The Barbados Programme of Action (BPOA) adopted in 1994, further complemented by The Mauritius Strategy of Implementation (MSI) of 2005 and MSI+5 Outcome document, recognized that although they are afflicted by economic difficulties and confronted by development imperatives similar to those of developing countries generally, small island developing States (SIDS) have their own peculiar vulnerabilities and characteristics. SIDS’ unique and particular vulnerabilities are highlighted in “The Future We Want”, adopted at The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (also known as Rio+20) that took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in June 2012 - their small size, remoteness, narrow resource and export base, and exposure to global environmental challenges and external economic shocks, including to a large range of impacts from climate change and potentially more frequent and intense natural disasters (para 178). SIDS continue to address those structural and external challenges to achieve their sustainable development.
The Third International Conference on SIDS was held in Apia, Samoa, in September 2014, with the overarching theme of “The sustainable development of small island developing States through genuine and durable partnerships”. Nearly 300 partnerships were announced at the conference and monitored through the Partnership Platform. The SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway (Samoa Pathway) adopted at the Conference addresses priority areas for SIDS and calls for urgent actions and support for SIDS’ efforts to achieve their sustainable development.
UN-DESA , leads inter-agency coordination within the United Nations system through the Executive Committee of Economic and Social Affairs Plus (ECESA Plus), and among UN and non-UN entities active on SIDS issues through the Inter-Agency Consultative Group (IACG) on SIDS, to monitor the implementation of the BPOA, MSI, and the Samoa Pathway, as well as the progress being made in the SIDS partnerships. Moreover, UN-DESA, and particularly the SIDS Unit provides technical assistance and advice, supports intergovernmental processes and reports on progress made in the implementation of the BPOA, MSI, and the Samoa Pathway.
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UN MEMBERS (38)
Atlantic, Indian Ocean and South China Sea (AIS) (9)
NON-UN MEMBERS/ASSOCIATE MEMBERS OF REGIONAL COMMISSIONS (20)
British Virgin Islands
Commonwealth of Northern Marianas
Turks and Caicos Islands
U.S. Virgin Islands
A key request from the outcome of the 2014 Third International Conference on SIDS - the SAMOA Pathway - was the establishment of the SIDS Partnership Framework, designed to monitor progress of existing, and stimulate the launch of new, genuine and durable partnerships for the sustainable development of SIDS.
Guided by a member States driven Steering Committee, the framework has since its launch ensured that SIDS partnerships have remained high on the UN’s agenda, providing a multi-stakeholder platform for reviewing progress made by SIDS partnerships, and for sharing of good practices and lessons learned among all stakeholders, on an annual basis.
In September 2019, member states will (A/RES/72/217) convene a one-day high-level meeting to review progress made in addressing the priorities of SIDS through the implementation of the SAMOA Pathway.
A robust member States driven preparatory process is currently underway, with three regional meetings of SIDS in their respective regions, as well as one interregional meeting for all SIDS.
With generous funding support provided by the government of Italy, and under the overall guidance of the Steering Committee on SIDS Partnerships, UN DESA is undertaking a capacity development project Strengthening the capacity of SIDS in developing, monitoring and reviewing durable Partnerships.
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Inter-Agency Consultative Group (IACG) on SIDS
The IACG is an informal consultative mechanism at the working level in which the SIDS focal points of relevant UN agencies as well as international and regional intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) come together to exchange views and information. The SIDS-focused and hybrid membership composed of the UN and non-UN agencies make it an effective tool for maintaining the momentum created at the Third International Conference on SIDS in Samoa, 2014, and for keeping SIDS issues high on the international agenda. This group also explores ways and means to enhance coordinated and collaborative actions in support of SIDS in implementing the SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway (Samoa Pathway) based on their respective areas of expertise.