Welcome to the United Nations. It's your world.

Conferences, Meetings and Events

Past Conferences, Meetings and Events   >  GA Special Session on Small Island Developing States

22nd Special Session of the UN General Assembly:
Small Island Developing States
(27-28 September 1999, UN Headquarters, New York)

A woman collecting fish and sipu at sunset in the Dili District of Timor-Leste.   UN Photo/Martine Perret

Five years after the 1994 Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, a Special Session of the UN General Assembly was held in September 1999, in order to undundertook a review and appraisal of the implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action.

The special session adopted a State of Progress and Initiatives for the Future Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, which set forth recommendations for action in priority areas requiring urgent action.

Six priority problem areas were identified in need of urgent attention over the following five years:

Climate change (adapting to climate change and rising sea levels, which could submerge some low-lying island nations);

Natural and environmental disasters and climate variability (improving preparedness for and recovery from natural and environmental disasters);

Freshwater resources (preventing worsening shortages of freshwater as demand grows);

Coastal and marine resources (protecting coastal ecosystems and coral reefs from pollution and over-fishing);

Energy (developing solar and renewable energy to lessen dependence on expensive imported oil);

Tourism (managing tourism growth to protect the environment and cultural integrity).

The General Assembly adopted a Declaration in which member States reaffirmed the principles of and their commitments to sustainable development. The Declaration calls on the international community to provide effective means, including financial resources to support the sustainable development efforts of SIDS. It also called on the Secretary-General to improve the existing institutional arrangements in the UN so that the UN system may become more proactive in promoting and assisting sustainable development in small island developing states.

Key Documents:

Report of the Ad Hoc Committee of the Whole of the twenty-second special session of the General Assembly


Small Island Developing States website

2014 UN Conference on Small Island Developing States