Report of the third International Conference on Small Island Developing States, 1-4 Sep 2014, Apia, Samoa

Dear all,     The Vanuatu Association of Non Governmental Organisations welcomes the outcomes of the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) held in Apia, Samoa on 1-4 September 2014, and the adoption of the ‘Samoa Pathway’ - Small Island Developing States Accelerated Modalities of Action, for the implementation of sustainable development and poverty eradication.   SIDS include low-lying coastal countries (such as Vanuatu) that share similar sustainable development challenges, including small population, limited resources, remoteness, susceptibility to natural disasters, vulnerability to external shocks, and excessive dependence on international trade. Their growth and development is often further stymied by high transportation and communication costs, disproportionately expensive public administration and infrastructure due to their small size, and little to no opportunity to create economies of scale. Guided by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and outcomes from the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in 2012, the SAMOA Pathway comprises three interrelated dimensions of sustainable development -- environmental, economic and social -- of which the 5 strategic objectives of VANGO underpins in one way or another.  Levels of economic growth and job creation within SIDS have been adversely affected by the ongoing impacts of the global economic crisis, declining foreign direct investment, trade imbalances, increased indebtedness, the lack of adequate transportation, energy and information and communication technology infrastructure networks, limited human and institutional capacity and the inability to integrate effectively into the global economy. Growth prospects of SIDS have also been hindered by its particular vulnerability to climate change, natural disasters, rising sea-levels and the high cost of imported energy. In order to achieve sustained, inclusive and equitable growth with full and productive employment, social protection and the creation of decent work for all, SIDS, in partnership with the international community, will seek to increase investment in education, entrepreneurial and vocational skills training.  The green economy will be another important tool for achieving sustainable development, incorporating the promotion of green economic policies, and diversifying sustainable tourism in the areas of ecotourism, agritourism and cultural tourism. The private sector is expected to play an increasingly important role in achieving economic development, with a higher level of emphasis placed on initiatives such as public-private partnerships and corporate social responsibility. It is crucial for SIDS to improve and maintain infrastructure, including ports, roads, transportation, electricity and power generation and information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure. Improved infrastructure will be a key element in promoting and enhancing the use of ICTs for education, creation of employment, in particular youth employment, and economic sustainability.   The Report of the third International Conference on Small Island Developing States is attached as a PDF file. Alternately it is available in all UN official languages online here.

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