Preparatory meeting for the ten-year review of the programme of action for the sustainable development of Sids

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The Preparatory Meeting for the International Meeting on the Ten-year Review of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States took place from 14-16 April 2004, at UN headquarters in New York. The meeting commenced with the official opening of the 12th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, which was tasked to undertake the three-day preparatory meeting for the International Meeting, scheduled to take place in Mauritius later this year.

During the three days, delegates conducted a first reading of the Strategy Document on the Further Implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action, adopted at the inter-regional preparatory meeting held in the Bahamas in January 2004, and endorsed and forwarded by the G-77/China to the Commission in preparation for the International Meeting. At the conclusion of the preparatory meeting, delegates decided to use a compilation text as the basis for further intersessional informal informals. Delegates also adopted draft decisions on the provisional agenda of and the accreditation of NGOs to the International Meeting. CSD-12 also considered preparations for the International Meeting at its high-level segment on Friday, 30 April.

Several trends emerged from the preparatory meeting: there was a positive and constructive dialogue between SIDS and their development partners; there is still a monumental amount of negotiating left to transform the compilation text into an action-oriented Strategy; and resolving issues regarding trade, finance and providing directives to the international community and organizations will require creative drafting solutions that meet the needs of both SIDS and their development partners. Despite these challenges, the preparatory meeting has laid a solid foundation for fulfilling the mandate set out by the General Assembly to renew international political support for SIDS.

Climate change and sea-level rise: Australia, the EU and the US recognized that the issue of SIDS’ vulnerability and adaptation to climate change is of particular importance, and that the text should emphasize moving toward a common goal to reduce greenhouse gases. The G-77/China indicated that climate change is a global problem that requires global action, and that developed countries need to take responsibility for contributing to sea-level rise. Mexico noted that it attaches great importance to the emphasis on the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
(UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol in the text. The US and the EU called for merging the paragraph concerning Global Environment Facility (GEF) support for adaptation strategies with a paragraph on the role of regional development banks and IFIs in supporting regional and national climate change coordination mechanisms. The Russian Federation said the paragraph should draw less attention to the GEF’s procedures, and instead focus on promoting technical capacity for SIDS. The G-77/China said the paragraphs should remain separate, and noted that adaptation measures under the GEF are of utmost importance to SIDS, and called for the simplification of the GEF’s rules in order to expedite the disbursement of resources.

Priorities:

Natural and environmental disasters: The G-77/China, opposed by the


EU, Canada and the US, underscored the importance of maintaining text calling for the establishment an international fund for disaster reduction, and references to insurance and re-insurance arrangements for SIDS. The US, Canada and the EU proposed amendments highlighting: the vulnerability of SIDS to natural and environmental disasters; that the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) should strengthen its capacity in SIDS regions; and that the international community should use opportunities, including during the 10-year review of the Yokohama Strategy on Natural Disaster Reduction in 2005, to consider SIDS-specific issues.

Other priorities:

Waste management Coastal and marine resources Freshwater resources Land resources Energy resources Biodiversity resources Tourism resources Transport and communication

IISD – International Institute for Sustainable Development.