United Nations

A/CONF.167/L.4


General Assembly

Distr. LIMITED  

28 April 1994

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH


Agenda item 9 (a) 
 
CONSIDERATION OF PLANS AND PROGRAMMES TO SUPPORT THE SUSTAINABLE 
DEVELOPMENT OF SMALL ISLAND DEVELOPING STATES AND THE UTILIZATION 
OF THEIR MARINE AND COASTAL RESOURCES, WHICH INCLUDES MEETING 
ESSENTIAL HUMAN NEEDS, MAINTAINING BIODIVERSITY, AND IMPROVING 
THE QUALITY OF LIFE FOR ISLAND PEOPLE, AS WELL AS MEASURES 
THAT WILL ENABLE SMALL ISLAND DEVELOPING STATES TO COPE 
EFFECTIVELY, CREATIVELY AND IN A SUSTAINABLE MANNER WITH 
ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGES AND TO MITIGATE THE IMPACTS ON AND 
REDUCE THE THREATS POSED TO MARINE AND COASTAL RESOURCES: 
CONSIDERATION OF PROPOSALS FOR A BARBADOS DECLARATION 
 
Barbados: draft proposals for a Barbados declaration 
 
We, the States participating in the Global Conference on the  
Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, 
 
Recalling that during the United Nations Conference on Environment  
and Development the international community recognized and accepted  
the interrelatedness of environment and development as being  
essential to human survival, 
 
Reaffirming the commitments to sustainable development made by the  
international community as detailed in the principles and  
commitments embodied in the Rio Declaration on Environment and  
Development, 1/ Agenda 21, 2/ and the  
 
________________________ 
 
1/Report of the United Nations Conference on Environment and  
Development, Rio de Janiero, 3-14 June 1992, vol. I, Resolutions  
Adopted by the Conference (United Nations publication, Sales No.  
E.93.I.8 and corrigendum), resolution 1, annex I. 
 
2/Ibid., annex II. 
 
 
B94-039 (E)/... 
Non-legally Binding Authoritative Statement of Principles for a  
Global Consensus on the Management, Conservation and Sustainable  
Development of All Types of Forests, 3/ as well as the United  
Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 4/ and the  
Convention on Biological Diversity, 5/ 
 
Recalling also Principle 7 of the Rio Declaration, in which the  
developed countries acknowledged the responsibility that they bear  
in the international pursuit of sustainable development in view of  
the pressures their societies place on the global environment and  
the technologies and financial resources they command, 
 
Conscious of the specific programme of action for small island  
developing States as outlined in chapter 17 of Agenda 21, 
 
Recognizing that the Global Conference on the Sustainable  
Development of Small Island Developing States represents the  
transformation of the framework of Agenda 21 into specific  
policies, actions and measures to be taken at the national,  
regional and international levels, 
 
Conscious that the small island developing States are committed to  
sustainable development at the national, regional and international  
levels (as is evidenced by the Bridgetown Declaration), 
 
Mindful that the responsibility of the international community for  
direct and indirect actions to facilitate the efforts of small  
island developing States to minimize stress on their fragile  
ecosystems, as well as the need for cooperative action and  
partnership were both major outcomes of, and points of departure  
at, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, 
 
Recognizing that the collective environments of small islands host  
some of the most important and diverse elements of the Earth's  
life-support systems, their genetic database providing some of the  
few remaining opportunities to examine the delicate balance of  
ecosystems in their pristine state, 
 
Recognizing also that with the coming into force of the United  
Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, 6/ small island States  
bear responsibility for approximately one sixth of the world's  
oceans and seas, which contain a diverse array of biological,  
physical and chemical resources important to the sustenance of life  
on this planet, a responsibility which they cannot assume alone, 
 
________________________ 
 
3/Ibid., annex III. 
 
4/A/AC.237/18 (Part II)/Add.1, annex I. 
 
5/See United Nations Environment Programme, Convention on  
Biological Diversity (Environmental Law and Institutions Programme  
Activity Centre), June 1992. 
 
6/United Nations publication, Sales No. E.83.V.5. 
Aware that the rich and the unique associations of local flora and  
fauna which constitute the ecosystems of small islands are  
ecological corridors linking the major areas of biodiversity around  
the world, and that in this context the importance of small island  
developing States becomes paramount, and that their limitation of  
size leaves little margin for error, and is further exacerbated by  
their fragile economies, which rely for the most part on a narrow  
resource base, 
 
Aware also that those fragile economies rely heavily on  
international trade without the means of influencing the terms of  
that trade, most of which takes place in major centres of commerce  
away from the small islands, 
 
Conscious of the fact that the human resource base is perhaps the  
most significant asset of small island States, 
 
Considering that concerns for human health are integral to the  
process of sustainable development, 
 
Recognizing the inherent constraint of scarce land resources and  
that human settlements and land use influence most aspects of  
sustainable development, 
 
Recognizing that small island States are particularly vulnerable to  
natural as well as man-made disasters, and that they have limited  
capacity to absorb or to recover quickly from such events, 
 
Further recognizing that while small island developing States have  
contributed least to global warming and climate change, they suffer  
most from the effects of those phenomena, 
 
Bearing in mind that small island developing States constitute a  
unique cultural resource based on the diversity and resourcefulness  
of their inhabitants, and recognizing that that cultural resource  
is now also under severe stress, 
 
Bearing further in mind that the survival of small island  
developing States is firmly rooted in the natural resource base and  
cultural heritage, and that as such all efforts must be taken to  
ensure that the management of those assets is factored into the  
development planning process, 
 
Noting that non-governmental organizations have committed  
themselves to the popularization of Agenda 21 and the programme of  
Action, and to the mobilization of their own resources towards  
implementation: that non-governmental organizations have emphasized  
that this implementation, however, cannot be effective without  
permanent and full partnership and cooperation at all levels, and  
have therefore, called on the international community and on the  
Governments of small island developing States to facilitate and  
support such initiatives, and to strengthen cooperation within and  
between small islands regions, 
 
1.Commit ourselves, in the spirit of the Global Conference on the  
Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, and in  
keeping with the Programme of Action to which we have all agreed,  
to build new and equitable partnerships for the sustainable  
development of small island developing States; 
 
2.Declare our commitment, through our endorsement and subsequent  
implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable  
Development of Small Island Developing States, to send a powerful  
message to the world's peoples on the possibilities of joint action  
undertaken with a sense of common purpose, and with the clear and  
simple objective of humankind embarking irrevocably on the journey  
to sustainable development; 
 
3.Declare that the welfare of all people will form a guiding  
principle for all our development programmes and policies, and that  
gender sensitivity will be built into all development efforts. In  
addition, special attention will be paid to the needs of children,  
people with disabilities, indigenous peoples and all the vulnerable  
groups; 
 
4.Affirm our commitment to programmes which seek to ensure human  
health and well-being in all development efforts as a means of  
attaining sustainable human development; 
 
5.Declare that, at the national level, small island developing  
States are committed to the following courses of action to achieve  
the goals of sustainable development: 
 
(a)The preparation and implementation of a comprehensive set of  
plans and programmes with realistic goals and targets; 
 
(b)The preparation of guidelines for sustainable development  
policies, strategies and procedures that will guide our future  
development actions; 
 
(c)The strengthening of national institutions, machinery and  
legislative support to improve our capability to facilitate the  
goals of sustainable development; 
 
(d)The mobilization of available human, technical and financial  
resources to assist in implementing the agreed Programme of Action; 
 
(e)The recognition of the need to align development activities  
aimed at improving living standards with strong environmental  
management and proper resource use and allocation; 
 
6.Also declare that, regionally, small island developing States are  
committed to: 
 
(a)The promotion of the process of strong functional cooperation  
through the sharing of information and technical cooperation  
arrangements; 
 
(b)The development and strengthening of institutions that will act  
as resource centres for promoting sustainable development; 
 
(c)The promotion of cooperation in the development and sharing of  
appropriate technology; 
 
7.Agree, in the spirit of partnership and North-South cooperation  
recognized by the world community as essential to facilitating  
small island developing States to meet their development goals,  
that the international community will: 
 
(a)Expedite the transfer of environmentally sound technology on  
preferential or concessional terms; 
 
(b)Make available technical and financial assistance, including new  
and additional resources; 
 
(c)Promote economic and trading arrangements that are fair and  
equitable and that support small island developing States in  
achieving sustainable development. 
 
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Date last posted: 16 February 2000 14:26:35
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