerging challenges as well as setting our sustainable development priorities, which are clearly articulated in the Barbados Inter-Regional meeting outcome document, must be respected and should serve as the basis for the way forward for the international community to join hands with SIDS in addressing them.

For a bold, ambitious yet practical and implementable outcomes to be reached in Samoa for the international community and specifically for SIDS sustainable future necessitates that the Preparatory Committee process must ensure that the substantive development priorities and actionable measures defined and articulated in the Barbados Inter-Regional outcome document must take centre stage and not become subservient to the parochial interests of other stakeholders.

We recognize that there are still challenges in translating SIDS key sustainable development priorities into life transforming realities for our people's and communities. Despite the constraints we are faced with, our commitment to overcome these development challenges remains steadfast and undiminished.


It is in this spirit that the calls we continue to make for a paradigm shift from the rhetoric of acknowledging SIDS well documented vulnerabilities and marginalization need to be substituted with enhanced pragmatic political commitment and genuine and durable partnership from our development partners, where mutual accountability of all stakeholders also forms an inherent pivotal element.

We therefore look forward to concretizing the central theme of "sustainable development of SIDS through genuine and durable partnership" at the Samoa SIDS Third International Conference, but starting with the Preparatory Committee process that must ensure this fundamental cornerstone must be clearly shaped and anchored. We reaffirm our commitment to this process.

Co-Chairs,

In conclusion, as we inaugurate today the historic and unprecedented launching of the 2014 SIDS International Year, we need not only reflect on the achievements, challenges and opportunities in Small Island Developing States but more importantly sensitize the international community to the realities of life of the oceans and sea-locked countries and peoples.

Thank you.