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Miles Stoby delivered some preliminary remarks on the Report of the Secretary-General on current donor activities in support of sustainable development in SIDS (A/CONF.167/PC/13). He noted that this was not an easy report to prepare as it was the first of its kind, and unusual within the UN system. Using new methodology and cooperating closely with multilateral institutions, donors and NGOs, the Secretariat created a database of current donor activities. Though the report did not go into qualitative analysis, its authors attempted to put it within a broader context. This is illustrated by the data tables that include socio-economic indicators and touch upon the concessionality and dispersement of overseas development assistance (ODA) to SIDS. Though the report is still a blunt instrument, it should provide a useful working tool for the Conference.

After Stoby's introduction, a member of the Secretariat elaborated on the preparation of this extensive report. The Secretariat distributed a questionnaire to UN agencies, relevant IGOs and NGOs regarding their activities in SIDS. In the case of bilateral donors, the Secretariat requested the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to submit relevant information, thus the data was not received from individual donors. He noted that 80% of the assistance comes from bilateral sources and that human resource development accounts for the highest level of support -- 24%. Donor activity is concentrated in relatively few of the sectors contained in the Draft Programme of Action and, thus, this analysis suggests there is a need for greater emphasis on other sectors.

The US noted that data on some territories is contained in this report and said that the title of PC/13 should be amended to read "Current donor activities in support of sustainable development in small island developing States and territories." Papua New Guinea supported this recommendation. Australia expressed its gratitude to the Secretariat and all those who participated in the preparation of the report. The report highlights difficulties confronting SIDS and provides lessons for the future. A facility could be set up so that additional information can be received and integrated within the report. It was agreed that an updated and revised report should be presented to the Conference.

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