United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

United States of America

United States Department of State
Washington, D.C.
UN Commission on Sustainable Development ? 19
Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting
Thematic Discussion: SIDS
Intervention for February 28, Afternoon Session
Intervention Delivered by: Keri J. Holland, Senior Advisor, Office of Environmental Policy, Bureau
of Oceans, Environment and Science, U.S. Department of State
Thank you, Chair. I would also like to thank the panelists for their interesting presentations.
This year has seen elevated attention to the issue of SIDS and Sustainable Development. We are
pleased to have participated in the Special Session last September.
The CSD?s annual focus on SIDS provides us a unique lens through which to address the challenges of
that year?s theme and to explore opportunities for creative approaches and partnerships. It is especially
helpful to hear about approaches that work, and solutions that satisfy the special challenges facing
island governments and communities with regard to these issues. It is also helpful to hear where there
are opportunities for further efforts or gaps that need to be filled.
The topics for today?s panelists -- Sustainable Consumption and Production, Waste Management and
Chemicals, and Transport -- presage the discussions later in the week, but with insight into how these
issues effect SIDS, and how they have been addressed by SIDS. Over the course of this week, you will
hear from my delegation on each of these topics, and I do not intend to repeat their messages here
As I said this morning, it is important that the CSD focus on implementation and the practical realworld
issues that make a difference in getting results on the ground. I would like to share an example
of the value of sharing experiences and expertise:
The United States, as a member of SPREP, has benefitted from our interactions with Dr. Griffin in the
context of coordinating regional efforts on waste management. The U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency has responsibility for regulating the management of land-based and ocean-based sources of
pollution, waste, and chemicals in the United States, including the State of Hawaii, and throughout the
U.S. islands in the Pacific and the Caribbean. The waste management regime that is in place across the
United States is also applied to the U.S. islands. Through SPREP facilitated collaboration, we have
learned of new and creative approaches to waste management and programs to prevent, reduce and
control land-based and ocean-based sources of pollution that were being implemented in the region.
U.S. EPA has been able to consider some of these approaches explore developing cross-Pacific Ocean
strategies, in consultation with stakeholders, to prevent, reduce, and control pollution impacts.
There are other similar examples across this year?s themes. This kind of collaboration and exchange of
expertise is making a difference on-the-ground and in people?s lives. We appreciate the opportunity to
share information, support creative partnerships, engage public and private stakeholders, and leverage
other international forums and existing work.
The Barbados and Mauritius strategies have at their heart the recognition that responsibility for
sustainable development begins at home, and requires collaboration and engagement, exchange of
information and expertise, and support from the broader community. Today?s session confirms the
validity of this approach. In this, SIDS are a commendable role model.
Thank you.