04.04.2013 - UNESCO Office in Apia

UNESCO and UNICEF launch My World My SIDS

Applications are open from young people from small island developing states to participate in the 2013 SIDS youth networking: My World My SIDS.

Selected young people from the Pacific, Caribbean and Indian/Atlantic Ocean regions will have a chance to participate in the preparation process for the SIDS 2014 global meeting (www.sids2014.org) by presenting youth voices at the regional and inter-regional preparatory meetings held in 2013. Through a series of regional conference in Jamaica, Fiji and the Seychelles, young people will be able to discuss the challenges for SIDS from a youth perspective and provide proposals for the post 2015 development agenda and next strategy for sustainable development in SIDS.

If you are passionate about your world and your island home, are an active youth worker and advocate, and would like to participate in this process, UNESCO and UNICEF are offering to support the travel costs for selected young peoples’ participation in the regional youth conferences. Self-funded applicants will also be considered.

Additional information on how to apply is available from www.unesco.org/apia or unicef.pacific.org

You can download PDFs for Application Form and more information.


  1. Application Form PDF (Click here)
  2. Instructions for Applicants PDF (Click here)
  3. SIDS Youth Flyer PDF (Click here)

Background information:

What is SIDS2014?
In 1994 Member States of the United Nations came together in Barbados to discuss the special challenges and needs of Small Island Developing States, now widely known as SIDS. In addition to the challenges of other developing countries, the special situation of SIDS due to their isolation, small economies and fragile environments, mean that achieving sustainable development means designing specific approaches for small islands. The 2004 meeting endorsed the Barbados Programme of Action (BPOA)  as the blueprint for addressing these special challenges. Fourteen key areas were identified covering sustainable environments, energy and communication, tourism and human resource development.

Twenty years later, the United Nations will convene the Third International Conference for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) during September 2014 in Apia, Samoa. The original Programme of Action and the Implementation Strategy developed in Mauritius during the 10 year review will be examined to determine what progress has been made in 20 years, what challenges still exist and key priorities for internationally agreed development goals in the post 2015 era (linking with the outcomes of the Rio +20 Conference held in 2012 ‘the Future We Want’) and will identify current and emerging challenges for the sustainable development of SIDS.

Preparatory meetings in 2013 are the first part of this process. The outcomes of the inter-regional government meeting in Barbados in September 2013, will be used as the basis for the drafting process to develop a renewed plan of action for SIDS.

Why should young people participate?
Young people are the future of island countries as one of the major assets in SIDS is human capacity. Their views may not always be heard in high level inter-governmental processes, yet it is important for the future of these nations and considered to have a positive impact on the quality of decision making. Youth are able to bring fresh ideas, innovation and energy to many tasks. Youth activism also make a very positive contribution to local national and regional communities. 

What does the My World, My SIDS Conference involve?
The conference will be designed and run by a small group of selected young people from your region. It is not a training event but a place for dialogue and debate, for sharing your vision about the future and figuring how to advocate for this with your Government. The themes will be selected using the information you give us on the application forms – it will focus on what is most important to young people. Two delegates from each regional group will be selected to present the conference outcomes to the regional government meetings, and one person from each region will be selected to attend the inter-regional meeting to present the combined vision of SIDS young people for the future of their islands.

How do I apply?
The application is open to all young people between the ages of 12 and 30. Preference in allocating places will be given to young people from SIDS, but young people from non-SIDS may participate as self-funded or privately sponsored applicants. Under 18s will be required to travel with a chaperone (funded for sponsored participants and self-funded for non-sponsored participants).

To complete your application you will need to submit something that shows your passion for the future of SIDS. This may be in any format (use your imagination!). Send this together with the application form and a copy of your passport information page to sidsyouth(at)gmail.com by 30 April 2013. Shortlisted candidates will be contacted in early May to confirm their availability and acceptance of sponsorship from the United Nations for funded participants. 

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