2018 Global Multi-Stakeholder Small Island Developing States Partnership Dialogue
The 2018 Global Multi-stakeholder Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Partnership Dialogue (the “Dialogue”), an annual gathering following the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS Conference), will take place on 12 July 2018, in the ECOSOC Chamber at United Nations Headquarters, New York, in connection with the 2018 session of the High-level political forum on sustainable development held under the auspices of the ECOSOC.

Pursuant to General Assembly resolution 70/202, the Dialogue is organized by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) and the Office of the High Representative for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (OHRLLS), in close consultation with the Steering Committee on Partnerships for SIDS, co-chaired by Belize and Ireland.

In line with the theme of the 2018 HLPF, "Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies", the Dialogue will focus on how partnerships can support SIDS in their transition towards more sustainable and resilient cities and communities.

Following the opening segment, the Dialogue will be held as a panel discussion, while ensuring maximum exchange between panelists and participants. The meeting will provide a platform for announcing new partnerships devoted to supporting SIDS in their transition towards more sustainable and resilient cities and communities, by all stakeholders. Interested parties should contact the UN Secretariat in advance in this regard.

The Dialogue is open to all participants attending the HLPF.

Launch of new partnerships for sustainable and resilient societies in Small Island Developing States

All relevant stakeholders are invited to inform the UN Secretariat if they wish to participate in the segment dedicated to announcing new partnerships. Announcements will be made from a lectern in the ECOSOC Chamber, be limited to three minutes and maximum one PowerPoint slide, and should show how the partnership is effectively driving implementation of sustainable and resilient societies in Small Island Developing States. It is highly encouraged that the partnerships presented support SIDS in their progress towards the objectives of the SAMOA Pathway in the key areas of: Climate change; Disaster risk reduction; Sustainable energy; Water and Sanitation; Sustainable transport; Sustainable consumption and production; Management of chemicals and waste, including hazardous waste and Biodiversity.

Announcements will be included in the summary of the meeting, showcased in social media feeds as well as in relevant newsletters and reporting updates released by the Secretariat. Furthermore, all new partnerships will be registered in the SIDS Action Partnerships Platform devoted to support the implementation of the SAMOA Pathway and included in subsequent meetings to follow-up, review and monitor SIDS partnerships

Sustainable and resilient societies in Small Island Developing States

SIDS face unique challenges to achieving sustainable development. Their remoteness, size, and openness are unique characteristics that render them acutely vulnerable to exogenous shocks, whether economic or environmental. As affirmed in the SIDS Accelerated Modalities for Action (the SAMOA Pathway), SIDS remain a special case for sustainable development and require international cooperation to overcome the challenges they face. Amongst these challenges are Sustainable Energy and Water and Sanitation.

In the energy sector, due to high dependence on imported fossil fuels, SIDS have currently some of the highest electricity costs in the world, ranging from USD 0.30 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to over USD 1.00 per kWh. Considering that electricity generated using renewable energy is often the lowest-cost option in SIDS, there is a strong case for SIDS to transition from a reliance on fossil fuels to economies based on renewable energy. To this end, important progress has been made in recent years, with some islands planning to transition to 100% renewable energy, overcoming the technical, institutional and financial challenges of transitioning to renewable energy. The Dialogue will provide a space to reflect on partnerships for SIDS in their transition to renewable energy. It will examine the state of innovation on renewable energy technologies appropriate for SIDS, the special challenges SIDS confront in implementing these technologies and how partnerships have helped or could help to support SIDS achieve affordable, reliable and sustainable renewable energy solutions.

The Dialogue will also provide a space to reflect on partnerships for SIDS in securing water and sanitation for all. Because of their small size and limited landmass, many SIDS do not have large watersheds and catchment areas that allow for extensive surface water-bodies or large underground sources of water. Low-lying atolls and limestone islands are particularly challenged in their dependence on groundwater or the direct use of rainwater. They are also vulnerable for water pollution without appropriate wastewater management and sanitation. These challenges are compounded by the impacts of climate change, further increasing the pressure on water resources and disaster risks for floods and droughts. In response, many SIDS governments, together with partners, have launched integrated water resource management initiatives and measures to adapt to changes in surface water, groundwater and rainfall patterns and to improve water resources management. The Dialogue will therefore review the status of implementation through partnerships of priority initiatives related to the management of water, including through developing institutional and human capacities for implementing integrated management of water resources; providing appropriate facilities and infrastructure for safe drinking water and sanitation systems; and expanding wastewater treatment and improving water-use efficiency.

Background

The Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS Conference) was held from 1 to 4 September 2014 in Apia, Samoa under the overarching theme of “The sustainable development of small island developing States through genuine and durable partnerships”. The Conference resulted in an intergovernmental agreed outcome document – the SAMOA Pathway - and the announcement of 300 multi-stakeholder partnerships devoted to the sustainable development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

One of the outcomes of the SIDS Conference was the decision by member States to establish the SIDS Partnership Framework which is designed to monitor progress of existing, and stimulate the launch of new, genuine and durable partnerships for the sustainable development of SIDS. A key element of this Framework is the annual Multi-stakeholder SIDS Partnership Dialogue, which provides a global platform for SIDS and partners to review progress of existing partnerships for SIDS, launch new partnerships in line with their priorities, and for all stakeholders to exchange lessons learned, identifying good partnering practices, and engage in a dialogue with all stakeholders.

In September 2019, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 72/217, Member States will convene a one-day high-level meeting at United Nations Headquarters to review progress made in addressing the priorities of SIDS through the implementation of the SAMOA Pathway, the outcome of the SIDS Conference in 2014.

The Dialogue will contribute to mid-term review by providing a space for SIDS and partners to exchange best practices and challenges in developing and sustaining genuine and durable partnerships for the transformation towards resilient societies in SIDS and the SAMOA Pathway.

Programme

DATE/TIME SESSION
10.00 AM – 10.10 AM Opening remarks and outline of meeting - H.E. Ms. Lois M. Young. Permanent Representative of Belize to the United Nations, co-chair of the Steering Committee on Partnerships for SIDS
10.10 AM – 10.20 AM Keynote address - H.E. Ambassador Peter Thomson, United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean
10.20 AM – 10.40 AM Remarks
·       Ms. Fekitamoeloa Katoa ‘Utoikamanu, High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States
·       Mr. Elliot Harris, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development, Chief Economist, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs
10.40 AM – 12.15 PM Panel discussion: Partnerships for sustainable and resilient societies in Small Island Developing States
Moderated by Mr. Mícheál Tierney, Counselor, representing H.E. Mrs. Geraldine Patricia Byrne Nason, Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations, co-chair of the Steering Committee on Partnerships for SIDS
Panelists (5 mins each)
1.     H.E. Mr Aliioaiga Feturi Elisaia, Permanent Representative of Samoa to the United Nations, Representative of the Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum
2.     H.E. Mr. Saud Al Shamsi, Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations
3.     Mr. François Martel, Secretary General, Pacific Islands Development Forum
4.     Ms. Simona Marinescu, United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Samoa
5.     Mr. Ahmed` Abdel-Latif, Chief Office of the Director-General, IRENA
6.     Mr. Al Binger, SIDS-DOCK
Guiding questions
1.     How can we attract the forging of new partnerships devoted to resilient and sustainable societies of SIDS?
2.     What do you see as the role of partnerships in building resilient and sustainable societies for SIDS?
3.     What are the key areas where partnerships can add most value in building resilient and sustainable societies for SIDS?
4.     What type of stakeholders and sectors need to be more involved in partnership arrangements for SIDS?
5.     What are the best practices and lessons learnt at the national, regional and global levels for creating partnerships for resilient building and how can they be replicated in SIDS?
Followed by an interactive dialogue
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All speakers are encouraged to address the guiding questions, as well make announcement of new partnerships devoted to supporting SIDS in their transition towards more sustainable and resilient cities and communities.
New partnerships may also be registered online in the SIDS Action Platform: http://www.sids2014.org/partnership/register
12.15 PM – 12.30 PM Closing remarks - H.E. Ms. Lois M. Young. Permanent Representative of Belize to the United Nations, co-chair of the Steering Committee on Partnerships for SIDS
Contact

Mr. Ola Göransson
Partnerships Coordinator
Division for Sustainable Development Goals, UN-DESA
goranssono@un.org

Ms. Shifaana Thowfeequ
Programme Management Officer
UN-OHRLLS
thowfeequ@un.org
Statements
Statements
H.E. Ambassador Peter Thomson, United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean
Mr. Elliot Harris, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development, Chief Economist, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs
Mr. Rene Castro, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Ms. Fekitamoeloa Katoa Utoikamanu, High-Representative and Under-Secretary-General Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States
United Nations