Daily report for 27 April 1994

Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of SIDS


CUBA: The Minister of Science, Technology and Environment,Rosa Elena Simeon Negrin, said that the primary wealth of SIDS istheir people. The survival of human beings is threatened by highpopulation density, scarcity of forest and water resources, globalwarming, dependence on imports, and infant mortality.

SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS: Eugene Petty, the Minister ofEnvironment and Planning, said migration has led to populationdecline and a reduction in the level of expertise on the islands.He recognized the importance of NGOs, the private sector, youth andwomen.

MALDIVES: Deputy Minister of Planning, Human Resources andEnvironment, Hussain Shihab, stressed the need for coordinationamong governments and between donors. New and additional financialresources are needed. Poor market access and reliance on a singlecommodity are two problems facing SIDS.

LAO PEOPLE'S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC: Amb. Alounkeo Kittikhounsaid that to meet the challenges confronting them, SIDS needsupport from the international community.

AUSTRALIA: Amb. Penelope Wensley said that the Programme ofAction provides an instrument to achieve economic and socialwell-being for island peoples and an opportunity to measure the Riocommitments. Partnership with local communities and NGOs isessential.

INDIA: Amb. T.P. Sreenivasan said that India has set up anIsland Development Authority. Decentralization and involvement oflocal communities is an effective way of managing the process.Science and technology and finance are priorities.

WORLD BANK: Andrew Steer said that the Bank's support forSIDS focuses on: human resource development; waste management;sanitation and water supply; strengthened environmental and naturalresource management; and sound policy reform. The GEF can play avital role in addressing climate change in SIDS through financingalternative energy sources; protecting biodiversity; and addressingmarine pollution.

MAURITIUS: Sateevad Seebaluck, Assistant Secretary, Ministryof the Environment and Quality of Life, said SIDS are implicitlycondemned to a development status quo, as if they exist only topreserve the environment.

NEW CALEDONIA: Simon Loveckhote, President of Congress,spoke on behalf of this French territory. He called for economicdiversification, industrialization, improved communication andtourism development.

Prof. Bishnodat Persaud, Director, Centre for Environmentand Development, University of the West Indies, presented theresults of a case study on alternative energy for SIDS(A/CONF/167/CRP.1).

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: Sir George Alleyne said that theHIV/AIDS pandemic disproportionately affects developing countries.WHO aims to achieve a sustainable basis for health for all; ahealthy environment; and to ensure all are aware of theirresponsibility for health.

KIRIBATI: Nakibae Tellatabo said that sustainabledevelopment would be meaningless if all low-lying islands weresubmerged by the seas. SIDS draw upon limited resources to set upplans for the exploitation of their living marine resources anddonor countries should participate.

CANADA: John Fraser, Ambassador for the Environment, saidthat the response to global warming and a host of other problemsdepends on timely political decisions taken on the best evidenceavailable.

BENIN: Amb. Ren‚ Val‚ry Mongbe said that this Conference isthe first follow-up Conference since Rio and that the internationalcommunity should commit itself to helping SIDS through theprovision of new and additional resources and technology transfer.

UNFPA: Dr. Nafis Sadik, Executive Director andSecretary-General of the International Conference on Population andDevelopment, said that SIDS have high population densities and itis difficult to balance population, environment and development.Population programmes must include good quality reproductive-healthcare.

ROMANIA: Ioan Barac said that the preparatory process hasdemonstrated a general and sympathetic appreciation of the specialcircumstances of SIDS, and this appreciation should also prevailhere in Bridgetown.

INDONESIA: Aca Sugandhy noted that the most important partof this Programme -- the provisions on finance and technology --remains virtually unsolved.

UNICEF: On behalf of Executive Director James Grant, TeresaAlbanez, said that sustainable development starts with children.She urged Governments to ratify and implement the Convention on theRights of the Child. SIDS should adopt sustainable models forhealth care.

BERMUDA: Minister of the Environment Gerald Simons, speakingas a member of the UK delegation, highlighted Bermuda's experiencein moving to a modern tourist destination and financial center.

UN INTERNATIONAL DRUG CONTROL PROGRAMME: Michel Amiot saidthat SIDS are not immune to the devastating problems caused by drugabuse and its ramifications, such as related increases in crime,money laundering, family disruption, and health problems.

ORGANIZATION OF EASTERN CARIBBEAN STATES: Brian Challenger,on behalf of the Director General, said that his organization hasprepared a Regional Action Plan that aims to: provide theinternational community with an indication of the problems andopportunities facing its member States; and indicate effortsalready being pursued.

DEVELOPMENT ALTERNATIVES WITH WOMEN FOR A NEW ERA: PeggyAntrobus, Coordinator, said that programmes and structuraladjustment policies have impacted most heavily on women, but thatwomen's contributions are often overlooked.

TRICKLE UP PROGRAM: The representative said that theexperience of the programme demonstrates that SIDS have specialresources that enable them to sustainably reduce unemployment andunderemployment, enrich the quality of life and further sustainabledevelopment.


Continuing the first reading of the AOSIS/G-77 non-paper on SectionD of Chapter XV (Implementation, Monitoring and Review), theCommittee began with paragraph 16. For clarity, it was agreed thatreference to mechanisms for consultation in regional cooperationshould include regional and sub-regional agencies and banks. It wasagreed that such mechanisms should be first identified and thendevised, where appropriate. In paragraph 17, it was agreed thatsub-regional as well as regional non-UN bodies should take up theProgramme of Action. Consultations continue on reference toregional economic integration organizations. In paragraph 18,relating to the role of the regional commissions, there wasdiscussion on what authority should be granted to regionalcommissions and regional offices of UN agencies and how theProgramme of Action should relate to ongoing UN decentralization.It was agreed that the Secretariat should seek clarification withthe regional commissions.

After further consultations, agreement was reached on paragraph 11of the non-paper, which now reads: "UNCTAD should have astrengthened capacity to carry out, in accordance with its mandate,the research and analysis necessary to complement the work of theDPCSD with respect to the implementation of this Programme ofAction."


Paragraph 62: After much discussion on the nature of the agreementsreached in Rio, the brackets around the first sentence were removedafter delegates agreed on the following: "The Programme of Actionis an opportunity for the international community to demonstrateits commitment to the means of implementation adopted in Agenda21."

Paragraph 64: It was agreed that the first sentence, referring tothe relationship of Agenda 21 to this Programme of Action, shouldremain in brackets until it is placed in the Preamble.

Paragraph 67: The brackets remain around the whole paragraph. Itwas suggested that reference to Chapter 27 of Agenda 21 be deletedsince it is too specific. Others asked that the last sentence beplaced at the beginning of the paragraph. One group objected,arguing that NGOs could only be partners in the decision-makingprocess, not decision making per se, thus implying aconsultative role.

Paragraph 70: After consultations, delegates agreed to thefollowing: "In order to achieve greater and more stable exportearnings, SIDS should seek to develop a more diversified productionstructure for goods and services which exploits existing orpotential comparative advantages and which is consistent withenvironment and development policies which are mutuallysupportive."

Paragraph 73: Brackets were removed and the amended text reads:"Appropriate national measures for institutional development shouldbe taken to integrate environmental, population and developmentstrategies in national and sectoral development planning in orderto achieve sustainable development."

Paragraph 74: After much debate it was agreed to delete referenceto religious leaders and to insert reference to religiousauthorities elsewhere, possibly in paragraph 67.

Paragraphs 76-80: These paragraphs are now incorporated into theAOSIS/G-77 non-paper. It was agreed that references to the publicand private sectors should remain in brackets wherever theparagraphs now appear, pending further consultation.

Paragraph 91: As no one could fully understand the meaning of thetext, it was agreed that Australia would coordinate informalconsultations on this paragraph and paragraph 92, which bothaddress trade.

Paragraph 93: It was clarified that UNCTAD would carry out thestudy on the effects of trade liberalization. It was suggested that"globalization" be replaced with "global competition" and questionswere raised as to the scope of the study. There will be furtherconsultations.

Paragraph 99: The brackets were removed and the paragraph nowreads: "Invite the Executive Board of UNDP to coordinate afeasibility study in collaboration with SIDS and relevantsub-regional organizations for the implementation of...(SIDS/NET)."

It was agreed tht the same reference to UNDP and sub-regionalorganizations used in paragraph 99 be applied in paragraph 100bis. The brackets were removed from paragraph 104 on theCSD. After queries as to how the vulnerability index will operate,New Zealand was asked to coordinate consultations on paragraph 117.

At the close of the morning session the EU introduced a compositetext on finance that placed all the relevant paragraphs in thedraft Programme of Action together. If agreement can be reached asa whole, the paragraphs could then be placed appropriately in thetext. The group stressed three approaches: use existing resourcesmore sustainably; prioritize resources towards sustainabledevelopment; and mobilize new and additional resources.


The corridors have been alive with consultations on variousparagraphs in Chapter XV. In addition, Main Committee Vice-ChairTakao Shibata (Japan) is conducting consultations on a number ofthe outstanding issues in Chapters II-XIV of the Programme ofAction. Other groups have been informally discussing the BarbadosDeclaration, which will be considered in an informal plenarymeeting on Friday afternoon.


PLENARY: Possible speakers in the general debate todayinclude: OAS, Brazil, SELA, US, Singapore, Uganda, ESCAP, Jamaica,Samoa, SPREP and Greenpeace. Possible afternoon speakers include:Micronesia, Solomon Islands, ECA, Egypt, Seychelles, Afghanistan,UNIDO, Nauru, Costa Rica, the Canadian Development Bank, theWomen's International League for Peace and Freedom, and theInternational Social Service.

MAIN COMMITTEE: The Main Committee will resume at 11:00 amto allow AOSIS/G-77 time to consult on the EU's paper on finance.The Chair hopes that there will be progress to report on theoutstanding paragraphs in Chapter XV. It is likely that theCommittee will finish the finance paragraphs in Chapter XV and thenmove on to address the Preamble. Arrangements have been made for anevening session.

GEF BRIEFING: There will be a briefing on "The GlobalEnvironment Facility: Opportunities and Challenges and AdditionalFunding Sources for SIDS for Convention Implementation" today at1:00 pm in Conference Room 3.

UNESCO BRIEFING: The Intergovernmental OceanographicCommission of UNESCO will give a presentation on oceans and smallislands today at 4:00 pm in Conference Room 4.