Mr. Wu Hongbo Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Secretary-General for the International Conference on Small Island Developing States
Closing Remarks at Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States Pacific Regional Preparatory Meeting
13 July 2013, Nadi, Fiji
Thank you Mr. Chairman.
I would like to express my deep appreciation to the Government and people of Fiji for the hospitality extended to us during the meeting. I also commend our hosts, for so ably chairing this meeting on the priorities of the Pacific Small Island Developing States.
Three days ago, at the opening ceremony, I expressed my confidence that you would establish and solidify the Pacific position, which would be your guide throughout the preparatory process and towards Apia.
I am pleased to see that this has indeed come to fruition. Congratulations on a successful outcome.
You have highlighted the areas of priority for your countries and you have also discussed options for means of implementation.
You have addressed a range of sustainable development challenges of Pacific SIDS, including the impact of climate change, the high level of non-communicable diseases in your communities, and the need for renewable and sustainable energy.
You have also provided practical recommendations on strategies to overcome these challenges, including through mutually accountable partnerships, social inclusion, conservation of the marine environment, and the strengthening of monitoring and evaluation mechanisms.
You stressed the importance of aligning the international processes with national plans and priorities. The role of youth and culture in facilitating the sustainable development process was also highlighted.
The United Nations system is committed to continue supporting you as you move forward with your preparations. The momentum of sustainable development of small island developing States will be kept strong after the Conference in Samoa, as we embark on implementation. Addressing the special needs of SIDS will also be an integral part of the post 2015 development agenda.
What has been emphasized this week is that the Barbados Programme of Action and the Mauritius Strategy of Implementation, though trailblazing in their own right, did not take the sustainable development process for SIDS far enough, due to implementation gaps at national, regional and international levels.
Additionally, the MDGs did not address the unique vulnerabilities facing SIDS. The Third International Conference for SIDS will help to bridge these gaps.
Along with means of implementation, you identified the importance of national enabling environment and partnerships as an important part of the process.
With respect to partnerships, the message on equitable partnerships was well received. North-South partnerships will continue playing a pivotal role; South-South partnerships will complement North-South partnerships; and triangular partnerships will contribute to realizing the full potential of SIDS aspirations for sustainable development. The participation of the partners in Nadi bears testimony to their commitment to SIDS.
The Pacific SIDS are a family: You have overcome the geographical distances between your islands and have developed a regional identity, united in a common goal and a common vision. The “Pacific Way” of inclusion, of engaging and embracing all members of the community, has been your strongest asset.
The international community can learn a great deal from you. We rely on you therefore to continue to lead in this process.
I am optimistic about the future. I have seen what you have accomplished thus far, and I have witnessed your potential. I look forward to continuing this journey with you as you carry on the process of accelerating progress toward sustainable development.
I thank you