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Small islands plan greater collaboration through Public-Private-Partnerships

Aruba, March 2016 – A high-level event supporting public-private partnerships in small island developing States (SIDS) took place in Aruba from 22-24 March, 2016. The Public-Private-Partnerships (P3a) conference highlighted the importance of strengthening national and international cooperation for the future sustainable development of small islands through PPPs.

The three-day event brought together some 300 participants from SIDS and public-private partnership leaders to provide governments, private companies, financial institutions and knowledge centers with the opportunity to network and showcase partnerships in SIDS. A new global business network for small island developing states was launched at the P3a. The SIDS Global Business Network (SIDS-GBN), an initiative of UN-OHRLLS, will link up small islands by connecting the SIDS private sector, global business and other national and international stakeholders.

“My office is delighted to have launched the new online SIDS Global Business Network, a tool that we hope will continue to facilitate exchange of information between small islands and the private sector”. Said Under-Secretary-General and High Representative Gyan Chandra Acharya.

Ms. Charlotte Vick of Mission Blue presents during the Oceans session of the P3a Conference.  Photo: UN-OHRLLS

Oceans were highlighted at the event as a key area of importance for SIDS with great potential for partnerships. Panelists discussed new models for Public-Private Partnerships utilizing technologies that encourage the uptake of renewable energy while also building the capacities of SIDS and allowing for employment opportunities. The vital role of governments in spurring the growth of renewable energy was raised in addition to the issue of sustainable agriculture, where potential for partnerships between world-class agricultural research institutions and SIDS institutions was identified.

(L-R) Prime Minister of Aruba H.E. Mike Eman, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative Gyan Chandra Acharya and Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands H.E. Karel van Oosterom follow discussions at the P3a Conference. Photo: UN-OHRLLS

The need for better analysis and new ways to attract youth involvement in sustainable agriculture were highlighted in addition to the great potential for sustainable tourism, which remains the biggest sector in SIDS for income, job creation and growth.

For many SIDS, IT connectivity, particularly to reliable broadband through undersea cable remains a key requirement. Regional approaches were explored in addition to ways in which market size can be expanded. Blended financing is a key component to ensuring that PPP projects can be successful. For SIDS, PPPs are essential for infrastructure plans to be turned into projects and become reality, however there are challenges with implementation.

Organised by UN-OHRLLS, together with the Government of Aruba and support from the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the P3a provided a platform to mobilize efforts in the pursuit of achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

“Coming together as private and public sector, is something the UN has been encouraging over the last decades. But in reality, if we look at the development, we can see that recently, with all the global challenges, it has become more evident, also to the private sector, that they can not only focus on making gains for the shareholders, but it is also about the shared responsibility towards the future and the global challenges.”said Prime Minister of Aruba Mike Eman.

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My office is delighted to have launched the new online SIDS Global Business Network, a tool that we hope will continue to facilitate exchange of information between small islands and the private sector” 

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