JIS News

Jamaica will host the Caribbean Regional Preparatory Meeting for the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS), beginning Tuesday, July 2, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston.

The Caribbean preparatory meeting is one of three regional meetings which will be held this year as groundwork for the SIDS conference in Samoa next year and will last from July 2 to 4. The others will be held in Fiji for the Pacific region on July 10-12; and in the Seychelles from July 17-19 for the African, Indian, Mediterranean and South China Seas (AIMS).

Director of the Environment Division, Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Gillian Guthrie, said the meeting will provide a forum for the region to discuss what has been done so far on the sustainable development blue prints; assess the challenges and plan the way forward.

She explained that the blue prints, under the 1994 Barbados Programme of Action (BPOA) and the 2005 Mauritius Strategy of Implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action, articulates what must be done at the national, regional and international levels.

Issues discussed in Kingston will be raised at the Conference in Samoa, which is expected to provide an opportunity for increased attention to the concerns of Caribbean nations.

Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, will deliver the keynote address at the opening ceremony, which begins at 9:00 a.m., while the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Representative, Dr. Arun Kashyap ; Chair, Alliance of Small Island Developing States, Her Excellency Marlene Moses; and Director, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Nikhil Seth, will also address the event.

The year 2014 has been declared the International Year for Small Island Developing States and as such, increased focus will be placed on addressing their vulnerabilities and challenges.

These include ways to build resilience to natural disasters and adaptation to climate change; ways to bolster the countries’ small and open economies through equitable trading arrangements and a strategic approach to trade in services; ways to build on issues of critical relevance to SIDS – energy, education, and health; and ways to place on the international agenda the problems faced by SIDS in accessing financing for developmental purposes.

Contact: Andrea Braham

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