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

Opening of the Private Sector Forum

Your Excellency, Honourable Prime Minister Tuilaepa,
High Representative Acharya,
Mr. Nainoa Thompson (Polynesian Voyaging Society)
Mr. Klaus Stunzner (President of Samoa Chamber of Commerce and Chairman of the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organization (PIPSO))
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am honoured to attend the opening of the Private Sector Forum.

The role of the private sector has long been recognized by the United Nations.  Indeed, business was recognized as a major group in Rio 1992. 

The previous two UN conferences dedicated to SIDS also affirmed the critical contributions of the private sector to the sustainable development of SIDS.

However, this is the first time that business and the private sector have gathered together in a special forum to share information and experience, to showcase success stories and to announce concrete partnership initiatives in support of SIDS.

I want to extend a special thank-you to my colleague and friend Mr. Acharya for his leadership in making this happen.

My thanks also go to the Samoan government and other partners for co-organizing this Forum.

I would also like to thank all of you – the participants – for your engagement.

Your being here demonstrates your commitment to SIDS.

We cannot underestimate the importance of business and the private sector in our quest for a prosperous, inclusive and sustainable future in SIDS.

The Samoa Pathway – the outcome document to be adopted by the SIDS Conference this coming week – has recognized that the private sector plays an increasingly important role in achieving sustainable development, including through public-private partnerships.

Governments recognize that sustainable development will depend on international cooperation and the active engagement of both the public and the private sectors.


The decisions business leaders make today can affect the planet and society for decades to come.

Indeed, few other stakeholders are in a similar position. Your decisions can have direct impact on the planet’s ecosystems.

You can adopt cleaner production technologies and greener value chains. And you can also play a leading role in creating employment and livelihood opportunities.

Today, many private sector businesses are run by visionary leaders – many of them are in this room today.

We count on you to set an example.

You can show to the world that sustainable development is a smart business choice.

And you can show to your business peers that public private partnerships work in sustainable development.

Indeed, as you are aware, one of the key outcomes of the Samoan Conference will be genuine and durable partnerships.

Many of you have already made commitments to announce such partnerships during this Forum and the upcoming multi-stakeholder partnership dialogues.

These dialogues, along with this Forum, offer a global platform to show to the public and policy-makers that the private sector can be part of the solution to the challenges facing SIDS.


The Samoan Conference is once-in-a-decade milestone event. But without partnerships and implementation, its impact will fall flat.

This is where you come in.

The private sector must be a key partner in this implementation phase.

You can be the leaders and drivers of that implementation.

Thank you.