Brussels, 20 June 2014/ ACP: Ministers from the member states of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States have urged a recommitment of the international community to addressing the vulnerabilities of Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
The ACP declaration was pronounced at the Council of Ministers held in Nairobi Kenya, 17-18 June, in anticipation of the upcoming Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to be held in September in Samoa, under the theme: “The sustainable development of small island developing states through genuine and durable partnerships”.
With 37 ACP member states classified as such, Ministers argued that SIDS were a “special case for sustainable development,” noting the persistent and unique vulnerabilities such as small size, narrow resource and export base, high levels of poverty and indebtedness, remoteness, increased exposure to global environmental challenges and external shocks, and problematic access to energy.
ACP Ministers further emphasised that climate change poses the most serious long-term threat to the very survival of SIDS, and called for urgent action by way of new legal instruments under the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action by December of 2015. The declaration noted that higher frequency and intensity of natural disasters due to climate change also require means and tools for a preventive approach towards natural disasters at the international level.
ACP Ministers called on developed nations to honour their pledge to commit 0.7% of Gross National Income (GNI) as development aid, to allow new sources of financing to enable SIDS to tackle challenges in a sustainable way. They also urged that development financing be maintained for those SIDS that have graduated from Middle Income to Upper Middle Income status (based on GDP), but still face unique vulnerabilities that could threaten this progress.
The declaration stated that the post-2015 development agenda also needs to address means of implementation, including technology development and transfer as well as capacity building.
Meanwhile, the green economy and blue economy – ocean and marine resources – were highlighted as growth engines for sustainable development of SIDS.
– ACP Press