The UN system partnering for the people of SIDS

Monday, 1 September 2014, from 15:00 to 17:00,
Faleata Sports Complex – Conference Room 1

During the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States, UN Secretary-General BAN Ki-moon, as Chair of the CEB, hosted a high-level event on "The UN system partnering for the people of SIDS". The event built on the joint CEB statement to the Conference that was endorsed by the Board in May 2014.

In this high-level event, Secretary-General BAN Ki-moon and UN system leaders highlighted the UN system’s tangible contribution to the sustainable development of SIDS and demonstrated how the UN system is working together with and for SIDS on sustainable social and economic development, climate change and disaster risk management, oceans and seas, and other priority areas.

Photo by IISD/ENB

The Secretary-General was joined on the podium by H.E. Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, Prime Minister of Samoa (Statement), and Mr. WU Hongbo, Secretary-General for the Third International Conference on SIDS (Statement).  

Mr. Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), moderated the inter-active dialogue.

Photo by IISD/ENB

The following UN system Executive Heads participated in the discussion:

Mr. José Graziano da Silva, Director-General, FAO
Ms. Irina Bokova, Director-General, UNESCO
Mr. Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General, UNCTAD
Ms. Helen Clark, Administrator, UNDP
Mr. Achim Steiner, Executive Director, UNEP
Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director, UN Women
Ms. Rachel Kyte, Vice President and Special Envoy for Climate Change, World Bank Group
Ms. Shamshad Akhtar, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary, UN/ESCAP
Mr. WU Hongbo, Under-Secretary General, UN/DESA and Secretary-General for the Third International Conference on SIDS
Ms. Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Relief Coordinator, UN/OCHA

The discussion showed that the UN system – in all its diversity – is heeding the calls for SIDS to pool expertise, share knowledge and act together to meet the high expectations of the governments and people of small island nations. The system is united for SIDS and an essential partner in the implementation of the SAMOA Pathway.

Noting that this Conference marks the start of a new level of engagement and action by the United Nations, in his statement the Secretary-General, on behalf of the UN system, made three commitments:

1. UN system organizations will focus on delivering as one for SIDS, ensuring that their actions are coordinated and coherent and take advantage of synergies whenever possible.
2. The UN system will do more to help build capacity in SIDS, reflecting differing needs and strengthening national ownership.
3. The UN system will foster strong partnerships that deliver quality results for SIDS.