Ladies and gentlemen,
I am privileged and honored to be among you today and to be able to make some introductory remarks for this round table meeting. Today’s multi-stakeholder roundtable: “Enhancing international support for the SIDS” is timely and critical for our collective efforts towards supporting the sustainable development of SIDS.
The vital role of the international community in support of SIDS implementation efforts of the MSI may need to be enhanced and strengthened through closer cooperation, improved coordination and a renewed commitment to the SIDS cause.
My remarks this morning will focus on some salient issues that I want to highlight, emanating from the questions posed in the background note to this Round table which I hope could spur our discussions.
The background note sets out three basic questions to guide our discussions.
The First question asks: How can the effectiveness of international support be strengthened to help build SIDS resilience?
Particularly on Aid, the adoption of the Paris Declaration and the Accra Accord on Aid effectiveness was a welcomed initiative. Any translation of the Declaration and Accord at the regional level should be in line with the global commitments made in Paris and Accra. Here the need for donors to align aid with national development strategies of recipient countries is particularly pertinent. This in turn calls for recipient countries to strengthen their national development strategies. You may wish to consider how these national development strategies could be strengthened. Further, ODA may need to be realigned towards activities generating productivity, income, and employment, and green investments such as clean technologies and renewable energy.
The second question asks: How best can international support contribute to accelerated achievement of sustainable development objectives in SIDS?
Most SIDS face challenges in attracting FDI. This calls for more innovative ideas in the creation of enabling environments at all levels to attract FDI in SIDS. Ideas and thoughts on how this may be achieved, including through international support measures, could also be considered in our discussions as well.
On trade, SIDS trading partners may need to give due attention to the unique and particular vulnerabilities of SIDS in the context of their trade and partnership agreements and trade preference programmes, in accordance with WTO rules and provisions, to help economic recovery in SIDS during this economic and financial crisis period. There may also be a need to address the special and ongoing constraints of SIDS in respect to building their supply-side capacities and their competitiveness, as part of their national development strategies.
The threat of climate change not only to SIDS’ sustainable development efforts but to their very survival is well acknowledged by the international community. International support measures including adequate financial assistance to SIDS in their adaptation and mitigation efforts in the face of this the most urgent of issues need to be realized to avoid the erosion of gains made in the pursuit of SIDS sustainable development.
The third question asks: What needs to be done to enhance partnership mechanisms in support of SIDS?
The need to enhance cooperation and build partnerships at all levels remains imperative. Closer cooperation between national, regional and global stakeholders might need to be further strengthened. It follows that there may be a need to further align regional processes with global ones, and vice-versa. The links and synergies that exist between SIDS-specific global development policies like the Barbados Programme of Action, the MSI and global development targets like the MDGs may need to be further exploited to contribute towards more effective implementation efforts by all stakeholders of these global policies and targets as well as reducing the onerous reporting, monitoring and evaluation obligations borne by SIDS.
On monitoring and evaluation the MSI does not have specific indicators to measure progress in its implementation. It could, however, be mainstreamed in other existing UN processes operating at the national and regional levels that have indicators and inbuilt progress measuring mechanisms. Mainstreaming MSI in the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) in SIDS regions could assist in measuring MSI implementation as well as promote accountability and improve coordination.
At the global level, the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) is the body that is charged with monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the MSI and Barbados PoA. Under the UN’s “Delivering as One” banner, the UNDAF for SIDS and their respective regions could complement the CSD process.
It may be useful to develop a “Roadmap” that could guide us towards reaching the objective of seeing how these and other mechanisms could best complement each other and contribute to better supporting SIDS.
Further on partnerships, North-South, South-South, SIDS-SIDS, Public-Private and triangular cooperation continue to play crucial roles in the implementation of the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the BPoA and need to be strengthened. Discussions, including announcements, on how these partnerships can be concretely translated into action would also be welcomed.
Further to these remarks the background paper provided for this meeting also raises some other points that you may wish to consider during this meeting. I am confident that the discussions during this roundtable will be productive and will contribute valuable inputs to the outcome of this high level mid term review.
I thank you.