United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

United States of America

Mr. Chairman and distinguished delegates,
The United States appreciates the opportunity to focus on the unique challenges facing Small
Island Developing States (SIDS).
Today?s meeting is meaningful in reminding us of the progress we have made on SIDS
development since Agenda 21. The Barbados and Mauritius meetings focused global attention
on applying Agenda 21 to the unique situation of SIDS and - more importantly - identified the
actions that would be required at all levels to achieve success. The SIDS process has been the
starting point for major sustainable development initiatives, including the protection of coral
reefs, the Micronesia Challenge, and the Coral Triangle Initiative.
To achieve sustainable development, we must enhance resiliency in natural and manmade
systems. The more resiliencies we can build today, the more choices we provide for our children
tomorrow. This is true for SIDS and for all other nations as well.
We have an opportunity this week to define the next stage of our deliberations. Our efforts
towards the High-Level Review in September should focus on tangible actions. Our goal is not
to revisit the texts of the Barbados Program of Action or the Mauritius Strategy, but instead to
focus on concrete steps that will further promote sustainable development and address
vulnerabilities. We believe that for the High-Level Review meeting to achieve a meaningful
outcome, we must focus on the development and adoption of a short, practical and balanced
We commend the effort that went into the regional meetings, and we particularly appreciate the
opportunity to have engaged in Saturday?s inter-regional meeting.
Clearly, our ongoing work must address climate change. This is one of the greatest challenges
facing human-kind, with possibly devastating impacts on SIDS. The very existence of some
low-lying SIDS is at stake. Under President Obama, the United States has done more to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions than ever before, both by supporting domestic policies and by
vigorously engaging in international negotiations. We strongly support the Copenhagen Accord,
which includes both a commitment for fast-start financing and a goal of jointly mobilizing $100
billion a year by 2020 through a range of public and private resources. The Accord calls for this
funding to be prioritized for the most vulnerable countries, including SIDS.
As part of our Copenhagen Accord fast-start financing commitments, the United States is
expanding adaptation assistance to enable prompt action to help vulnerable countries adapt and
build resilience to climate change impacts. We will commit $244 million in Fiscal Year 2010
and have requested $334 million in Fiscal Year 2011 to support adaptation through these
SIDS will be a focus of these activities. We are currently developing bilateral and regional
approaches to address the adaptation needs of SIDS, and we will continue to work closely with
SIDS stakeholders on these efforts.
Sustainable development for SIDS is broader than just climate change, and in that context we
must address the full range of issues: water, health, food security, biodiversity, invasive species,
economic development, waste management, chemicals management, and trade. Through the
Barbados and Mauritius meetings, and here at CSD, SIDS have clearly articulated how these
topics are unique when viewed through the development lens of SIDS. We are very interested
to hear more about specific opportunities in the field of renewable energy, a particular focus for
the United States. Given the costs associated with traditional sources of energy in SIDS, we
have the chance to demonstrate technology applications that are both cost-competitive and
environmentally sound. I believe the same will be true in the area of water, and the topics of
this CSD as well.
The United States looks forward to the exchange of ideas as we move toward September, and
Thank you.