First annual Global Multi-stakeholder SIDS Partnership Dialogue held during GA-71
Partnerships to advance sustainable development in Small Island Developing States that will help build capacity for sustainable ocean management and renewable energy were announced at the first annual Global Multi-stakeholder SIDS Partnership Dialogue , held on 22 September 2016 during the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly.
These new multi-stakeholder partnerships will advance the SAMOA Pathway, the blueprint for achieving sustainable development in Small Island developing states (SIDS) that was adopted in 2014 in Apia, Samoa. These partnerships add to over 300 existing ones that were launched during the 2014 SIDS conference in Samoa.

The SIDS Partnership Framework process, led by Italy and the Maldives, is working to review the commitments and pledges from partnerships launched in Samoa in 2014, and to encourage all partners to keep the momentum for implementing the SAMOA Pathway and the 2030 Agenda.

An event was hosted by Maldives and Italy during the General Assembly was attended by over 100 participants from governments, UN entities, civil society representatives, and focal points of SIDS partnerships from all regions of SIDS.

Maldives Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Mohamed Asim said, “Setting up the framework is but one step--a big one, no doubt—but just a beginning. We need to continue to be invested, interested, and involved. We need to continue to work, generating discussion and dialogue, reflecting on the experiences of various partnerships. It is only through this sharing of information, that we can generate renewed interest in the implementation of the SAMOA Pathway.”

Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs launched a publication on Partnerships for SIDS, which had been prepared by the Steering Committee on Partnership for SIDS. The publication reviews 40 SIDS-related sustainable development partnerships. The report found that while most of these partnerships are on track with their activities, they often suffered from a lack of adequate and sustained funding.

Mr. Wu noted that the follow-up to the SAMOA Pathway is also an integral part of the High-level Political Forum, which is the central platform for the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

“Partnership has always been the cornerstone upon which international discourse and action on SIDS sustainable development is premised,” said Gyan Chandra Acharya, UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States as the new partnerships were announced at the Partnership Dialogue, held during the General Assembly.

New Initiatives

New partnerships include the establishment of a regional hub for climate change-related actions. Japan and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) will develop the Pacific Climate Change Centre in Samoa as a regional hub of excellence for coordination of climate change initiatives in the Pacific region.

Aruba and UNDP teamed up to develop the Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development of SIDS that aims to strengthen the capacity of SIDS to implement the Sustainable Development Goals by collecting relevant insights and connecting the SIDS through South-South collaboration.

The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat announced that they would map all partnerships launched in the Samoa SIDS conference and will monitor a total of 74 partnerships in the Pacific region to ensure that the partnerships were well integrated into the integrated into national and regional plans.

Business leaders of the World Ocean Council announced that the 4th Sustainable Ocean Summit is to be held in Rotterdam, the Netherland, later this year. The Summit will include the launch of the Young Ocean Professionals network for bringing together the next generation of business leaders around the ocean and island sustainable development, and the Ocean Investment Platform for harnessing the power of finance and innovation in support of ocean and island sustainable development.

The UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) announced preparations for a Pacific Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, under the partnership between UNIDO, SIDS DOCK (an initiative among member countries of the Alliance of Small Island States) and Austria which will strengthen local capacities for the development and implementation of sustainable energy systems, policies and standards.

In addition, Belgium will host an Expert Group Meeting in Brussels in 2017, focusing on legally binding treaties on protection of biodiversity beyond national jurisdictions. And the Bahamas will host a symposium on implementing the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda in Small Island Developing States in February 2017.

Recognizing that sustainable development involves a broad coalition in a wide range of areas including oceans, connectivity, agriculture, tourism, disaster reduction, renewable energy and finance, Acharya noted that the UN has been accelerating its advocacy efforts towards the private sector as an important stakeholder to be more involved in the sustainable development of SIDS.

“The global network will build a bridge between the private sector from small islands and their development partners from the North and the South,” he added.

About the Global Multi-stakeholder SIDS Partnership Dialogue

The Partnership Dialogue is an integral part of the SIDS Partnership Framework. This year’s Partnership Dialogue was attended by over 100 participants from governments, UN entities, civil society representatives, and focal points of SIDS partnerships from all regions of SIDS.
Copyright 2016 United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs