(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) As the global community prepares for a Midterm Review of the progress in addressing the priorities of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is concerned about the pace of implementing the modalities for SIDS’ sustainable development.
CARICOM articulated the concern that SIDS face peculiar challenges with transforming their economies and societies for sustained, inclusive and equitable growth, at the recently concluded Inter-Regional Preparatory Meeting for the Midterm Review of the SAMOA Pathway. This meeting was held in Apia, Samoa from 30 October – 1 November 2018.
The SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (S.A.M.O.A) Pathway was adopted at the September 2014 Third International Conference of Small Island Developing States (SIDS Conference) in Apia, Samoa.
In 2016, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) at the 71st session agreed to dedicate one day in September 2019, to review the progress made in addressing the priorities of SIDS as outlined in the SAMOA Pathway.
During the 72nd session in 2017, the UNGA further agreed to the convening of regional and inter-regional preparatory meetings, to review how the SAMOA Pathway has been implemented at the national and regional levels. The Caribbean Regional Review took place in San Pedro Belize in August 2018.
At the Inter-Regional Preparatory Meeting in Samoa from 30 October – 1 November, CARICOM was well represented with the participation of Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. The CARICOM Secretariat also participated and provided support through its Sustainable Development and Regional Statistics Programmes.
200 delegates from all three SIDS regions (Caribbean, Pacific and the AIS Region [African, Indian Ocean and South China Sea]), UN Agencies and other international and regional organizations, development partners and stakeholders were also involved.
The Caribbean Community underscored that building a sustainable and resilient Caribbean was challenged by climate change and other environmental related stressors. It underscored the limitations SIDS face with achieving financial and economic sustainability, in the face of graduation, adverse debt, and de-risking strategies applied by some international financial institutions.
The need for strengthening institutions and enabling environments for people centered development, were underpinned by CARICOM as critical elements in meeting the targets of the SAMOA Pathway.
CARICOM Heads of Government when they met in July 2018 in Montego Bay, Jamaica recalled that the SIDS Framework, which had its origin in the Barbados Programme of Action of 1994, had complemented by the Mauritius Strategy of Implementation (MSI) of 2005 and the SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway (Samoa Pathway) of 2014. Those frameworks place specific focus on the unique vulnerabilities of SIDS and provides the basic framework for international cooperation.
The Heads of Government in expressing their concerns about the slow pace of implementation of the SAMOA Pathway, agreed to work closely with the International Community in the 2019-2024 period to strengthen implementation.