Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to start by thanking the Co-Chairs and the Bureau for their able leadership and guidance during this first session of the preparatory committee.
We had productive discussions during these three days. Our preparatory work is on track.
The discussions showed that there is a keen awareness of the unique and specific challenges faced by SIDS. There is also a determination to use the SIDS Conference in Samoa to reflect on these challenges and identify ways to address them.
We would not have achieved these results without the active engagement of Member States.
We appreciate the high-level representation from a number of small island developing States as well as delegates from capitals. Your participation has been invaluable.
We also had a very inspiring ceremony to launch the International Year of SIDS prior to the PrepCom. I am sure that the international community and SIDS themselves will effectively use this year to increase awareness of the achievements, and the challenges facing SIDS every day.
I have heard delegations strongly supporting the overarching theme of the Conference “Sustainable development of small island developing States through genuine and durable partnerships”.
Indeed, as I pointed out in my opening remarks, the Conference will serve as a forum to build on existing successful partnerships. As well as to launch innovative concrete new ones, to advance the sustainable development of small island developing States.
We have heard about the importance of accountability of all partners. Many have stressed the need to have a robust review mechanism.
Also important is the role Partnerships can play in helping to galvanize and focus implementation in line with national, regional and inter-regional priorities. While at the same time replicating and scaling up such efforts in similar circumstances.
I am sure the Co-chairs will capture the wealth of issues highlighted during the PrepCom in a zero draft, that will lead to a concise, action-oriented implementable outcome document, as mandated by the General Assembly.
We, in the Secretariat, stand ready to support them and other Bureau Members as well as the preparatory process itself.
The International Conference in Samoa will be a major milestone for SIDS. It will make an important contribution to the elaboration of the post-2015 development agenda. It will also result in tangible outcomes through strengthened collaborative partnerships between SIDS and the international community.
I look forward to our continuing collaboration in preparing for this historic conference.