Spain, United Nations Sign Agreement on New $2.8 Million Project to Boost Capacity in Small Island States

5 August 2009

Spain, United Nations Sign Agreement on New $2.8 Million Project to Boost Capacity in Small Island States

5 August 2009
Press Release
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York




NEW YORK, 5 August (Department of Economic and Social Affairs) —- A new $2.8 million project that will bring cutting-edge technology to small island States has been signed into action by the Government of Spain and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA).

Entitled “Capacity Development through Education for Sustainable Development and Knowledge Management for Small Island Developing States”, the project will allow a remote and vulnerable group of countries to create a pool of local and international expertise that can be tapped to address a wide range of development challenges, like limited connectivity, access to affordable technology and institutional and human resources.

Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, expressed his profound gratitude towards Spain.  “This project will help pave the way for a renewed, long-lasting, prosperous, and mutually enriching collaboration between the people and Governments of SIDS [small island developing States], the Kingdom of Spain and DESA,” he said.

The project will revitalize the Small Island Developing States Network (SIDSNet), creating a much-needed central knowledge management system and information clearing house.  It will also develop a virtual curriculum, web-based tools and e-resources to deliver education for sustainable development for islands in the Caribbean, Pacific and African subregions.  The distance education component of the project will be in partnership with the University Consortium of Small Island States, which includes the Universities of Malta, Mauritius, the South Pacific, the Virgin Islands and the West Indies.

Juan Antonio Yáňez-Barnuevo, Permanent Representative of Spain, emphasized that his country and small island States shared many development challenges, like drought and dependence on waning tourism revenues in a global financial recession.  “This project offers a more sustainable path for growth and development,” he noted.

Collin Beck, Permanent Representative of the Solomon Islands, spoke on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) at the signing, where he expressed appreciation to the Department of Economic and Social Affairs and the Government of Spain.  “SIDS issues require SIDS solutions.  I embrace the opportunity presented by the project to close the information gap for SIDS.”

Signing the Trust Fund Agreement for the project on 4 August were Ambassador Yáňez-Barnuevo and Under-Secretary-General Sha.

For more information, contact Keneti Faulalo at

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.