“It’s a big year for small islands”

By Ambassador Marlene Moses

It’s a big year for small islands.

As we work to conclude our regional preparations for the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States in 2014, which also happens to be the International Year of SIDS, we have an unprecedented opportunity to shape the global sustainable development agenda for years to come.

Jamaica, Fiji, and the Seychelles hosted very productive meetings this summer, and with the upcoming interregional gathering in Barbados at the end of the month, it is incumbent upon us to move the discussions beyond identifying priorities and toward concrete plans for action.

What’s more, at the urging of AOSIS, the United Nations Secretary General announced a Leader’s Summit for next year to address the climate change emergency, which will be a key political moment for countries to raise their mitigation ambition in line with scientific recommendations.

We have had great success working together over the years—from the founding of AOSIS over two decades ago to fight climate change—to the important progress we made last year at the Rio+20 conference and many other instances in between.

The SIDS Conference and Leaders Summit provide important opportunities to build on this progress and lay out a sustainable development pathway that reflects our priorities. To be as successful as possible, however, we must be sure to speak with one voice.

I look forward to continue to build the foundation for a Zero-Draft that meets all of our diverse interests and achieves the most ambitious outcome possible for small islands.

Our access to sustainable development opportunities and, in many cases, our very survival depends on it.