Steering Committee Ushers in New Era of Sustainable Development

The “Steering Committee on Partnership for SIDS,” co-chaired by Italy and the Maldives, held its inaugural meeting yesterday in the ECOSOC Chamber at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

The group, which is open to all UN members includes representatives from islands, developing and developed nations around the world, formed to help sustain and build upon the ongoing partnerships that lie at the core of the 2014 SAMOA Pathway, a roadmap for sustainable development in SIDS and marks the start of an ongoing conversation about implementing of the international agreement.

“(Our role) will be to follow-up on the commitments that have been made, to bring to the fore and showcase best practices as well as identify challenges faced and gaps. During the deliberations of the Committee, we hope to solidify the gains made through the partnership framework and hopefully attract many more such collaborations,” said Ahmed Sareer, Permanent Representative of Maldives to the United Nations.

By meeting regularly and sharing updates with the SIDS community, the Steering Committee hopes to maintain the momentum for progress that began in Samoa two years ago. With so many competing priorities on the international stage, it is crucial that the pledges made to help SIDS realise the full promise of sustainable development are fulfilled.

“As many distinguished delegates have indicated, this Steering Committee will be a catalyst to ensure the full implementation of the partnerships for SIDS,” said Sebastiano Cardi, Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations.

“I am committed, together with Ambassador Sareer, to lead this important Committee to support the follow-up of existing, and promote and advocate for the launch of, new SIDS partnerships. Italy has a long history of partnership with the SIDS, and I am delighted to be able to continue this legacy in the context of the Steering Committee,” he continued.

The SAMOA Pathway agreement marked a new era for sustainable development for SIDS. The international community has long recognized the special challenges, the world’s small islands face when it comes to sustainable development. Isolation, small land area and populations, and high exposure to environmental impacts make them particularly vulnerable to shocks that can setback development efforts years or decades. In fact, the widespread destruction seen across Fiji in the wake of Cyclone Winston graphically illustrates the situation many SIDS face.

A video has been produced to highlight the promise of sustainable development in SIDS around the world: