Brussels, 8 December 2014/ Caribbean PR: A proposal has been made for the African, Caribbean & Pacific (ACP) Group of States to set up a Forum on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) as a permanent mechanism to implement the ‘SAMOA Pathway’, the outcome document from the Third International Conference on SIDS that was held in Samoa last September.
The recommendation, among others addressing programmes on migration, illicit financial flows from ACP countries and small enterprise development, is contained in the Final Report of the Ambassadorial Working Group on Future Perspectives for the African, Caribbean & Pacific (ACP) Group of States.
The report was prepared by representatives of the six regions drawn from the Ambassadors of Barbados, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Fiji and Seychelles with Ambassador of Guyana, Dr. P I. Gomes, as Chairman.
Ambassador Gomes pointed to the importance of the ACP Group finding effective measures and mechanisms to address both global cross-cutting issues, such as climate change, energy security and youth unemployment, affecting the Group as a whole, and the specific critical issues that are fundamental challenges to particular regions.
“In this case, for the ACP Group to champion the SIDS is a logical response to the large numbers of SIDS that are members of the ACP Group,” Ambassador Gomes said. Some 31 of the 37 SIDS are members of the ACP Group.
The Ambassadors’ Report will be submitted to the 100th Session of the Council of Ministers from the 79 member states of the ACP Group, to be held in Brussels from 9-12 December, 2014. It gives emphasis to promoting South- South and Triangular Cooperation in tackling poverty eradication through implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as part of the UN Post-2015 Development Agenda.
The proposed SIDS Forum to be established by the ACP will liaise with the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) in advocating the use of Green Climate Fund resources for adaptation measures to reduce impacts of climate change in areas such as food security systems of SIDS. It will also build strong lobbying arenas in the lead up to the 2015 Climate Summit in Paris to demand obligatory pollution-reducing measures on those countries exceeding internationally agreed levels.
The decisions in the SAMOA Pathway highlight the serious threats facing the survival of small and low lying coastal states due to increasing sea level rise and environmentally degrading effects of Green House Gas Emissions from industrialisation by developed countries and now also China and India.
Jamaican MP Hon. Fitz A. Jackson, Co-President of the 28th Session of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly speaking on the specific challenges and needs of SIDS on Tuesday in Strasbourg said ten SIDS are identified by the UN as among 14 of the most vulnerable economies in the world and most exposed to the devastating effects of climate change, including the destruction of their natural shores and ecosystems.
“SIDS are 12 times more exposed to climate change and sea-level rise than other larger countries of the world; an issue of existential concern within the Pacific. Their major earning sectors such as tourism and their food and nutrition security are constantly under threat from climatic volatility. The truth is that for most SIDS there is simply no such thing as economic resilience,” he said.
The ACP’s Ambassadorial Working Group Report also identifies five strategic policy domains that will see programmes on Global Justice and Human Security; Trade, Industry and Regional Integration; Rule of Law and Democratic Governance; Financing for Development and Building Resilient, Sustainable and Creative Economies among and between ACP countries.
For further information, please contact:
Ambassador P.I. Gomes,
Boulevard Brand Whitlock 114
1200 Brussels
Tel 32 (0) 2 675 6216
Fax 32 (0)2 672 5598