Mr. Wu Hongbo Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Secretary-General for the International Conference on Small Island Developing States

Closing Remarks
Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States
Trust Fund Roundtable Discussion

Ladies and gentlemen,

Thank you for the lively discussion. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you again for your support to the preparations for the 3rd SIDS Conference.  I would like to reiterate that my office is always available to you as we move forward in the preparatory process. As we get more information on the structure and substance of the preparations, we will communicate that to you.

Please do not hesitate to contact my office with any questions or concerns in the meantime.

Before we depart I would like to return to the proposed theme of the SIDS Conference: “The sustainable development of SIDS through genuine and durable partnerships.”

There is a clear connection to be made between this theme and contributing to the SIDS Trust Fund, of course.  Supporting Conference participation is a tangible way to help raise SIDS voices and concerns to the global stage.

But more importantly, a vigorous preparatory process and Conference can be fertile ground for nurturing lasting and transformative partnerships beyond the Conference. As we have discussed, Samoa as the host country and many other SIDS Member States have expressed the hope that the Conference will be a springboard for meaningful collaborations. We hope it will serve to strengthen ties between SIDS and traditional and non-traditional partners, including South-South and SIDS-SIDS partnerships, as well as those including the private sector.

While “partnership” is a very popular word, the concept needs to be fleshed out and made real in order to be meaningful for the SIDS. No one wants the Conference to feature words alone—flashy announcements of new plans and promises without action to back them up.

Envisioning those actions and making them a reality will take imagination but also require old fashioned hard work and time. I am excited by the prospect that the Conference and its preparations could afford the international community some opportunities to develop meaningful partnerships, in addition to the political outcome. Your support to the Trust Fund can help create these opportunities.

So, as we look forward to a 2014 filled with hard work, I pledge that the Secretariat will do everything it can to ensure the success of the Conference. I thank you for your partnership—past, present and future.