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Preparations for the review of the Programme of Action for Small Island Developing States

One of the main objectives of Small Islands Voice is to ensure that the general public's views on environment and development issues contribute to the review of the Programme of Action for Small Island Developing States.

At the 57th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, 12th December 2002, a resolution was adopted reaffirming the special case for Small Island Developing States (SIDS), including the urgent need for effective implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, and a comprehensive review of the Plan of Action adopted in Barbados in 1994. A decision was made to convene an international meeting in 2004, which will include a high-level segment, to undertake a full and comprehensive review of the implementation of the Programme of Action, as called for in the Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (Johannesburg, 2002); and the offer of the Government of Mauritius to host the international meeting was accepted. The resolution invites the different sectors of society in all Member States to participate fully in the review of the Programme of Action and its follow-up (item 11).

Regional preparatory meetings have been held in 2003 so that SIDS can review their progress relating to the Barbados Programme of Action over the past ten years. The Pacific Regional Meeting was held in Apia, Samoa from 4-8th August, 2003, and a report has been prepared. The report for the AIMS region meeting (Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean and South China Sea), held in Praia, Cape Verde Islands from 1-5th September, 2003, has been prepared. Finally, the report from the Caribbean meeting, held in Trinidad and Tobago from 6-10 October 2003, has been prepared.

Regional and inter-regional organizations are also taking part in the review process. In this regard UNESCO has prepared a website, a forward looking paper that discusses and presents the key issues relating to the sustainable development of SIDS in a new perspective, and an article on Small islands step into the limelight.

Civil society has been preparing for the review of the Barbados Programme of Action. A regional workshop was held in Mauritius for representatives from civil society in the Indian Ocean, from 3-5 October 2003. This workshop was organized by the Centre for Documentation and Research in the Indian Ocean (CEDREFI) and supported by Small Islands Voice. A summary report on this civil society consultation has been prepared and was also discussed at the Oceans, Coasts and Islands Conference in Paris in November 2003. One of the outputs of the workshop was the Declaration of Calodyne sur Mer, Mauritius.

Civil society in the Caribbean has also been preparing for the review of the Barbados Programme of Action. A regional consultation was held from 3-5 October 2003, organised by the Caribbean Network for Integrated Rural Development, and supported by the United Nations Environment Programme. A summary report and a declaration resulting from this consultation was presented to the Caribbean regional preparatory meeting.

An inter-regional preparatory meeting was held in Nassau, The Bahamas, 26-30 January 2004. This meeting, at Ministerial level, gave SIDS an opportunity to consolidate their national and regional reviews and to determine their common priorities with the support of the international community. One output from the meeting was the Nassau Declaration.


To get involved, contact :


Coastal Regions and Small Islands Platform
UNESCO, Paris, France
fax: +33 1 45 68 58 08

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