26 Sept – UN Secretary-General encourages use of new media to raise profile of 2014 small islands conference

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today encouraged small island developing nations to make the best use of both traditional channels of communication and new media to highlight the issues they face as well as to raise the profile of a conference next year aimed at addressing them.

The conference – to be held from 1 to 4 September in Apia, Samoa – will focus global attention on a group of countries that remain a special case for sustainable development in view of their unique and particular vulnerabilities.

It will also serve as an important opportunity to galvanize partnerships for action on sustainable development in small island developing States, or SIDS, including on issues such as climate change, oceans, waste, sustainable tourism, and disaster risk reduction.

“We need to bring more attention to the problems that SIDS face,” Mr. Ban said at a high-level breakfast meeting to raise the visibility of the 2014 Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States.

“Many of your countries are isolated. Your markets are too small to realize economies of scale. All small island developing States are exposed to high risks from environmental threats, especially climate change,” he noted.

Mr. Ban told the gathering, held on the margins of the annual high-level debate of the General Assembly, that the 1994 Conference on SIDS, held in Barbados, “did not attract much international attention.” – UN News Center