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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September 2019 SAMOA PATHWAY High-Level Midterm Review 2019The UN General Assembly (UNGA) at the 69th session in 2016 decided to convene at UNHQ in September 2019 a one-day high level review of the progress made in addressing the priorities of small island developing States (SIDS) through the implementation of the SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway. The UNGA also decided that the high level review will result in “a concise action oriented and inter-governmentally agreed political declaration”.
January 2015 Targets 13.b and 14.bTarget 13.b aims to "Promote mechanisms for raising capacity for effective climate change-related planning and management in least developed countries and small island developing States, including focusing on women, youth and local and marginalized communities". Target 14.a aims to "Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries". Target 14.b focuses on " increase the economic benefits to Small Island developing States and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism" by 2030.
January 2015 Establishment of SIDS Partnership FrameworkOn 4 December 2015 the 2nd Committee adopted the draft resolution (A/C.2/70/L.47) which decided to establish the Small Island Developing States Partnership (SIDS) Framework, in accordance with paragraph 101 of the SAMOA Pathway. The SIDS Partnership Framework, which is to monitor and ensure the full implementation SIDS partnerships, is based on a set of recommendations which were prepared by DSD in close consultation with member States. The SIDS Partnership Framework consists of: · Steering Committee - open to all States Members of the United Nations or members of the specialized agencies, chaired by one small island developing State and one State that is not a small island developing State, to be appointed by the President of the General Assembly. · Organization on an annual basis a Global Multi-stakeholder SIDS Partnership Dialogue · DESA to finalize a standardized partnership reporting template and process of SIDS partnerships The SIDS Partnership Framework also encourages national and regional partnership dialogues to be organized through existing forums and meetings.
January 2014 Samoa PathwayThe Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States was held from 1 to 4 September 2014 in Apia, Samoa. The overarching theme of the conference was "The sustainable development of small island developing States through genuine and durable partnerships". 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.
January 2012 Future We Want (Para 178-180)Paragraphs 178 -180 are devoted to SIDS. In particular, in paragraph 178, Member States reiterate the condition of SIDS as "a special case for sustainable development in view of their unique and particular vulnerabilities, including 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". Member States also express their concerns on the fact that "small island developing States have made less progress than most other groupings, or even regressed, in economic terms, especially in terms of poverty reduction and debt sustainability". Therefore, in paragraph 179, Member States reaffirm their commitment in providing assistance to "small island developing States in implementing the Barbados Programme of Action and the Mauritius Strategy" as well as the need to "strengthen the United Nations System support to small island developing States". Paragraph 180 calls for "the convening in 2014 of a third international conference on small island developing States, recognizing the importance of coordinated, balanced and integrated actions to address the sustainable development challenges facing small island developing States".
January 2010 MSI+5The GA decided to conduct a 5-year review of the Mauritius Strategy for the Implementation of the Barbados Plan of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island States during its 65th Session and identified as priorities issues the strengthening of data management capacities for SIDS monitoring and evaluation, the enhancement of strategic partnerships, the assessment of the UN System effectiveness in supporting SIDS, the need for resulted-oriented approaches and improvement of measures to effectively address SIDS’s vulnerabilities and the possibility of recognizing SIDS as a special category within the UN System. The Outcome document of the High-level Review Meeting on the implementation of the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States was published under A/RES/65/2.
January 2005 MSIIn the framework of the 10-year review of the Barbados Programme of Action, the General Assembly mandated, by Resolution A/57/262, the organization of the high level Mauritius International Meeting. Held at the beginning of 2005, the meeting produced the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the BPOI. Aware of the challenges still faced by SIDS in the implementation of the programme, especially limited financial resources and the reduction in the official development assistance, the document listed a set of 19 priorities areas. Apart from the 14 BPOA thematic areas, the other 5 were graduation from least developed country status, trade, sustainable production and consumption (as called for by the JPOI), health, knowledge management, and culture.
January 2002 JPOI (Chap. 7)The JPOI identifies SIDS as a special case both for environment and development. "Although they continue to take the lead in the path towards sustainable development in their countries, they are increasingly constrained by the interplay of adverse factors". Therefore, among the identified actions to be adopted, there are: acceleration of national and regional implementation of the JPOI, with adequate financial resources, implementation of further sustainable fisheries management and assistance to SIDS, providing support for the implementation of their specific components, for freshwater programmes, reduction, prevention and control of waste and pollution. Other actions include the extension of assistance to SIDS in support of local communities, in mobilizing adequate resources, in supporting efforts on energy supply and services.
January 1999 BPoA+5The State of Progress and Initiatives for the Future Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of SIDS, adopted by the 22th GA Special Session held in September 1999, aimed at reviewing and appraising the implementation of the BPOA and in this context highlighted six problem areas requiring urgent action. The identified areas were respectively: climate change, natural and environmental disasters and climate variability, freshwater resources, coastal and marine resources, energy and tourism. The Special Session also focused on the strategies to be adopted for the BPOA implementation and in particular on resource mobilization and finance, sustainable development strategies, resource development, capacity building, globalization and trade liberalization, transfer of environmentally- sounded technology, a vulnerability index, information management through strengthening the SIDS Network and international cooperation and partnership.
January 1994 BPOAThe Bardados Programme of Action, adopted during the Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of SIDS held in Barbados in 1994, defines the priorities, the cross-sectoral areas as well as the actions and strategies to be undertaken at national, regional and global level to ensure the sustainable development of SIDS. The 14 priorities, identified by the BPOA, are the following: climate change and sea- level rise, natural and environmental disasters, management of wastes, coastal and marine resources, freshwater resources, energy resources, tourism resources, biodiversity resources, national institutions and administrative capacity, regional institutions and technical cooperation, transport and communication, science and technology and human resource development. As cross-sectoral areas, the Programme recognizes capacity building; institutional development at the national, regional and international levels; cooperation in the transfer of environmentally sound technologies; trade and economic diversification and finance.
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.
Multidimensional Vulnerability Index for SIDS
The need and call for the development of indices that adequately capture the special vulnerabilities of small island developing States (SIDS) has been around since the adoption of the Agenda 21. The call was repeated in the Barbados Programme of Action (BPoA), mentioned in the Mauritius Strategy and re-echoed in the S.A.M.O.A Pathway.
For the last 3 decades, a plethora of UN General Assembly resolutions also carried similar repeated calls, the latest of which was in December 2020, Paragraph 8(a) of Resolution A/RES/75/215, where the Assembly calls on the UN Secretary-General:
“To provide recommendations as part of his report on the present resolution to the General Assembly at its 76th session on the potential development and coordination of work within the UN system on a multidimensional vulnerability index for small island developing States, including on its potential finalization and use;”
This MVI page carries and reflect the discussions and work towards the possible development and use of the Multidimensional Vulnerability Index (MVI).
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.
SG Report Submissions
Paragraph 20 of resolution 75/215 requested the Secretary-General to submit to the General Assembly, at its seventy-sixth session, a report on the follow-up to and implementation of the Samoa Pathway, including on progress made and continuing challenges faced, and on the efforts to assist small island developing States to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Submissions received are as per below: (submission listed in alphabetical order).
SAMOA Pathway Indicators
Pursuant to Paragraph 20 of resolution 74/217, the Secretariat conducted a study to identify the Samoa Pathway priority areas not covered by the Sustainable Development Goals or the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–20, and if any, to develop those Targets and Indicators.
- Development of a Monitoring Framework for the SAMOA Pathway -https://sdgs.un.org/documents/final-report-development-framework-monitoring-samoa-pathway-43955
- Anex I - https://sdgs.un.org/documents/annex-i-priority-actions-dimensions-34263
- Anex II - https://sdgs.un.org/documents/annex-ii-priority-actions-post-2015-policies-allignment-34264
Disaster Risks Funding Landscape
UNGA Resolution A/RES/74/217 requested the Secretary-General to conduct, in consultation with Member States, all relevant United Nations system entities and other relevant stakeholders, an examination of the disaster-related funding and support environment, with a view to the possible development of a targeted voluntary disaster fund, mechanism or financial instrument, coordinated with and complementary to existing mechanisms, to assist small island developing States in managing disaster risk and building back better after disasters, and to report thereon at the seventy-sixth session of the General Assembly.
- Disaster Risk Financing for SIDS Draft Final Report - https://sdgs.un.org/sites/default/files/2022-01/Disaster_Risk_Financing_forSIDS_DraftFinalReport.pdf