The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) has released a series of six briefing papers on priority themes for discussion during the Third International Conference on Small Island Development States (SIDS), set to take place in Apia, Samoa, from 1-4 September 2014.
The SIDS conference will include six multi-stakeholder ‘Partnership Dialogues’ intended to strengthen existing partnerships and promote new ones. The UN briefing papers correspond to the partnership dialogue themes of: sustainable economic development; climate change and disaster risk management; social development in SIDS, health and non-communicable diseases (NCDs), youth and women; sustainable energy; oceans, seas and biodiversity; water and sanitation, food security and waste management. The papers suggest a wide range of opportunities that could be addressed through new or existing partnerships, especially public-private collaborations.
On sustainable economic development, the authors propose conducting investment impact monitoring, and establishing regional SIDS programmes to promote investment through public-private partnerships.
On climate change and disaster risk management, the authors suggest the adoption of risk financing instruments, such as contingency funds and insurance, as part of spatial and development planning initiatives.
On social development, they note that obesity and diabetes rates are “staggering” in the Pacific, and they aim to prevent premature morbidity and mortality from NCDs, including measures to protect SIDS from the negative impacts of bilateral and global trade agreements. They also aim to make education more relevant, and to improve labor market access and secure quality jobs for young people.
On sustainable energy, the authors recommend supporting an enabling environment for sustainable energy markets; facilitating access to modern, affordable and reliable energy services for rural households; decreasing reliance on fossil fuel imports; and improving women’s access to renewable and cost-effective energy.
On oceans, they recommend addressing the impacts of ocean acidification and climate change, promoting inclusive and sustainable development of local economies using the oceans, preventing marine and land-based pollution, and reversing the decline in fish stocks.
On water and sanitation, they propose strengthening regional mechanisms for managing hazardous wastes and ship-generated wastes; promoting resource efficiency as a means to reduce the generation of waste and wastewater, and incorporating climate information into practices and policies for supporting agriculture and food security. [Partnership Dialogue Briefs] [SIDS Conference Website] [SIDS Partnerships Platform]