27 July 2018
Seventy-second Session, 109th Meeting (AM)

Adopting Text on Samoa Pathway, General Assembly Stresses Implementing Commitments Agreed at Small Island Developing States Conference, Requests Progress Report

The General Assembly today adopted a resolution outlining the elements for a high-level review of the progress made, lessons learned and constraints encountered by small island developing States in the implementation of the Samoa Pathway.

Adopting the resolution titled, “Modalities for the high‑level review of the SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway” (document A/72/L.60/Rev.1), without a vote, the Assembly called for the full and effective implementation of the commitments, programmes and targets adopted at the third International Conference on Small Island Developing States.

By the terms of the text, the Assembly requested the Secretary‑General to submit a report in early 2019 on the follow‑up to and implementation of the Samoa Pathway with a view towards supporting intergovernmental consultations on the topic.  The report should focus on progress made and continuing challenges faced by small island developing States, considering the work being carried out across the United Nations system, as well as relevant national, regional and subregional organizations.

Further, the Assembly called upon the international community to facilitate the participation of small island developing States in review activities and urged that representation at the September 2019 review be at the highest possible level.

Sheyam Hamed Abdelhamied Elgarf (Egypt), speaking on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, as well as Palau and the Republic of Moldova, introduced the resolution, noting that as the midterm mark since the adoption of the Samoa Pathway approaches, much more needs to be done.  Although the Group welcomes the recognition of small island developing States as countries with special circumstances for development and as nations facing extreme economic and ecological vulnerabilities, that recognition needs to be matched with resources.

The vulnerabilities faced by small island developing States means that another five years cannot be allowed to pass without building resilience, she said.  “Throughout the next five years, we cannot merely take stock, note our unmet commitments and craft another agenda,” she said, stressing that time is running out for those States.  Climate change, water scarcity and natural hazards are accelerating in frequency and intensity, which requires greater creativity, cooperation and determination to ensure those urgencies are addressed.

The representative of the United States, noting that his delegation had joined consensus, outlined reservations concerning operative paragraphs 13 through 16 of the text.  “Certain elements of the [Samoa Pathway], including on international trade, may have been overtaken by events, and may no longer be implementable,” he said.

The General Assembly will meet again at date and time to be announced.

For information media. Not an official record.