It was recalled that third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) had been held on 1-4 September 2014 in Apia, Samoa. A CEB Statement had been presented to the Conference, as endorsed by the Board further to HLCP’s proposal produced at its twenty-seventh session. In addition, under the leadership of the Secretary-General, CEB had held a high-level event entitled “The UN system partnering for the people of SIDS,” as decided at the Board’s second regular session of 2013. The Chair invited Mr. Nikhil Seth, Director, Division for Sustainable Development, DESA, to outline the most salient messages from the Conference for the Committee.
Mr. Seth briefly highlighted some of the successes and lessons learned from the Conference, notably the importance of small island developing States’ ownership of the outcome, which enabled the early conclusion of the negotiations. He stressed that the system must now turn its attention to the implementation of the SAMOA Pathway. The follow up would be more complex than usual because there was both the political outcome document to realize and the over 300 new and expanded partnerships to bring to fruition. On the former, DESA was preparing an implementation matrix mapping out UN system organizations’ actions, both individual and collective. The matrix would be disseminated to the system through the ECESA plus inter-agency mechanism. On the latter, Mr. Seth urged UN system entities to take the lead in delivering on the partnerships of which they are part, including by engaging the variety of non-UN partners involved. In order to maintain momentum, political space (such as within the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, the High-level Political Forum, and/or the UN Environment Assembly) would have to be found to highlight the contribution of the partnerships. Mr. Seth also noted that work would be undertaken to energize the Inter-agency Consultative Group (IACG), which includes organizations beyond the UN system, so that it was better equipped to contribute towards realizing SIDS’ vision for their sustainable development.
The Chair thanked Mr. Seth for his report and reiterated that the UN system had conveyed its strong engagement to the Conference, including through CEB’s contribution. He underscored the importance of each organization’s taking forward the actions called for in the SAMOA Pathway and looked forward to receiving the implementation matrix through ECESA plus. He resolved to convey to CEB the need for strong and continued engagement on the part of the UN system.