UNESCO and Small Island Developing States (SIDS)

UNESCO has been among the pioneers in the UN system supporting SIDS in their efforts to achieve sustainable development and carrying their challenges to the forefront of the global agenda.

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.

SIDS

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.

Small islands are really vast ocean states whose land area is only a part of their territory and whose experience is vital for all the inhabitants of our blue planet.
Irina Bokova Former Director-General of UNESCO (2009-2017)

UNESCO SIDS Member States

Listofcountries
Antigua and Barbuda GuyanaSaint Lucia
BahamasHaiti*Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
BarbadosJamaicaSamoa
BelizeKiribati*Sao Tome and Principe*
Cabo VerdeMaldivesSingapore
Comoros*Marshall IslandsSeychelles
Cook IslandsMauritiusSolomon Islands*
CubaMicronesia (Federated States of)Suriname
DominicaNauruTimor-Leste*
Dominican Republic NiueTonga
FijiPalauTrinidad and Tobago
GrenadaPapua New GuineaTuvalu*
Guinea-Bissau*Saint Kitts and NevisVanuatu

UNESCO SIDS Associate Members

Listofcountries
AnguillaCayman IslandsNew Caledonia
ArubaCuraçaoSint Maarten
British Virgin IslandsMontserratTokelau

*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

UNESCO'S Action Plan
Sept. 2016

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.

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Resolutions on SIDS

Mid-term evaluation of the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Action Plan
20 February 2019
UNESCO
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Mid-term evaluation of the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Action Plan
20 February 2019
UNESCO
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Decisions adopted by the Executive Board at its 201st session
17 May 2017
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Follow-up to decisions and resolutions adopted by the Executive Board and the General Conference at their previous sessions: Part I, Programme issues, Data for small island developing States from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) database
26 Aug. 2016
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Follow-up to decisions and resolutions adopted by the Executive Board and the General Conference at their previous sessions
20 February 2019
UNESCO
0000366791
Follow-up to decisions and resolutions adopted by the Executive Board and the General Conference at their previous sessions, Part I Programme issues, Activities benefitting SIDS within the Organization's Programme (2014-2017) and Budget (38 C/5), includin
8 Sept. 2015
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World Heritage Committee meeting reports and draft decision
11 May 2009
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