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

Second Committee Special Event Panel discussion on
“Strengthening the Resilience of Small Island Developing States within the context of Sustainable Development”

Ambassador Abdou Diallo, Chairman of the Second Committee,
Madam Moderator, Ambassador Janine Coye Felson, Special Advisor to the President of the 68th Session of the General Assembly ,
Distinguished Panellists,
Ladies and gentlemen,

It is my honour to join you today at this Special Event of the Second Committee.

The topic of the discussion, “Strengthening the resilience of Small Island Developing States within the context of sustainable development” is one of critical importance to the SIDS.

As Secretary-General of the Third International Conference on SIDS, I applaud the Second Committee for organizing this timely discussion and for highlighting the role of resilience in meeting the sustainable developing challenges facing Small Island Developing States.

During the past few months, in the course of national, regional and inter-regional preparations for the SIDS Conference in Samoa, next September, I have listened intently to the concerns and aspirations of the SIDS Member States.

While many SIDS have achieved remarkable progress in implementing the Barbados Programme of Action and the Mauritius Strategy, through their own efforts and through international partnerships, they continue to suffer from their particular vulnerabilities.

As a result of their unique vulnerabilities, as well as the constraints they face in adjusting to external shocks, many SIDS face uncertain prospects in achieving a sustainable future for SIDS communities across the world’s oceans and seas.

Therefore, the need to strengthen the resilience of SIDS is of paramount importance to SIDS.  It represents one of their main pathways to sustainable development.

SIDS want to focus on overcoming their challenges. They have made this clear. They want to rise above the constraints that have hindered their developmental prospects, and have made their own efforts to build resilience. 

They are also ready to fully utilize the momentum of the post-2015 development agenda.  Future sustainable development goals that reflect the aspirations of SIDS will inspire further global action and genuine partnership in support of SIDS.

For the international community, we have a responsibility to assist the SIDS in their endeavours towards achieving sustainable development.

We acknowledged that SIDS are a special case in sustainable development, and we agreed during Rio+20 that these Member States continue to deserve global support. That recognition led to the call for convening the Third International Conference on SIDS.


SIDS have indicated a desire to have genuine and durable partnerships towards achieving sustainable development, and proposed it as the theme for the Samoa Conference. The international community thus has an opportunity to provide enhanced assistance to the SIDS through renewed and reinforced partnerships. Helping the SIDS in strengthening their resilience can be one such partnership initiative.

The journey to Samoa will soon resume at the global level, with the entire international community joining and deliberating on the blueprint for the further sustainable development options for SIDS.

This special event is therefore both timely and indispensable. It will allow us all to have a deeper appreciation for one of the fundamental concerns of SIDS, while considering how best we can help in addressing their concerns.

I am confident that your discussions will be fruitful and will produce innovative and practical ideas to address some of the challenges facing SIDS, particularly as we prepare for the Conference next year, as well as for the pos-2015 development agenda.

I wish you a productive event.

Thank you