Priorities of small islands in the global spotlight

Five years ago, in Apia, Samoa, governments from around the world adopted the Small Island Developing States Accelerated Modalities of Action—or SAMOA Pathway —an ambitious 10-year framework that articulates the aspirations of small island developing states and sets them on course for sustainable development. On 27 September, the United Nations General Assembly will hold a one-day High-level Midterm Review to assess progress made in addressing the priorities of SIDS through the implementation of the Samoa Pathway.

The event will bring together heads of state and Government, as well as partners from a variety of sectors, to assess progress, gaps and challenges in the implementation of the Samoa Pathway, as well as the priorities, solutions and lessons learned for the way forward, with an eye to seeking out the strongest synergies with the Sustainable Development Goals.

Small island countries face a unique set of issues relating to their small size, remoteness, narrow resource and export base, and exposure to external economic shocks and global environmental challenges, including the impacts of climate change, which threatens their very survival. The SAMOA Pathway is consistent with the 2030 Agenda, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Addis Abba Action Agenda, the Paris Agreement and the New Urban Agenda and aims at building resilience and sustainable economies for SIDS through sustainable development.

The Samoa Pathway Midterm Review will result in a negotiated High Level Political Declaration. In addition, it will present an opportunity for the announcement of new partnerships in support of SIDS. These new partnerships will be an integral part of the SIDS Partnership Framework, which was designed to monitor progress of existing partnerships, and stimulate the launch of genuine and durable partnerships for the sustainable development of SIDS.

In the lead-up process to the September meeting, the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), with the UN Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS) and Regional Commissions, organized a series of meetings to review the progress and implementation of the Samoa Pathway at the national and regional levels. These were held in Belize, Mauritius, Samoa and Tonga in 2018.

For more information: High-level Midterm Review of the SAMOA Pathway

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