United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development




Ms. Peseta Noumea Simi
Assistant Chief Executive Officer
Ministry of Finance
Independent State of Samoa

to the

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

24 February 2014, Trusteeship Council Chamber, New York


We congratulate you both on your election. We are confident that with your able leadership and with the full support of the Preparatory Committee, this process will conclude successfully with an ambitious and implementable outcome which the international community can proudly adopt in Samoa.

Samoa would also like to associate itself with the statements made on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, the Alliance of Small Island States and the Pacific SIDS.


Today we start a crucial global process that will ultimately determine how we will advance the SIDS agenda. But for SIDS, including my own country, our preparations began last year, initially with our national consultations, followed by regional and interregional meetings that we were part of, resulting in the outcome of the Barbados Interregional meeting which was submitted through the Group of G77 and China and now before the international community. This document represents the product of SIDS consultations and preparations and we support calls for this to be the basis for the SIDS Zero Draft negotiating document.


At every available opportunity, we continue to point out that the conference in September is an International Conference on SIDS, not a SIDS only conference about them. The preparatory process is therefore a key opportunity for SIDS to work closely with their partners to see how to advance and respond effectively to SIDS agenda.

SIDS have diverse needs and are at different stages of development - hence the necessity for tailor-made responses to address these varying situations. Diversity aside, SIDS need a joint response to their challenges to support them achieve sustainable development. After all, no country on its own, SIDS included, can solve their problems unaided. In our global world where SIDS are an integral part of it, we must work collaboratively with all.

The conference provides a window for SIDS priorities and positions to be consolidated ahead of the Secretary-General‘s Leaders summit on climate change this year and the post-2015 UN development agenda


Twenty two years ago, the Earth Summit in Rio recognized SIDS as a “special case” due to their unique characteristics, challenges and vulnerabilities and the impact these have on their members ability to achieve sustainable development. Two decades later in 2012, the international community re-affirmed yet again in the Rio Summit that SIDS vulnerabilities and unique circumstances continue to exist. How these can be addressed effectively under current circumstances is the overriding reason for the international conference on SIDS in 2014. Even with the best of will, many SIDS will find it difficult to achieve sustainable development on their own - hence cooperation with others must play a major part if they are to make much headway. Therein lies the rationale for the Conference theme which is “the sustainable development of SIDS through genuine and durable partnerships”.
The theme paves the way and incentivizes the international community to work with SIDS to use the Conference in Samoa as a forum to build on existing successful partnerships and launch innovative and concrete new ones.

What kind of partnerships therefore to launch in Samoa?

Samoa would like to see partnerships that are;

One - Specific to SIDS. They must address key priorities identified by SIDS for their sustainable development and should contribute significantly to the implementation of the BPOA, MSI and outcome of the upcoming Samoa Conference.

Two - they must be Achievable. It is important for all partnerships to have clear targets, inputs and outputs with a timeline specifying when the identified outcomes will be achieved. Every opportunity be explored of avenue by which incentivized performance can bring about desired outcomes.

Three – Ownership by and inclusive, meaningful engagement of all stakeholders, including private sector, civil society and parliamentarians. Involvement of stakeholders in all phases, from development to the implementation is vital. When partners feel that they are on an equal footing, it creates confidence and trust, important ingredients to ensuring the partnerships succeed;

Four - Accountability of the partnerships launched. Stakeholders of each partnership should agree on specific arrangements to monitor and review the success of the partnership and to share the results publicly especially in the relevant follow up process of the Samoa Conference. This ensures that only genuine and serious partnerships are launched. Equally important, what will be the future of these partnerships beyond the Samoa conference?

Five – SIDS specific partnerships that would accelerate the achievement of the MDGs and prepare thm for the Post 2015 agenda.

Six – Partnerships that are contextualized to suit SIDS choice of development model if not sustainable development.

Seven – Partnerships that are premised on the principles of effective development cooperation.

Eight – For the Pacific Region, all efforts be made to finalise its regional framework of which the partnerships would be premised

These are some ideas of the kind of partnerships we would like to see showcased in Samoa. We look forward to continued discussion to help shape this important agenda of the Conference.


In the context of SIDS, Samoa believes that no partnership is too small or unimportant. All partnerships matter irrespective of the economic value or the number of beneficiaries whether by regions, countries or communities. The Conference provides a once-in-a-decade opportunity for SIDS and their partners to launch partnerships that would allow transformational change to the lives of SIDS peoples.

We would like to suggest some of the thematic areas as follows along the lines of the Conference theme:
• Management of Oceans
• Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction
• Sustainable energy
• Private Sector led investment
• NCDs

This morning we launched the International Year of SIDS. Samoa is positive that the “Year of SIDS” and the International conference on SIDS both provide unprecedented platforms for the UN community to address SIDS resilience, and an opportunity for creativity, innovation and firm commitments to support SIDS legitimate aspirations.


As we forge ahead, let’s not lose sight of the intended beneficiaries of the conference and the preparatory meetings we are engaged in. While we all aspire to have resilient nations and peoples, some of us need a lot more help from all of you than others, in order to achieve sustainable development.

Thank you.