PREPARATORY MEETING, 14-16 APRIL, TO ADDRESS SMALL ISLANDS’ KEY CHALLENGES IN PREPARATION FOR MAURITIUS CONFERENCE

8 April 2004
Note No. 5862

PREPARATORY MEETING, 14-16 APRIL, TO ADDRESS SMALL ISLANDS’ KEY CHALLENGES IN PREPARATION FOR MAURITIUS CONFERENCE

08/04/2004
Press ReleaseNote No. 5862

Note to Correspondents

PREPARATORY MEETING, 14-16 APRIL, TO ADDRESSSMALLISLANDS KEY CHALLENGES

IN PREPARATION FOR MAURITIUS CONFERENCE

Small island nations will have the rare opportunity to present their case to the global community, to seek partnerships and innovative ways to help them address their most vital challenges, from 14 to 16 April, during the preparatory meeting for the UN International Meeting to Review the Implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, to be held in Mauritius, from 30 August to 3 September 2004.

The Barbados Programme of Action, which was approved by the 1994 United Nations Global Conference for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, included the following issues:  climate change, tourism, natural disasters, wastes, freshwater, land resources, energy, biodiversity and transport.  The Mauritius International Meeting is also expected to address emerging issues that affect small islands:  trade, HIV/AIDS, information technology, new security concerns and the economic potential of island cultures.

The three days of preparatory negotiations on small islands will be an integral part of the twelfth session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, from 14 to 30 April.  The more than 60 ministers expected to take part in the high-level segment of the Commission session will also devote a part of their work to small islands and the Mauritius International Meeting, on 30 April.

The Secretary-General of the International Meeting, Under-Secretary-General Anwarul K. Chowdhury, will be available during 14-16 April for media interviews and contacts.

Press contact:  François Coutu, UN Department of Public Information, Development Section; tel.: (212) 963-9495, cell: (917) 815-8176, fax: (212) 963-1186, e-mail: coutu@UN.org or mediainfo@un.org

To access a webcast of the meetings and a comprehensive new press kit on small islands, visit www.un.org/smallislands2004 (on line starting 12 April).

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For information media. Not an official record.