Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States

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      Preamble
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      Notes

 

Preamble

1. The Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States1 remains the blueprint for small island developing States and the international community to address national and regional sustainable development in small island developing States that takes into account the economic, social and environmental aspects that are the pillars of the holistic and integrated approach to sustainable development. The Programme of Action sets out basic principles as well as specific actions that are required at the national, regional and international levels to support sustainable development in small island developing States. Along with the Programme of Action, the Rio Principles, the full implementation of Agenda 21,2 the Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development3 (Johannesburg Plan of Implementation) and the outcomes of other relevant major United Nations conferences and summits, including the Monterrey Consensus of the International Conference on Financing for Development,4 all contribute to the sustainable development of small island developing States.

2. The internationally agreed development goals, including those contained in the United Nations Millennium Declaration,5 provide the overarching framework for global poverty eradication and development support. Small island developing States’ national development plans and strategies, including national sustainable development strategies, should include poverty reduction strategies, as appropriate, and measures to address their vulnerabilities and to build resilience, in order to contribute to the achievement of these internationally agreed goals and to be a key underpinning of donor and United Nations system support for small island developing States.

3. Small island developing States acknowledge that sustainable development is primarily a national responsibility but also that for small island developing States to succeed, given their acknowledged vulnerabilities, the Rio Principles, including, inter alia, the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities as set out in principle 7 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, must be given specific expression for small island developing States. Furthermore, there is a need for strengthened cooperation and partnership in support of sustainable development of small island developing States at the national, regional and international levels. Such partnership should be broad-based and ensure the involvement and participation of relevant stakeholders.

4. Small island developing States have demonstrated their commitment to sustainable development by utilizing principally their own resources in the implementation of the Programme of Action, while at the same time addressing increasing obligations under international agreements. In addition, the international community has provided financing and technical assistance in sectors that were fairly new in 1994. For the most part, the efforts of small island developing States have been pursued within the constraints of limited financial resources, including an overall decline in official development assistance to small island developing States, as noted in the report of the Secretary-General on the review of progress in the implementation of the Programme of Action.6 Furthermore, an analysis of the report shows an increase in ad hoc stand-alone projects, rather than a programmed or strategic approach. It is crucial to mobilize domestic resources, attract international flows, promote international trade as an engine for development, increase international financial and technical cooperation for development, make debt financing sustainable and provide external debt relief, and enhance the coherence and consistency of the international monetary, financial and trading systems.

5. The review of the Programme of Action has provided small island developing States with a valuable opportunity to measure progress in implementing its objectives. National assessment reports have been prepared, which in turn have informed the preparation of regional synthesis reports. These documents, together with the Programme of Action, form the basis of the review of the Programme of Action and should be read along with the present document in order to fully appreciate the work needed to ensure further progress.

6. Small island developing States are committed to promoting sustainable development, eradicating poverty and improving the livelihoods of their peoples by the implementation of strategies that build resilience and capacity to address their unique and particular vulnerabilities. This can be facilitated by international cooperation, including through further efforts by multilateral partners, that is more responsive to the particular needs of small island developing States.

7. In order to complement national and regional development efforts for small island developing States, there is an urgent need to enhance coherence, governance and consistency of the international monetary, financial and trading systems, which would facilitate the participation of small island developing States in international financial decision-making processes and institutions and in the process of setting international rules, codes, norms and standards.

8. Good governance within each country and at the international level is essential for sustainable development. At the domestic level, sound environmental, social and economic policies, democratic institutions responsive to the needs of the people, the rule of law, anti-corruption measures, gender equality and an enabling environment for investment are the basis for sustainable development. As a result of globalization, external factors have become critical in determining the success or failure of developing countries in their national efforts. The gap between developed and developing countries points to the continued need for a dynamic and enabling international economic environment that is supportive of international cooperation, particularly in the areas of finance, technology transfer, debt and trade, and the full and effective participation of developing countries in global decision-making, if the momentum for global progress towards sustainable development is to be maintained and increased.

9. Peace, security, stability and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right to development, as well as respect for cultural diversity, are essential for achieving sustainable development and ensuring that sustainable development benefits all.

10. Security for small island developing States is a multidimensional concept. Specific challenges to small island developing States include, inter alia, environmental degradation, natural disasters, food security, water scarcity, HIV/AIDS, narco-trafficking, small arms trafficking and the impact of terrorism on the economic sectors and tourism in particular. Implementation of the sustainable development agenda for small island developing States must proceed notwithstanding the current emphasis on security. In this regard, the international community acknowledges the increased financial and administrative obligation at the national level that this places on all small island developing States as part of the global fight against terrorism, and reaffirms the importance to small island developing States of international cooperation and technical and financial support, where necessary.

11. South-South cooperation, including cooperation among small island developing States, is critical at the bilateral, subregional and regional levels in strategic areas, such as information and communication technology, trade, investment, capacity-building, disaster management, environment, food, agriculture, oceans, water, energy, health and education.

12. Experience has reaffirmed that sustainable development is best achieved through the adoption of integrated and holistic approaches at all levels.

13. Small island developing States recognize the importance of culture in their sustainable development since it represents the expression and identity of their people and the foundation of the richness of their cultural diversity, traditions and customs.

14. Small island developing States recognize the integral role of youth in sustainable development and the need to further ensure their participation in programmes and activities related to the sustainable development of small island developing States.

15. Small island developing States reaffirm the importance of gender equality and promoting the full and equal access of women and men to political participation at all levels, economic opportunity, health-care services and programmes, and decision-making systems for sustainable development, and the full and equal access of girls and boys, women and men to all levels of education.

 

I. Climate change and sea-level rise

16. The adverse effects of climate change and sea-level rise present significant risks to the sustainable development of small island developing States, and the longterm effects of climate change may threaten the very existence of some small island developing States. Based on the report of the Secretary-General on the review of progress in the implementation of the Programme of Action6 and other available data, small island developing States believe that they are already experiencing major adverse effects of climate change. Adaptation to adverse impacts of climate change and sea-level rise remains a major priority for small island developing States.

17. The international community reaffirms its commitment to achieving, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Convention’s ultimate objective of stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system, within a time frame sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change, to ensure that food production is not threatened and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner. Parties that have ratified the Kyoto Protocol7 to the Convention strongly urge all States that have not done so to ratify it in a timely manner.

18. In the context of paragraphs 16 and 17 above, the international community should:

(a) Fully implement the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and further promote international cooperation on climate change;

(b) Continue to take, in accordance with the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol, as applicable, steps to address climate change, including through: adaptation and mitigation in accordance with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities; and the effective implementation of the Kyoto Protocol by those countries that have ratified it;

(c) Promote increased energy efficiency and development and the use of renewable energy as a matter of priority, as well as advanced and cleaner fossil fuel technologies, inter alia, through public and/or private partnerships, market-oriented approaches, as well as supportive public policies and international cooperation, and support their use in small island developing States, where appropriate and in accordance with their national policies;

(d) Implement the Buenos Aires programme of work on adaptation and response measures, in particular those elements that are relevant to small island developing States;

(e) Work to facilitate and promote the development, transfer and dissemination to small island developing States of appropriate technologies and practices to address climate change;

(f) Build and enhance scientific and technological capabilities, including in small island developing States, inter alia, through continuing support to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for the exchange of scientific information and data, including where relevant to small island developing States;

(g) Enhance the implementation of national, regional and international strategies to monitor the Earth’s atmosphere, including as appropriate, strategies for integrated observations, inter alia, with the cooperation of relevant international organizations; and work with small island developing States to strengthen their involvement in monitoring and observing systems and enhance their access to and use of information.

19. Small island developing States, with the necessary support of the international community, including through the facilitation and improvement of access to existing resources and, where appropriate, through allocation of dedicated financial resources, will as an integral component of their national sustainable development strategies, where appropriate, develop and implement national adaptation strategies and facilitate regional and interregional cooperation, including within the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

20. Small island developing States, with assistance from regional development banks and other financial institutions, as appropriate, should coordinate further, on a regional basis, to establish or strengthen national and regional climate-change coordination mechanisms.

 

II. Natural and environmental disasters

21. Small island developing States are located among the most vulnerable regions in the world in relation to the intensity and frequency of natural and environmental disasters and their increasing impact, and face disproportionately high economic, social and environmental consequences. The tragic impacts of the 26 December 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami and the recent hurricane/cyclone/typhoon seasons in the Caribbean and Pacific highlight their vulnerability. Small island developing States have undertaken to strengthen their respective national frameworks for more effective disaster management and are committed, with the necessary support of the international community, to:

(a) Strengthening the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction and related small island developing States regional mechanisms as facilities to improve national disaster mitigation, preparedness and early warning capacity, increase public awareness about disaster reduction, stimulate interdisciplinary and intersectoral partnerships, and support the mainstreaming of risk management into the national planning process;

(b) Using such opportunities as the 10-year review of the Yokohama Strategy for a Safer World: Guidelines for Natural Disaster Prevention, Preparedness and Mitigation and its Plan of Action,8 including the programme outcome for 2005-2015 of the World Conference on Disaster Reduction, to be held in Kobe, Japan, in January 2005, to consider the specific concerns of small island developing States, including issues relating to insurance and reinsurance arrangements for small island developing States;

(c) Augmenting the capacity of small island developing States to predict and respond to emergency situations, including those affecting human settlements, stemming from natural and environmental disasters.

 

III. Management of wastes

22. While some small island developing States have made significant progress in both planning and implementation of waste management policies, programmes and strategies, most of them have serious difficulties in terms of financial and technical capacity in dealing with waste management issues. Marine debris, ballast water, shipwrecks with potential to cause environmental hazard due to leaks and other forms of waste threaten the ecological integrity of small island developing States.

23. Further action is required by small island developing States, with the necessary support of the international community, to:

(a) Form regional partnerships to draw on best practices and develop innovative solutions to waste management, seeking international assistance in this effort;

(b) Work to strengthen the control of the transboundary movement of hazardous wastes, especially through the enhancement of activities under the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal,9 and, where it applies, the Convention to Ban the Importation into Forum Island Countries of Hazardous and Radioactive Wastes and to Control the Transboundary Movement and Management of Hazardous Wastes within the South Pacific Region (Waigani Convention);

(c) Promote sustainable waste management, including by:

(i) Identifying cost-effective and environmentally sound waste management systems;

(ii) Exploring and engaging in innovative forms of financing of waste management infrastructure, including the creation of appropriate national environmental trust funds;

(iii) Promoting reduction, reuse and recycling of waste and waste management initiatives;

(iv) Developing projects appropriate to small island developing States for the use of waste as a resource, including for the production of energy as a waste management solution;

(d) Promote national, regional and international cooperation to reduce the quantity of waste disposed of at sea, including by working with others in the international community to strengthen regimes relating to the disposal of waste at sea, particularly those regimes established by the International Maritime Organization, the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter (London Convention of 1972),10 and the International Atomic Energy Agency;

(e) Promote the broad participation in and early implementation of the new International Maritime Organization Convention on Ballast Water.

24. Recognizing the concern that potential oil leaks from sunken State vessels have environmental implications for the marine and coastal ecosystems of small island developing States and taking into account sensitivities surrounding vessels that are marine graves, small island developing States and relevant vessel owners should continue to address the issue bilaterally on a case-by-case basis.

25. The international community notes that cessation of transport of radioactive materials through small island developing States regions is the ultimate desired goal of small island developing States and some other countries, and recognizes the right of freedom of navigation in accordance with international law. States should maintain dialogue and consultation, in particular under the aegis of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the International Maritime Organization, with the aim of improving mutual understanding, confidence-building and enhanced communications in relation to safe maritime transport of radioactive materials. States involved in the transport of such materials are urged to continue to engage in dialogue with small island developing States and other States to address their concerns, including the further development and strengthening, within the appropriate forums, of international regulatory regimes to enhance safety, disclosure, liability, security and compensation in relation to such transport.

 

IV. Coastal and marine resources

26. Small island developing States are defined by their historic, cultural and economic links to the oceans and seas. They continue to be heavily dependent on their marine resources, particularly for the sustainable livelihoods of coastal communities. The management of coastal and marine resources have become integrated into broader ocean management strategies since the entry into force of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.11 However, for small island developing States that are States parties to the Convention, implementation continues to be impeded by financial constraints and a lack of capacity.

27. To overcome these constraints, it is important to give appropriate priority at all levels, including in national and regional sustainable development agendas, to ocean issues, including fisheries. Further action is required by small island developing States, with the necessary support of the international community, to enable small island developing States to, among other things:

(a) Complete the delimitation of their maritime boundaries;

(b) Submit any claims to the Continental Shelf Commission by 13 May 2009 or such later date as may be applicable in accordance with the provisions of the Convention on the Law of the Sea;

(c) Further the work on the assessment of living and non-living seabed resources within their national jurisdiction.

28. Further action is required by small island developing States, with the necessary support of the international community, to build technical and financial capacities to:

(a) Establish effective monitoring, reporting and enforcement, and control of fishing vessels, including by small island developing States as flag States, to further implement international plans of action to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and to manage fishing capacity;

(b) Strengthen or develop, where necessary, national and regional sustainable and responsible fisheries management mechanisms consistent with the 1995 Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries;12

(c) Fully implement surveillance and monitoring systems;

(d) Analyse and assess the status of fish stocks;

(e) If they have not yet done so, consider becoming parties to the 1995 Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks13 and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations 1993 Agreement to Promote Compliance with International Conservation and Management Measures by Fishing Vessels on the High Seas,14 as well as relevant regional agreements for the conservation and management of fisheries;

(f) Establish or enhance the necessary infrastructure and legislative and enforcement capabilities to ensure effective compliance with, and implementation and enforcement of, their responsibilities under international law. In this regard, until such action is undertaken small island developing States flag States are encouraged to consider declining the granting of the right to fly their flag to new vessels, suspending their registry or not opening a registry.

29. Distant-water fishing nations are encouraged to provide small island developing States with adequate technical and financial support to enhance the effective and sustainable management of their fisheries resources.

30. In collaboration with other States and making use of regional mechanisms, small island developing States will work to put in place integrated policies and sound management approaches, such as marine protected areas, consistent with relevant international agreements, and develop national capacity to monitor, conserve and sustainably manage coral reefs and associated ecosystems, taking into account the programme of work on marine and coastal biological diversity adopted by the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity15 at its seventh session. Small island developing States should address as a priority the impacts of coastal development, coastal tourism, intensive and destructive fishing practices and pollution, as well as the unreported and illegal trade in corals, on the future health of coral reefs. To facilitate these initiatives, the international community should provide technical and financial support for:

(a) Regional monitoring efforts and Global Ocean Observing System;

(b) Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission marine science programmes that are of particular relevance to small island developing States;

(c) The strengthening, where appropriate, of representative networks of marine protected areas, consistent with decision VII/2816 of the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity;

(d) Activities to address the impact of coral bleaching, including enhancing resistance and recovery.

31. Small island developing States and relevant regional and international development partners should work together to develop and implement regional initiatives to promote the sustainable conservation and management of coastal and marine resources, drawing upon best practices from other regions, including the Pacific Islands Regional Ocean Policy, the designation of the Caribbean Sea as a special area in the context of sustainable development, the ocean governance project involving all regions, and the establishment of related initiatives in other small island developing States regions.

32. Small island developing States and the international development partners should fully implement the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities,17 particularly with the support of the United Nations Environment Programme, by undertaking initiatives specifically addressing the vulnerability of small island developing States.

 

V. Freshwater resources

33. Small island developing States continue to face water management and water access challenges, caused in part by deficiencies in water availability, water catchment and storage, pollution of water resources, saline intrusion (which may be exacerbated, inter alia, by sea-level rise, the unsustainable management of water resources, and climate variability and climate change) and leakage in the delivery system. Sustained urban water supply and sanitation systems are constrained by a lack of human, institutional and financial resources. The access to safe drinking water, the provision of sanitation and the promotion of hygiene are the foundations of human dignity, public health and economic and social development and are among the priorities for small island developing States.

34. Small island developing States in the Caribbean and the Pacific regions have demonstrated their commitment to cooperation with each other through the Joint Programme of Action for Water and Climate. The international community is invited to support the implementation of that Programme of Action, and the proposal to extend it to all small island developing States regions.

35. Further action is required by small island developing States, with the necessary support from the international community, to meet the Millennium Development Goals and World Summit on Sustainable Development 2015 targets on sustainable access to safe drinking water and sanitation, hygiene, and the production of integrated water resources management and efficiency plans by 2005.

36. The international community is requested to provide assistance to small island developing States for capacity-building for the development and further implementation of freshwater and sanitation programmes and the promotion of integrated water resources management, including through the Global Environment Facility focal areas, where appropriate; the World Water Assessment Programme; and support to the Global Programme of Action Coordination Office and the European Union Water for Life Initiative.

37. The Fourth World Water Forum, to be held in Mexico City in March 2006, and its preparatory process will be an opportunity for the small island developing States to continue to seek international support to build self-reliance and implement their agreed priority actions as submitted to the Third World Water Forum Portfolio of Water Actions, namely, integrated water resources management (including using the Hydrological Cycle Observing System); water demand management; water quality capacity-building; water governance; regional water partnerships; and water partnerships among small island developing States.

 

VI. Land resources

38. The pressures on land resources that existed 10 years ago have only been exacerbated by competing uses, increased demands and land degradation. National strategies have to be elaborated on sustainable land use, which tackle such issues as land tenure and management systems, combating desertification and protecting biodiversity. These strategies should include environmental impact assessments and identify the necessary policy changes and capacity-building needs within the framework of the three pillars of sustainable development.

39. Further action is required by small island developing States, with the necessary support of the international community, to:

(a) Develop capacity to implement the multilateral environmental agreements and other relevant international agreements in relation to land resources;

(b) Develop capacity for sustainable land management and self-generating agro-ecosystems by building on communal tenure systems and traditional land-use planning and practices for crop, livestock and aquaculture production, taking into account the increasing competition for land resources resulting from tourism, urbanization and other activities;

(c) Strengthen land tenure and management systems, move from primary to tertiary agricultural production and diversify agricultural production in a sustainable manner.

40. Most small island developing States face serious challenges of land degradation as a result, inter alia, of inappropriate land use and poor irrigation management systems. Since the main objective of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa,18 is to address land degradation, and considering the designation of the Global Environment Facility as a financial mechanism of the Convention, small island developing States should fully utilize available Global Environment Facility resources to develop and implement projects to address land degradation through sustainable land management. In this regard, every effort must be made to ensure the full implementation of the Convention.

41. Faced with the challenge of competitiveness, small island developing States should seek additional opportunities for diversifying their economies and markets, especially in the agricultural sector, in order to increase their degree of food security and self-reliance. Small island developing States are committed individually and through partnerships with each other, with the necessary support of the international community, to:

(a) Create an enabling environment for sustainably enhancing agricultural productivity and promoting agricultural diversification and food security;

(b) Remove production constraints and build programmes in such areas as seed production and integrated pest management systems;

(c) Enhance food processing, marketing and product development and quality control;

(d) Promote relevant research and development and the use of appropriate modern technologies;

(e) Promote sustainable aquaculture.

42. To elaborate concrete strategies to enhance efficient and sustainable agricultural production and ensure their food security through such initiatives as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations sustainable agriculture and rural development initiative, the United Nations system and other relevant international organizations are urged to provide practical support to small island developing States for research into such matters as the diversification of agriculture; alternative uses for crops; improved husbandry; irrigation and water management; aquaculture; and the use of appropriate modern technologies for smallholder agriculture, including agricultural extension services.

43. The 2005 Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations conference of small island developing States ministers of agriculture is urged to consider endorsing priority actions to enhance the contribution of agriculture, forestry and fisheries to small island developing States sustainable development policies, in the light of the importance of the nutrition and food security needs of small island developing States.

44. Sustainable forest management to reduce forest loss and forest degradation is crucial to small island developing States. Small island developing States are committed, with the necessary support of the international community and in the framework of the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests/Intergovernmental Forum on Forests proposals for action and subsequent action of the United Nations Forum on Forests, the Convention on Biological Diversity work programme on forest biodiversity and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, to:

(a) Develop and strengthen partnerships for sustainable forest management, such as the Iwokrama rainforest programme;

(b) Increase stakeholder participation in all discussions regarding the development, management and conservation of forest and tree resources;

(c) Ensure adherence to national forest policies and legislation that have been developed to safeguard the rights of resource owners and legitimate or licensed users through the use of administrative and management mechanisms for the alienation, licence or transfer of “traditional rights” for commercial development purposes;

(d) Increase the awareness, promotion, adoption and enforcement of legislation to ensure that sustainable rotational logging practices and replanting initiatives are implemented.

45. In the mining sector, we recognize that small island developing States are committed, with the support of the international community, to improve national capacity for:

(a) Policy and legislation formulation;

(b) The development of databases and assessment of mineral and aggregate resources;

(c) Negotiations with transnational corporations, including measures to enhance the transparency of revenue flows;

(d) The evaluation of mineral sector projects, including using environmental and social impact assessment to identify opportunities and risks and ensuring compliance with mitigatory and ameliorative measures where impacts are negative, as well as dealing with mining tenement issues and raising land “owner” awareness and participation.

 

VII. Energy resources

46. Energy dependence is a major source of economic vulnerability for many small island developing States, and many remote and rural small island developing States communities have little or no access to modern and affordable energy services. Modern research has produced commercially feasible options of energy supply, such as wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, hydro- and ocean energy. Indeed, many small island developing States are particularly suited to these options because of their geographical location. However, existing technologies may not always be adaptable to the needs and circumstances of many small island developing States communities.

47. Small island developing States are committed, with the necessary support of the international community, to develop and implement integrated energy programmes. These programmes should include, inter alia, comprehensive assessments of energy resources, current and projected patterns of energy use, and ways to enhance energy efficiency in small island developing States, and promote the development and use of renewable energy as well as advanced clean energy technologies that are affordable and readily adaptable to the circumstances of small island developing States. Regional development banks have an important role in this process. Support for technology transfer on mutually agreed terms and for capacitybuilding are important.

48. Small island developing States are committed, with the required support of the international community, to strengthening ongoing and supporting new efforts in the area of energy supply and services, including the promotion of demonstration projects. It is recognized that a renewed effort is required by all for small island developing States to achieve real and demonstrable progress in this area by the time of its review by the Commission on Sustainable Development in 2006, in accordance with its work programme.

49. Small island developing States and other international partners should work together to promote wider dissemination and application of technology that is appropriate to small island developing States and to strengthen existing mechanisms, such as the United Nations renewable energy fund and the United Nations Development Programme thematic trust fund on energy for sustainable development, for this purpose. Cooperation among small island developing States should be further pursued in areas where success has been achieved, such as a collaborative agency for financing renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in small island developing States.

 

VIII. Tourism resources

50. Tourism is an important contributor to economic growth in small island developing States. Yet it is recognized that the sector is open to many exogenous shocks. In addition, if tourism is not developed sustainably, it can damage or even destroy the natural environment that attracts tourism in the first place. There is also a continuing challenge to establish the appropriate balance between the development of tourism and that of other sectors of the economy. There is a particular challenge to make appropriate linkages to other sectors, including to local service providers so as to retain resources within the country, and in particular to create synergistic linkages between tourism and the agricultural sector by promoting island foods and beverages supply chains, rural hospitality and agro-tourism.

51. Small island developing States, with the required support of regional and international tourism organizations and other relevant stakeholders, should monitor the impacts of tourism development to ensure that tourism development and social and environmental priorities are mutually supportive at all levels. They must also facilitate the design or refinement of guidelines and best practices appropriate for assessing the carrying capacity of small island developing States, including the provision of technical and financial support to conduct these assessments. To this end, they should develop and implement appropriate partnerships. Small island developing States should also implement the guidelines on biodiversity and tourism development adopted by the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity at its seventh meeting.19

52. Small island developing States, with the necessary support of regional and international tourism organizations, should also find effective ways and means to develop and implement sustainable tourism development plans, in partnership with all relevant stakeholders, in particular the private sector, and should integrate these plans into their national strategies for sustainable development. In addition, they should develop and implement community-based initiatives on sustainable tourism, and build the necessary capacities of civil society and local stakeholders, while protecting culture and traditions and effectively conserving and managing natural resources.

 

IX. Biodiversity resources

53. Many small island developing States have ratified the Convention on Biological Diversity and its Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety,20 and have initiated national biodiversity strategic action plans and developed national nature reserves and protected areas. The World Summit on Sustainable Development confirmed the essential links between biodiversity and livelihoods. The achievements of the targets set by the international community in relevant international conventions, in particular those of the Convention on Biological Diversity agreed by the Conference of the Parties to the Convention and endorsed by the Summit, are of particular importance to small island developing States.

54. To achieve those targets in the agreed time frames, the following actions are required by small island developing States, with necessary support from the international community:

(a) Integrating biodiversity protection into national sustainable development strategies;

(b) Building effective partnerships between all relevant stakeholders essential to the conservation and sustainable use of biological resources;

(c) Addressing island biodiversity under the Convention on Biological Diversity in a manner that responds to the unique characteristics of small island developing States and to the threats related to climate change, land degradation and their particular vulnerabilities;

(d) Implementing the guidelines of the Convention on biodiversity and tourism development;

(e) Enhancing national efforts, both by Governments and other stakeholders, in the implementation of the programme of work of the Convention on protected areas, including the establishment of protected areas consistent with international law and based on scientific information;

(f) Controlling major pathways for potential alien invasive species in small island developing States;

(g) Developing local capacities for protecting and developing the traditional knowledge of indigenous groups for the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the use of genetic resources, taking into account the Bonn Guidelines on Access to Genetic Resources and Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising out of their Utilization as adopted at by the Conference of Parties to the Convention at its sixth meeting;21

(h) Developing the capacity to promote cooperation among small island developing States for biodiversity resources, shared ecosystem management and exchange of experience, including through support for strong networks, by both Governments and other stakeholders;

(i) Participating in the Ad Hoc Open-Ended Group of the Convention on an international regime on access and benefit-sharing to elaborate and negotiate the nature, scope and elements of an international regime on access and benefit-sharing in accordance with the terms of decision VII/19 of the Conference of Parties to the Convention, including, inter alia, the issue of unauthorized access to and misappropriation of genetic resources and traditional knowledge, which is of particular concern to small island developing States;

(j) Developing human and institutional capacity at the national and regional levels in small island developing States for research in the area of biodiversity, including taxonomy;

(k) Supporting, through the Convention and its Cartagena Protocol, the development and implementation of national biosafety frameworks;

(l) Supporting small island developing States efforts in building community capacity to conserve important species, sites and habitats.

 

X. Transport and communication

55. Transport and communications remain important lifelines linking small island developing States with the outside world. While dramatic technological breakthroughs over the last decade, such as the development of the Internet and satellite communications, have mitigated the traditional isolation of small island developing States, transport and communication nevertheless remain important challenges in the promotion and implementation of sustainable development nationally and in their regions.

56. Small island developing States, with the support of the international community, should cooperate and develop viable regional transportation arrangements, including improved air, land and sea transport policies.

57. While the liberalization of telecommunications in some small island developing States has presented both opportunities and challenges, in many small island developing States there are still serious access limitations to basic telecommunications. The small size of the markets has prevented the maximization of the full value of liberalization through economies of scale.

58. Small island developing States are committed, with the necessary support of the international community, to taking initiatives in such areas as access to and the use of information and communication technology (ICT); the development of community multimedia centres; ICT literacy; skills development; local content and applications in building knowledge-based societies; and bridging the digital divide, particularly in rural communities. There is also a continuing need for the maintenance of low-technology communication solutions, such as high-frequency radio for rural and remote locations. The International Telecommunication Union, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and other relevant organizations are invited to support these activities in a coordinated manner. In this regard, the World Summit on the Information Society is encouraged to consider small island developing States concerns and their participation in the Summit process.

59. Taking into account the objectives of their national policies, small island developing States are urged to consider further liberalizing their telecommunications sector as one of the possible means to address the high costs caused by existing monopoly service providers. In this regard, appropriate and adequate national communications regulatory frameworks will be required.

 

XI. Science and technology

60. It is recognized that the area of science and technology is a cross-cutting issue for all sectors for the sustainable development of small island developing States. Since 1994, some small island developing States have been able to strengthen the science and technology base of their economy, while others still require significant support.

61. Given the increasing importance of science and technology in building resilience in small island developing States, it is critical to target investments in science and technology capacity in a way that is appropriate for small island developing States. Further action is required by small island developing States, with the necessary support of the international community, to:

(a) Incorporate into national sustainable development strategies appropriate science and technology elements and support for science development in small island developing States, and provide promotion and protection of traditional knowledge and practices;

(b) Review science and technology activities in relation to environmentally sound technologies and sustainable development;

(c) Reduce environmental risk in the application of science and technology and in the utilization of indigenous technologies.

62. The strengthening and further development of cooperation and sharing of experience among small island developing States is crucial and should be made a priority, especially in regard to utilizing the national and regional institutions of small island developing States. An important activity in this regard is the operationalization of the small island developing States roster of experts; the Small Island Developing States Unit of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat, in cooperation with regional organizations and national Governments, should seek to complete the necessary work in this area by 2005.

63. The Small Island Developing States Network is a critical mechanism for supporting the sustainable development of small island developing States and needs maintenance, strengthening and further enhancement. The French-language portal is expected to be fully operational by 2005. A Spanish-language portal should be developed by 2005, for which the Small Island Developing States Unit is requested to seek the necessary financial support.

 

XII. Graduation from least developed country status

64. The adoption by the Economic and Social Council and the General Assembly of resolutions on a smooth transition strategy for countries graduating from the list of least developed countries is welcomed, and they need to be fully implemented. The two States that the General Assembly recently resolved to graduate from the list of least developed countries, as well as all of the current potential candidates for graduation from least developed country status, are small island developing States. It is critical that the elaboration and implementation of smooth national transition strategies formulated with development partners take into consideration the specific vulnerabilities of graduating States and ensure that graduation does not disrupt their development plans, programmes and projects for achieving sustainable development.

65. In its recommendations concerning least developed country status, the Committee for Development Policy has made useful progress in better reflecting the vulnerability of developing countries that face special disadvantages, such as small island developing States; the Committee’s ongoing work in this regard is encouraged.

 

XIII. Trade: globalization and trade liberalization

66. Most small island developing States, as a result of their smallness, persistent structural disadvantages and vulnerabilities, face specific difficulties in integrating into the global economy. Trade liberalization and globalization present opportunities and challenges to small island developing States, including in terms of the erosion of trade preferences. The potential benefits from trade liberalization and globalization can be best realized if the specific limitations and vulnerabilities of small island developing States are addressed at all levels.

67. A universal, rule-based, open, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system, as well as meaningful trade liberalization, can substantially stimulate development worldwide, benefiting countries at all stages of development. In that regard, we reaffirm our commitment to trade liberalization and to ensure that trade plays its full part in promoting economic growth, employment and development for all.

68. The decision taken on 1 August 2004 by the World Trade Organization members, which emphasizes their resolve to conclude the negotiations launched at Doha, and the renewed commitment by World Trade Organization members to fulfilling the development dimension of the current round of World Trade Organization negotiations, which seeks to place the needs and interests of developing countries at the heart of the Doha work programme, is a welcome development. We recognize the importance of intensifying efforts to facilitate the full and effective participation by small economies, notably small island developing States, in the deliberations and decision-making process of the World Trade Organization. Many small island developing States either are not represented at World Trade Organization headquarters in Geneva or are still grappling with the process of accession to World Trade Organization membership. Most small island developing States also experience serious capacity constraints in meeting World Trade Organization obligations.

69. In seeking to integrate into the global economy, there are a number of issues of special concern to small island developing States, including:

(a) The World Trade Organization accession process;

(b) Graduation and smooth transition from the United Nations list of least developed countries;

(c) Capacity constraints;

(d) Harmonized, coordinated and sustainably financed technical assistance;

(e) Structural handicaps and vulnerabilities of small island developing States;

(f) Erosion of preferences;

(g) Structural adjustment;

(h) Relationship between trade, environment and development;

(i) Trade and food security;

(j) Lack of adequate representation at World Trade Organization headquarters in Geneva.

 

XIV. Sustainable capacity development and education for sustainable development

70. Small island developing States continue to require support to address the serious challenges they face in capacity development in policy and strategy formulation and implementation. Small island developing States are currently seeking to address these challenges in capacity through a more integrated approach that includes civil society and the private sector, noting that within the Caribbean Community region a charter has been established for the participation of all major groups.

71. While access to education in small island developing States has developed considerably over the last decade, it is still a fundamental component of sustainable development and capacity-building for the long term. The right to education is also a human right. In this regard, education strategies and action plans that encompass the wide-ranging needs for improved access to and quality of education need to be implemented.

72. Further action is required by small island developing States, with the necessary support of the international community, to further education for sustainable development through:

(a) Supporting efforts of the respective ministries of education;

(b) Promoting comprehensive and accessible universal primary education and ensuring gender equality in all small island developing States, with a major emphasis on reducing illiteracy;

(c) Promoting technical and vocational education in order to enhance skills and facilitate the entrepreneurship necessary for the pursuit of sustainable livelihoods;

(d) Strengthening distance-learning arrangements;

(e) Integrating national sustainable development strategies and environmental education within the education systems, with particular support from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and regional environmental organizations and in the framework of the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, 2005-2015;22

(f) Assisting with basic infrastructure, curriculum development, where appropriate, and teacher training, working towards an integrated gender perspective;

(g) Assisting with the further development of programmes for people with special needs, in particular children and youth, especially training at a regional level;

(h) Further strengthening the training and teaching of the principles and practices of good governance at all levels and the protection of human rights.

 

XV. Sustainable production and consumption

73. In response to the call in the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation for the development of a 10-year framework of progress in support of regional and national initiatives on sustainable consumption and production, small island developing States are committed, with the necessary support of the international community, to:

(a) Considering all initiatives relating to sustainable consumption and production in the context of the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development;

(b) Taking appropriate measures to facilitate the implementation of the 10-year framework on sustainable production and consumption in a coherent manner;

(c) Assessing the need for programmes on sustainable consumption and production strategies on the basis of national priorities and best practices.

 

XVI. National and regional enabling environments

74. Further action is required by small island developing States, with the necessary support of the international community, to:

(a) Formulate and implement national sustainable development strategies by 2005, as agreed to in the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation;

(b) Incorporate guiding principles of sustainable development into nationally owned poverty reduction strategies and all sectoral policies and strategies;

(c) Develop appropriate national targets and indicators for sustainable development that can be incorporated into existing national data-collection and reporting systems in order to, inter alia, respond to the requirements of the internationally agreed development goals, including those contained in the Millennium Declaration and other relevant global and regional targets;

(d) Improve legislative, administrative and institutional structures in order to develop and implement sustainable development strategies, policies and plans, mainstream sustainable development concerns into overall policy development and implementation, and facilitate the participation of civil society in all sustainable development initiatives;

(e) Create and empower sustainable development task forces, or their equivalent, to function as interdisciplinary and communally representative advisory bodies;

(f) Rationalize legislation that affects sustainable development at the national level, where appropriate, improve coordination between legislative frameworks and develop guidelines for those who must carry out legislative objectives;

(g) Develop and implement integrated planning systems and processes;

(h) Involve youth in envisioning sustainable island living.

 

XVII. Health

75. Health is a key determinant of sustainable development as identified through the internationally agreed development goals, including those contained in the Millennium Declaration. The strengthening and further development of cooperation and experience-sharing among small island developing States in the area of health is crucial and should be made a priority. A major concern in small island developing States is the increasing incidence of such health challenges as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, drug resistant malarial strains, dengue, severe acute respiratory syndrome, West Nile Virus, bird flu and other new and emerging diseases, and nutritional disorders, diabetes and other non-communicable diseases, and their impact on sustainable development.

76. Small island developing States are also committed, with the necessary support of the international community, to addressing HIV/AIDS, which is prevalent in many countries. In addition to its impact on individuals and families, HIV/AIDS is particularly devastating for countries with small populations and limited skilled workforces, taking a severe toll on their economies as productivity declines, income levels are reduced and the social fabric is undermined. Responding effectively to HIV/AIDS is both an urgent health issue and a development imperative.

77. Other communicable and non-communicable diseases will continue to have a significant impact on the health of small island developing States communities for the foreseeable future. Further, the experience of many regions has shown that failure to effectively control such diseases as HIV/AIDS will have substantial negative impacts on future sustainable development in all small island developing States.

78. Further action is required by small island developing States, with the necessary support of the international community, to effectively control these diseases through:

(a) Strengthening the health management and financing systems of small island developing States to enable them to arrest the HIV/AIDS epidemic, reduce the incidence of malaria, dengue and non-communicable diseases, and promote mental health;

(b) Technical assistance, bilaterally or through multilateral cooperation agencies, to facilitate prompt access to funds from the Global Fund to Combat HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which is a major instrument to combat these infectious diseases, thereby supporting the sustainable development of small island developing States;

(c) Enhanced accessibility to effective pharmaceutical drugs at affordable prices;

(d) The active implementation of healthy public policy and effective prevention programmes in such areas as immunization, reproductive health, mental health and health education;

(e) The development and implementation of effective surveillance initiatives at the local, national and regional levels;

(f) The facilitation of early information-sharing on possible emerging outbreaks nationally and internationally;

(g) Preparedness of countries and regional organizations to respond rapidly and effectively to outbreaks (whether naturally occurring or intentional), requiring the development and regular testing of response plans, the strengthening of response capacity and the identification of resources which can be accessed quickly;

(h) The development and implementation of modern, flexible national public health legislation;

(i) Promoting the development of traditional medicines, including medicinal plants;

(j) The implementation of targeted environmental health programmes that prevent the ill health of small island developing States populations, such as waste management, control of air pollution and improved water quality;

(k) Enhanced data collection on demographic and epidemiological trends.

 

XVIII. Knowledge management and information for decision-making

79. Small island developing States recognize that there are new opportunities afforded by the rapid new developments in ICT to overcome the limitations of isolation and remoteness and build their resilience. These new opportunities include such areas as e-commerce, improved early warning, tele-medicine and distancelearning.

80. Further action is required by small island developing States, with the necessary support of the international community, for:

(a) The identification and addressing of gaps in data and the characterization of information related to economic, social, environmental and cultural areas;

(b) Developing databases, vulnerability indexes, geographic information systems and other information systems;

(c) Establishing national and regional information and database centres, including the collection, quality control and use of metadata, analysis of data, accessibility and sharing of data and information;

(d) The expansion and extension of the Partnership in Statistics for Development in the Twenty-first Century initiative to address the concerns of small island developing States;

(e) Addressing issues relating to cyber-security in small island developing States;

(f) Establishing land use databases, inter alia, through training in and access to the use of geographic information systems and remote-sensing;

(g) Strengthening and establishing, where necessary, relevant research and postgraduate programmes at regional tertiary-level institutions in small island developing States.

81. Consideration should be given to the establishment of a task force to elaborate a resilience index, supported by the international community. This work would be significantly enhanced as a result of the successful implementation of the activities outlined above.

 

XIX. Culture

82. Small island developing States recognize the importance of the cultural identity of people and its importance for advancing sustainable development, and they also recognize the need to develop cultural industries and initiatives that offer significant economic opportunities for national and regional development. Cultural industries and initiatives are viewed as an area in which small island developing States have comparative advantage; they have the potential to diversify small island developing States economies and build their resilience while they adjust to changes in the global economy. Small island developing States are committed, with the necessary support of the international community, to:

(a) Developing and implementing national cultural policies and legislative frameworks to support the development of cultural industries and initiatives in such areas as music, art, the literary and culinary arts, fashion, festivals, theatre and film, sports and cultural tourism;

(b) Developing measures to protect the natural, tangible and intangible cultural heritage and increase resources for the development and strengthening of national and regional cultural initiatives;

(c) Improving institutional capacity for the advocacy and marketing of cultural products and the protection of intellectual property;

(d) Seeking venture capital and access to credit for small and medium-sized cultural enterprises and initiatives, including through the establishment of culture support funds in small island developing States regions.

 

XX. Implementation

83. Small island developing States and the international community recognize that the further implementation of the Programme of Action, Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, as well as the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including those contained in the Millennium Declaration, are mutually reinforcing. This will require a more focused and substantially increased effort, both by small island developing States themselves and by the rest of the international community, based on the recognition that each country has primary responsibility for its own development and that the role of national policies and development strategies cannot be overemphasized, taking fully into account the Rio Principles, including, inter alia, the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities as set out in principle 7 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development.23

84. To adequately address their most urgent sustainable development challenges, small island developing States, with the necessary support of the international community, including through the facilitation and improvement of access to existing resources and, where appropriate, through the allocation of dedicated financial resources, will, in the following key areas:

(a) Climate change adaptation and sea-level rise: as an integral component of their national sustainable development strategies, where appropriate, take action to develop and implement national adaptation strategies and facilitate regional and interregional cooperation, including within the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change24 and, inter alia, with support from the Least Developed Countries Fund and the Special Climate Change Fund, as appropriate;

(b) Energy: take action to address the energy vulnerability of small island developing States, to promote access to energy-efficient technologies, renewable energy and advanced clean energy technologies that are affordable and readily adaptable to the special circumstances of small island developing States;

(c) Intellectual property rights and development: take action to protect intellectual property in small island developing States, including traditional knowledge and folklore, and recognize their value;

(d) Biodiversity: take action to build representative systems of terrestrial and marine protected areas and to advance the development of the Convention on Biological Diversity programme of work on island biodiversity, and facilitate access to genetic resources and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of their utilization;

(e) Culture and development: take action to promote the development of cultural industries in small island developing States, including through cultural exchanges among small island developing States and other countries;

(f) Natural and environmental disasters: take action to develop partnerships to implement schemes that spread out risks, reduce insurance premiums, expand insurance coverage and thereby increase financing for postdisaster reconstruction and rehabilitation, and establish and strengthen effective early warning systems and other mitigation and response measures;

(g) Marine resources: take action to promote national and regional efforts in the sustainable management of marine resources of small island developing States, through appropriate assessment and management of fish stocks and effective monitoring and surveillance of fishing efforts, including appropriate enforcement measures to minimize illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and overharvesting, mapping the exclusive economic zones, and improving and strengthening existing regional mechanisms, where appropriate;

(h) Agriculture and rural development: take action to promote agricultural competitiveness through the long-term development of efficient agricultural systems, diversification and value-added activities, and to ensure food security, inter alia, through research and development;

(i) HIV/AIDS: take action to urgently intensify action at all levels to prevent and combat the spread of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria and other communicable and non-communicable diseases, and mitigate the impact of these diseases;

(j) Transport and security: take action to promote access to appropriate technology and increased technical and other assistance to further develop and manage transport infrastructure in small island developing States to meet international requirements, including those relating to security, as well as to minimize environmental impacts;

(k) Sustainable production and consumption: take action to develop appropriate mechanisms to address the challenges associated with the design and implementation of the sustainable production and consumption strategies of small island developing States at the national and regional levels;

(l) Information and communication technology: take action to enhance ICT development, including connectivity and access to affordable hardware and software.

85. To assist small island developing States in this regard will require:

(a) Substantially increasing the flow of financial and other relevant resources, both public and private, and ensuring their effective use;

(b) Improved trade opportunities;

(c) Access to and transfer of environmentally sound technologies on a concessional or preferential basis, as mutually agreed;

(d) Education and awareness-raising;

(e) Capacity-building and information for decision-making and scientific capabilities;

(f) National country-driven and country-owned strategies for sustainable development, including poverty reduction and resilience-building.

86. Small island developing States reaffirm their commitment to meeting the sustainable development goals and priorities contained in the Programme of Action by, inter alia, more effective utilization of available resources and reinforcing their national sustainable development strategies and mechanisms. The success of the present Strategy at the national level will depend on effective human, institutional and technical capacity development, effective monitoring and coordination, including through the support of small island developing States regional organizations. At the global level, it is essential for the international community to support these goals and assist in the implementation of actions to achieve them, particularly through the provision of financial and technical support.

 

A. Access to and the provision of financial resources

87. The international community reaffirms its commitment to supporting the sustainable development of small island developing States through the provision of financial resources, including, inter alia, access to existing funds and financial mechanisms, such as the relevant operational programmes of the Global Environment Facility, and underlines the crucial involvement of the donor community, including the international financial institutions and regional development banks.

88. This commitment entails the adoption of a more coherent, coordinated and collaborative approach to the sustainable development of small island developing States, through, inter alia:

(a) Strengthened country-driven donor coordination for small island developing States as regional groups or through national consultative processes, using existing frameworks, where relevant;

(b) Active support for regional and interregional cooperation among small island developing States, such as the small island developing States university consortium, the Caribbean-Pacific water initiative and the interregional ocean governance initiative;

(c) Broad-based partnerships that ensure involvement and participation of all relevant stakeholders, including the private sector;

(d) Appropriate harnessing of the potential for foreign direct investment and encouraging increased foreign direct investment flows to small island developing States;

(e) Urging developed countries that have not done so to make concrete efforts towards the target of 0.7 per cent of gross national product as official development assistance, and encouraging developing countries, including small island developing States, to build on progress achieved to use official development assistance effectively to help achieve development goals and targets;

(f) Targeting and coordinating this aid well, including through the harmonization of donor procedures, untying aid, increasing absorptive capacity and other such measures, which are particularly important when providing official development assistance to countries with limited capacity, such as small island developing States;

(g) Urging the Global Environment Facility, consistent with the decisions of relevant bodies, to simplify and improve access to and the effectiveness and efficiency of its support, including disbursement procedures, and those of its implementing agencies. The international community should facilitate the access of small island developing States to the Global Environment Facility.

 

B. Science and development and transfer of technology

89. Access to appropriate technologies remains crucial for the sustainable development of small island developing States. Small island developing States and relevant regional and international development partners should work together to:

(a) Focus on the dissemination and use of technology that helps resiliencebuilding in order to address the growing vulnerability (economic, environmental and social) of small island developing States;

(b) Promote access to technological system licences, with due respect for the rights of licence holders, including for the management of waste as a resource, energy efficiency and renewable energy development, through such mechanisms as regional development banks;

(c) Disseminate information on the resilience-building technologies deployed in small island developing States and on the provision of technical assistance to small island developing States;

(d) Assist small island developing States in making critical technological choices, providing information on previous experience with technology in small island developing States, in partnership with the Small Islands Developing States Network, as the mechanism for dissemination, and tertiary institutions in small island developing States;

(e) Provide technical assistance to small island developing States to help them develop institutional arrangements conducive to the registration of intellectual patents and the identification of potential partners for full-scale commercialization;

(f) Promote intersectoral synergies;

(g) Continue to strengthen science and technological collaboration through North-South and South-South Cooperation;

(h) Facilitate research into new products, maximizing the use of existing small island developing States resources;

(i) Encourage the development of appropriate programmes in support of national and regional efforts to build the science and technological capacities of small island developing States;

(j) Consider the establishment of a small island developing States dedicated technology transfer and development facility.

 

C. Capacity development

90. The international community commits itself to continuing to support the efforts of small island developing States to develop human and institutional capacity through:

(a) Cooperation with other capacity development initiatives and existing programmes, such as the United Nations Development Programme capacity 2015 programme, to provide resources for education reform and make education systems relevant for small island developing States, including through the integration of national sustainable development strategies in education curricula;

(b) Investing in appropriate training, focusing on water and waste management, energy, climate change adaptation and mitigation, intellectual property rights, the development of cultural industries, tourism, disaster management, health care, trade facilitation and niche marketing, insurance, investment, agriculture, mining, forestry and fisheries and natural resources product development, and involving small island developing States NGOs and community groups;

(c) Supporting the small island developing States Universities Consortium, small island developing States regional organizations and NGO networks in order to improve the use of small island developing States intellectual resources and to provide the cadre of expertise that is needed in small island developing States at the national and regional levels, in particular in the areas of climate change, energy, integrated island management, trade and sustainable development, sustainable tourism development, international law, intellectual property rights and negotiating skills;

(d) The development of the capacity to monitor the state of the environment, economies and social and cultural institutions of small island developing States to define and further develop their national priorities and meet international obligations;

(e) The involvement of youth in envisioning sustainable island living and improving the capacity of civil society to enable them fully to contribute to sustainable development;

(f) The establishment and strengthening of centres of excellence for training and applied research within existing national and regional institutions;

(g) Enhancing the delivery of coordinated, effective and targeted traderelated technical assistance and capacity-building programmes for small island developing States, including taking advantage of existing and future market access opportunities and examining the relationship between trade, environment and development;

(h) Facilitating the development of human resources and institutional capacity within small island developing States for the implementation of the obligations of multilateral environmental agreements.

 

D. National and international governance

1. National enabling environment

91. Good governance is essential for sustainable development. Sound economic policies, solid democratic institutions responsive to the needs of the people and improved infrastructure are the basis for sustained economic growth, poverty eradication and employment creation. The following are also essential and mutually reinforcing requirements for sustainable development: freedom; peace and security; domestic stability; respect for human rights, including the right to development, and the rule of law; gender equality; market-oriented policies; and an overall commitment to just and democratic societies.

92. Small island developing States commit themselves, with the necessary support of the international community, to continue the following:

(a) Mobilizing resources at the national level to meet the sustainable development goals and priorities articulated in the Programme of Action;

(b) Developing national sustainable development strategies, including nationally owned poverty reduction strategies and sectoral policies and strategies;

(c) Developing and strengthening their legislative, administrative and institutional structures;

(d) Increasing the awareness and involvement of relevant stakeholders in the implementation of sustainable development programmes;

(e) Promoting an enabling environment for investment and technology and the development of enterprises, including small and medium-sized enterprises, for sustainable development, through appropriate policies for regulatory frameworks and in a manner consistent with national laws and circumstances, to foster a dynamic and well functioning business sector, while recognizing that the appropriate role of government in market-oriented economies will vary from country to country;

(f) Engaging corporate and other private-sector actors to contribute to sustainable development;

(g) Promoting public/private partnerships.

 

2. International enabling environment

93. Good governance at the international level is fundamental for achieving sustainable development. In order to ensure a dynamic and enabling international economic environment, it is important to promote global economic governance by addressing the international finance, trade, technology and investment patterns that have an impact on the development prospects of developing countries. To this effect, the international community should take all necessary and appropriate measures, including ensuring support for structural and macroeconomic reform, a comprehensive solution to the external debt problem and increasing market access for developing countries. Efforts to reform the international financial architecture need to be sustained with greater transparency and the effective participation of developing countries in decision-making processes should be ensured. A universal, rules-based, open, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system, as well as meaningful trade liberalization, can substantially stimulate development worldwide, benefiting countries at all stages of development.

94. International institutions, including financial institutions, should pay appropriate attention to the particular needs and priorities of small island developing States. In this regard, the international community recognizes the diversity of circumstances that exist within developing countries and the need to avoid a onesize- fits-all approach. International organizations should operate on an integrated cross-sector-based approach in order to ensure the optimum utilization of resources across sectors.

95. The international community recognizes that all efforts undertaken in the implementation of the present Strategy must be carried out without adopting measures that hinder sustainable development and must be in accordance with international law, including the Charter of the United Nations.

 

3. Trade and finance

96. Attention should be focused on the specific trade- and development-related needs and concerns of small island developing States to enable them to fully integrate into the multilateral trading system in accordance with the Doha mandate on small economies.

97. In order to address the concerns of small island developing States, the following considerations are of high priority:

(a) The redoubling of efforts towards the successful completion of the World Trade Organization negotiations launched at Doha on the basis of a balanced overall outcome that meets the ambition of the Doha mandate in fulfilment of the commitments ministers made at Doha;

(b) The facilitation of the accession of small island developing States, where appropriate, through enhanced technical assistance;

(c) The recognition of the importance of long-standing preferences and of the need for steps to address the issue of preference erosion;

(d) The use of appropriate long-term mechanisms to facilitate the adjustment of small island developing States to post-Doha trade liberalization and timely implementation of the trade integration mechanism for small island developing States that are members of IMF to address balance-of-payments shortfalls arising from multilateral trade liberalization;

(e) Taking into account the specific circumstances of each small island developing State when assessing the perspective of long-term debt sustainability;

(f) The implementation of programmes to facilitate remittances, encourage foreign investment and support the development of small island developing States;

(g) Developing human resources and institutional capacity to address traderelated issues that are of interest to small island developing States, as well as analysing and formulating appropriate policies and developing and providing resources for the appropriate infrastructure required to address issues relating to sanitary and phytosanitary measures and technical barriers to trade;

(h) Continuing the commitment of the international community to the Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund, which provides valuable assistance to developing country members, particularly those without representation at World Trade Organization headquarters in Geneva, to participate more actively in the Doha round of negotiations and the World Trade Organization more generally;

(i) Support for regional representation in the World Trade Organization to enhance the effective participation and negotiation capacity of small island developing States in the World Trade Organization;

(j) Working to ensure that, in the World Trade Organization work programme on small economies, due account is taken of small island developing States, which have severe structural handicaps in integrating into the global economy within the context of the Doha work programme.

98. Furthermore, the United Nations Secretary-General is requested to consider enhancing, where appropriate, the work programmes of relevant United Nations agencies, including the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, on the special problems of small island developing States, in order to provide concrete recommendations to assist small island developing States in obtaining access to and deriving greater economic opportunities and benefits from the global economy. The World Trade Organization and other relevant international organizations are encouraged to use the modalities of the integrated framework of trade-related technical assistance for least developed countries to coordinate assistance programmes, including capacity-building for more effective participation in trade negotiations, and to build on national poverty reduction strategies in order to mainstream trade into the development plans of small island developing States.

 

E. Monitoring and evaluation

99. The international community recognizes the importance of regular monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the present Strategy, including within the overall framework of the integrated and coordinated follow-up of United Nations summits and conferences.

 

F. Role for the United Nations in the further implementation of the Programme of Action

100. The Commission on Sustainable Development will continue to be the primary intergovernmental body responsible for the implementation of and follow-up to the commitments related to small island developing States. Other relevant organs, programmes and organizations of the United Nations system also continue to have an important role within their respective areas of expertise and mandates. All organs and programmes of the United Nations system should coordinate and rationalize their work in implementing the present Strategy. In this regard, the Commission will include these issues in its work programme, in accordance with its decision at its eleventh session.

101. The Secretary-General of the United Nations is requested to fully mobilize and coordinate the agencies, funds and programmes of the United Nations system, including at the level of the regional commissions, within their respective mandates, and to further mainstream small island developing States issues to facilitate coordinated implementation of the follow-up to the Programme of Action at the national, regional, subregional and global levels. The Secretary-General is requested to include information on progress in this regard in his annual report to the General Assembly at its sixtieth session on the implementation of the Programme of Action.

102. The Secretary-General is also requested to ensure that the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, through its Small Island Developing States Unit, continues to provide substantive support and advisory services to small island developing States for the further implementation of the Programme of Action and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, and that the Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States of the United Nations Secretariat continues to mobilize international support and resources for the further implementation of the Programme of Action, in accordance with its mandate.

103. The international community recognizes that small island developing States should have the flexibility, through simplified procedures, to report jointly on the implementation of the Programme of Action and internationally agreed development goals, including those contained in the Millennium Declaration, and to combine such reporting with other international reporting requirements.

 

G. Role of small island developing States regional institutions for monitoring and implementation

104. Small island developing States regional institutions should play a key role in monitoring the implementation of the present Strategy.

 

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Notes

1 Report of the Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.94.I.18), chap. I, resolution 1, annex 2.

2 Report of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, Rio de Janeiro, 3-14 June 1992 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.93.I.8 and corrigenda), vol. I: Resolutions Adopted by the Conference, resolution 1, annex II.

3 Report of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, Johannesburg, South Africa, 26 August-4 September 2002 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.03.II.A.1), chap. I, resolution 2, annex.

4 Report of the International Conference on Financing for Development, Monterrey, Mexico, 18-22 March 2002 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.02.II.A.7), chap. I, resolution 1, annex.

5 General Assembly resolution 55/2.

6 E/CN.17/2004/8.

7 FCCC/CP/1997/7/Add.1, decision 1/CP.3, annex.

8 A/CONF.172/9, resolution 1, annex I.

9 United Nations Treaty Series, vol. 1673, No. 28911.

10 International Legal Materials, vol. 26, No. 6 (November 1987), p. 1550.

11 Official Records of the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea, vol. XVII (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.84.V.3), document A/CONF.62/122.

12 See International Fisheries Instruments (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.98.V.11), sect. III.

13 Ibid., sect. I; see also A/CONF.164/37.

14 Ibid.

15 See United Nations Environment Programme, Convention on Biological Diversity (Environmental Law and Institution Programme Activity Centre), June 1992.

16 See UNEP/CBD/COP/7/21.

17 See E/CN.17/2002/PC.2/15.

18 United Nations Treaty Series, vol. 1954, No. 33480.

19 See decision VII/14 of the Conference of Parties to the Convention.

20 See http://www.biodiv.org/biosafety.

21 UNEP/CBD/COP/6/20, decision VI/24, sect. A.

22 See General Assembly resolution 57/254.

23 See Report of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, Rio de Janeiro, 3-14 June 1992 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.93.I.8 and corrigenda), vol. I: Resolutions Adopted by the Conference, resolution 1, annex I.

24 A/AC.237/18 (Part II)/Add.1 and Corr.1, annex.