SIDS Pre-Conference Activities complemented discussions in Samoa
5 Sep 2014 - As part of the preparations for the SIDS Conference in Samoa, a series of Pre-Conference Forums were organised from 28 to 30 August 2014. The outcomes of the Forums fed into the Conference plenary discussions and Multi-stakeholder Partnership Dialogues.

Youth call for action in six key areas

On 27 and 28 August 2014, young people from across the SIDS regions came together at the SIDS T.A.L.A.V.O.U. Youth Forum in Apia, to identify priorities for accelerating the sustainable development of SIDS.

The Forum adopted an outcome statement that advanced practical recommendations for achieving concrete results and called for action in six key areas critical to the livelihoods of young people: Good Governance and Youth Participation; Health; Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Energy; Water and Oceans; Education, Entrepreneurship and Employment; and Science and Technology. The Forum also presented innovative and impactful partnerships created and led by young people.

Major Groups and other Stakeholders Forum discussed partnerships

A civil society coalition from across the three SIDS regions organized a forum for major groups and other stakeholders on 28 and 29 August, supported by the Government of Samoa, to examine the SAMOA Pathway and recommend concrete actions and next steps for its immediate implementation. The Forum marked a big step for strengthening and reviving inter-regional cooperation between major groups to tackle global challenges for SIDS.

Participants debated the role of partnerships and innovative ways of weaving new relationships between the private sector, civil society, and government. The Forum adopted an outcome document addressing pressing challenges such as climate change and disaster risk reduction; indigenous rights and gender equality; sustainable energy; and economic development.

Renewables recognized as key to sustainable development

The Renewable Energy Forum on 30 August 2014 discussed the role of renewable energy in the sustainable development of SIDS. The Forum started with a high-level dialogue with SIDS Leaders and Ministers outlining the opportunities and challenges for the deployment of renewable energy. They conveyed a unified and strong message of renewables being key to sustainable development of SIDS, and emphasised political commitment, the will to act, and the challenge of implementation. They stressed that the SIDS Conference and the SG’s Climate Summit present a unique opportunity to build momentum and accelerate action in renewable energy in SIDS.

The High-Level panel reiterated the three core principles of SE4ALL of universal access, increased renewable energy and energy efficiency as being relevant to SIDS. Participants welcomed the timeliness of IRENA’s SIDS Lighthouses initiative and emphasised the need for IRENA and other partners’ engagement and support.

By sharing experiences and project insights, participants acknowledged that renewable sources can provide sustainable energy solutions for SIDS and contribute to energy security, economic prosperity and sustainable development, as well as strengthen climate mitigation and resilience efforts. Forum participants agreed that, as the share of renewables in SIDS’ energy systems increase, a structured, holistic approach that takes into account medium and long-term requirements and impacts is required. Participants stressed that an essential underpinning of all efforts is human and institutional capacity, and access to financing.

Private Sector Partnerships Forum

The Private Sector Forum took place from 30 to 31 August and brought companies together to share information and best practices, and to network. Executives and officials participating in the Forum stressed that Small Island Developing States offer opportunities for genuine and sustainable business partnerships.

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