UNESCO and Small Island Developing States (SIDS)
In 2008, to ensure that UNESCO’s unique multi-disciplinary expertise – in science, culture, climate change, education, biodiversity resource preservation, knowledge management and information for decision-making – are productively used in addressing the multiplicity of challenges facing SIDS, a UNESCO intersectoral platform has been established. The SIDS platform mobilizes UNESCO’s house-wide contribution for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) through an integrated approach to sustainable island living and development, emphasizing interregional linkages and cooperation, reflecting the priority status assigned to SIDS in UNESCO’s current strategy.
Assisting SIDS in the implementation of the 1994 Barbados Programme of Action, the 2005 Mauritius Strategy and the SAMOA Pathway has been a priority for the Organization. As a follow-up to the Organization’s commitment to implement the outcomes of the Third International Conference on SIDS in Samoa, UNESCO has developed, in consultation with its SIDS Member States, a long-term SIDS Action Plan (2016-2021), unanimously adopted by its Member States during the Organization’s Executive Board in April 2016. The Action Plan benefits from an intersectoral engagement across all of UNESCO’s programmes, and its implementation mobilizes networks of sites and a wide range of partners and stakeholders in SIDS and other countries worldwide, including inter-regional, interinstitutional and inter-agency collaboration.
UNESCO SIDS Member States
|Antigua and Barbuda||Guyana||Saint Lucia|
|Bahamas||Haiti*||Saint Vincent and the Grenadines|
|Belize||Kiribati*||Sao Tome and Principe*|
|Cook Islands||Mauritius||Solomon Islands*|
|Cuba||Micronesia (Federated States of)||Suriname|
|Fiji||Palau||Trinidad and Tobago|
|Grenada||Papua New Guinea||Tuvalu*|
|Guinea-Bissau*||Saint Kitts and Nevis||Vanuatu|
UNESCO SIDS Associate Members
|Anguilla||Cayman Islands||New Caledonia|
|British Virgin Islands||Montserrat||Tokelau|
*Also Least Developed Countries (LDCs)
"We have heard much about the special vulnerabilities of Small Island Developing States and the particular challenges that they face. At the same time, there is also need to stress the very special positive characteristics and strengths of small island nations and communities: their extraordinary capacity for adaptation and innovation; their proven determination and capability to overcome many adversities; their role as one of the world’s front-line zones for addressing the challenges of sustainable development and sustainable living; and the recognized importance of maintaining solidarity among themselves while treasuring their diversity."
- Koïchiro Matsuura
The UNESCO SIDS Action Plan, adopted in 2016, embraces the "Samoa Pathway" and integrates its priorities across all the Organization's programmes. This Action Plan covers all areas of UNESCO's mandate in education, natural sciences, social and human sciences, culture, and communication and information.