United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

From Barbados to Mauritius

In June 1992, at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, the world community adopted Agenda 21, representing a global consensus and political commitment at the highest level on development and environment cooperation.

Some two years later, in Barbados in April-May 1994, the Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States addressed the challenge of translating Agenda 21 into specific policies, actions and measures to be taken at the national, regional and international level. This was the first conference that translated Agenda 21 into a programme of action for a group of countries. The resulting Declaration of Barbados and the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States listed 15 priority areas for specific action: Climate change and sea-level rise; Natural and environmental disasters; Management of wastes; Coastal and marine resources; Freshwater resources; Land resources; Energy resources; Tourism resources; Biodiversity resources; National institutions and administrative capacity; Regional institutions and technical cooperation; Transport and communication; Science and technology; Human resource development; Implementation, monitoring and review.

Subsequently, in February 1999, a Meeting of Prospective Donors and Representatives of Small Island Developing States was held in New York, to review the mobilization of financial resources for the follow-up of the 1994 Barbados Conference on SIDS. A wide range of project portfolios that had been submitted for consideration by donors was discussed. It also participated in the United Nations General Assembly special session for the Review and Appraisal of the Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States referred to above.

Later in 1999, in September, an overall review and appraisal of the Barbados Programme of Action was carried out by a special session of the United Nations General Assembly. The special session adopted a State of Progress and Initiatives for the Future Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States which identified the following six priority problem areas in need of urgent attention over the next five years: (a) Climate change (adapting to climate change and rising sea levels, which could submerge some low-lying island nations); (b) Natural and environmental disasters and climate variability (improving preparedness for and recovery from natural and environmental disasters); (c) Freshwater resources (preventing worsening shortages of freshwater as demand grows); (d) Coastal and marine resources (protecting coastal ecosystems and coral reefs from pollution and over-fishing); (e) Energy (developing solar and renewable energy to lessen dependence on expensive imported oil); (f) Tourism (managing tourism growth to protect the environment and cultural integrity).

In January 2002, as part of the preparations for the World Summit on Sustainable Development, an inter-regional meeting was held in Singapore, organized by the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA). Participants addressed perspectives on sustainable development in the various SIDS regions, and priority issues such as capacity building, the role of civil society, climate change and renewable energy, trade, financing, land degradation, oceans. Conclusions and recommendations were encapsulated in the Singapore Declaration.

In September 2002, in Johannesburg, the World Summit on Sustainable Development reaffirmed that small island developing States are a special case both for environment and development. Among the recommended follow-up actions, the Johannesburg summit called for a full and comprehensive review of the Barbados Programme of Action (BPoA), and requested the General Assembly at its fifty-seventh session to consider convening an international meeting for the sustainable development of SIDS.

In December 2002, through Resolution A/C/57/262, the United Nations General Assembly requested the relevant organs and agencies of the UN system to undertake concrete measures for the further implementation of the BPoA. The General Assembly further decided to convene an international meeting in 2004, which will include a high level segment, to undertake a full and comprehensive review of the implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action, and welcomed the offer of the Government of Mauritius to host this meeting.

In March 2003, in Fiji, the UNDESA convened a Regional Consultation for the Pacific on WSSD Type II Partnerships. This consultation also provided an opportunity to discuss preparations for the review of the BPoA, including national assessments.

In May 2003 in New York, discussions on Barbados+10 and the International SIDS meeting in Mauritius, took place during the eleventh session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development. Among other considerations, the CSD invited the international donor and development community, and international organizations to provide information on their activities in support of implementation of the BPoA. During the same week in New York, UNESCO took part in the first meeting of the Interagency Task Force on Barbados+10/Mauritius International Meeting.

In August-October 2003, three regional preparatory meetings for the Mauritius International Meeting (MIM) were held, for Pacific SIDS (Apia, Samoa, 4-8 August), for Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean and South China Sea SIDS (Praia, Cape Verde, 1-5 September) and for Caribbean SIDS (Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, 6-10 October).

In late 2003, item 96(d) of the provisional agenda of the fifty-eighth session of the UN General Assembly was devoted to the further implementation of the outcome of the Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of SIDS, with a ten-page document (A/58/170) providing an overview of preparations at different levels (international, regional, national) together with conclusions and recommendations. Delegates' statements are included in UN Press Releases on the 15th, 16th and 17th meetings of the UN-GA Second Committee, with the relevant report of the Second Committee dated 17 December (A/58/484/Add.4).

From 26-30 January 2004, an inter-regional preparatory meeting for Mauritius took place in Nassau (Bahamas), to prepare and adopt the Nassau Declaration and the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) Strategy Paper for the Further Implementation of the BPoA. For a daily report and a summary account of the Bahamas preparatory meeting, see the Earth Negotiations Bulletin operated by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD).

From 14-16 April 2004, during its twelfth session, the UN Commission on Sustainable Development finalized the preparations for the international meeting, including its agenda. It also considered a Secretary-General’s synthesis report offering an overall assessment of progress achieved in the implementation of the BPoA. A daily report on the 14-16 April discussions is accessible through IISD's Earth Negotiations Bulletin (EBN).

From 17-19 May 2004 , at UN Headquarters in New York, a first round of 'informal informal consultations' were held in preparation for the International Meeting . During the consultations, facilitated by Ambassador Don MacKay (New Zealand), delegates undertook a second reading of the compilation Draft Strategy text that was produced from the SIDS preparatory meeting held from 14-16 April. An account is given in the Earth Negotiations Bulletin.

Subsequently, during the period 7-12 October 2004 , a second round of informal informal consultations were held at UN Headquarters in New York. Deliberations were continued on the revised Draft Strategy Paper. As reported in the Earth Negotiations Bulletin, delegates worked with the understanding that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. Within that optic, delegates (a) resolved some sections of the new implementation strategy, (b) reached partial resolution on others, (c) reached no resolution on sections concerning "Graduation, Trade: Globalization and Trade Liberalization", and (d)deferred to the international meeting discussions on "Climate Change and Sea-Level Rise".

And from 10-14 January 2005, a high-level international meeting in Mauritius will review the implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of SIDS. Official documents for the Mauritius International Meeting – including the Draft Strategy Paper and various background papers -- are accessible through the web-site of the UN Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (OHRLLS).

Further information on Mauritius meeting and its follow-up will be posted on the present website in the weeks leading up to and following the Mauritius meeting. Additional information on other activities relating to small islands and to small island developing states is accessible through ‘Resources’ (right).




Documents Clicklist:

1994 Barbados Conference and the Barbados Programme of Action (BPoA)

Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) summary and analysis of the 1994 Barbados Conference

Special session of the UN General Assembly to review and appraise progress in implementing the BPoA (Barbados + 5) (27-28 September 1999)

ENB summary of the UN-GA Barbados + 5 session

December 2002 UN General Assembly Resolution calling for the review of the implementation of the BPoA

List of Small Island Developing States (SIDS)

Pacific Regional Preparatory Meeting (Apia, Samoa, 4-8 August 2003)

Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean, and the South China Sea (AIMS) Regional Preparatory Meeting (Praia, Cape Verde, 1-5 September 2003)

SIDS thematic meetings of experts, on such topics as waste management, vulnerability and resilience, and renewable energy

Caribbean Regional Preparatory Meeting (Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, 6-10 October 2003)

 

Inter-regional preparatory meeting (Bahamas, 26-30 January 2004): the Nassau Declaration and the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) Strategy Paper for the Further Implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action (BPoA)

ENB daily account and summary of the interregional preparatory meeting (Bahamas, January 2004)

Report of the UN Secretary General on the Implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action (document E/CN.17/2004/8, dated 11 March 2004)

Commission on Sustainable Development, 12th Session (CSD-12). New York, 14-30 April 2004 Programme and organization of work

ENB daily account of the CSD-12, including its discussions on the International Meeting for the 10-year Review of the BPoA (New York, 14-16 April 2004)

Small Islands, Big Stakes Web-site for the International Meeting to be held in Mauritius from 10-14 January 2005

"General Assembly decides on new dates for the Mauritius International Meeting: 10-14 January 2005"

ENB briefing on second round of Informal Consultations on the Mauritius International Meeting (UN Headquarters, New York , 7-8 and 11-12 October 2004)

Official documents for the Mauritius International Meeting – including the Draft Strategy Paper and various background papers

See also the UN System and Related Links

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ProjectsIsland Directory
Database on 2,000 of the world’s islands maintained by UNEP-Geneva. For each island, information organized in 70 fields, addressing such aspects as land area, island type, climate, catastrophic threats, human occupation and impact, ecosystem type, fauna and flora, endemic and introduced species, protected areas, etc.
ProjectsSmall Island Environmental Management Course and Training Programme
Do-it-yourself set of materials developed by UNEP-Earthwatch. Forty-six units organized in ten sections, including sensitization to environmental problems, basic resources, ecological principles, traditional environmental management, human habitat, managing the local environment, techniques for research and monitoring, assessing development projects, communicating knowledge to others.
ProjectsUNDP Capacity: 2015 Regional Strategy for Small Island Developing States
Capacity 2015 is a global partnership mechanism assisting countries to develop the capacity of their professionals, institutions, and systems to formulate and implement strategies for sustainable development to achieve local, national and international development goals. One of the components of Capacity 2015 is specifically focused on sustainable development challenges in Small Island Developing States.
ProjectsUNEP Regional Seas Programmes and Action Plans
Regional mechanisms for cooperation between governments and commitment to shared goals in respect to the marine and coastal environment, with 13 regional action plans for such regions as the Caribbean, Mediterranean, North-West Pacific, South Asian Seas, South Pacific, South-East Pacific.
EventsAIMS Regional Preparatory Meeting for the 10-Year Review of the Barbados Programme of Action
Second in a series of three regional preparatory meetings. Principal participants: representatives of SIDS from the Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean and South China Sea regions.
EventsCaribbean Regional Preparatory Meeting for the 10-Year Review of the Barbados Programme of Action
Third and final regional preparatory meeting.
EventsPacific Regional Meeting for the Review of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing Stages 04-08-2003 8:24 am
EventsSustainable Development: The Dilemma of Implementation for Small Developing Countries 07-08-2003 7:53 am
Organized by the University of Guyana in collaboration with the Caribbean Group of the Institute of British Geographers/ Royal Geographical Society.
EventsThe Vulnerability of SIDS: Enhancing Resilience –the Role of the Private Sector, Civil Society and Trade in the Sustainable Development of SIDS 29-09-2003 7:56 am
One of several technical workshops in 2002-2003 reviewing progress and identifying future directions of work related to the sustainable development of SIDS.
EventsInternational Conference on Sustainability Indicators 06-11-2003 7:59 am
Organized by the Islands and Small States Institute of the University of Malta.
EventsIslands in a Water of Words: Third International Conference on the Literature of Small Islands 02-01-2004 4:00 pm
EventsInter-regional preparatory meeting 26-01-2004 5:00 pm The Bahamas Environment, Science and Technology (BEST) Commission
EventsNinth Festival of Pacific Arts 22-07-2004 8:31 am
Traditional and contemporary arts from 27 Pacific island countries and territories.
EventsInternational Conference on Small Island Cultures 07-02-2005 12:57 pm
Co-organized by Kagoshima University Research Center for the Pacific Islands and the Small Island Cultures Research Initiative (SICRI) and co-sponsored by the Japan Society of Island Studies (Nihon Tousho Gakkai).
EventsPopulation and Development in Island Countries, States and Territories 18-07-2005 3:23 pm
One of the component sessions in the XXV International Population Conference organized by the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP), the main international association of demographers.
DocumentsWestern Indian Ocean Environment Outlook UNEP
One of a series of regional environmental outlooks prepared under the aegis of UNEP, includes sections on the state of the environment, policy responses and future perspectives. Based on a consultation held in Mauritius in January 1999.  
DocumentsCaribbean Environment Outlook UNEP
Companion volume to the Global Environment Outlook 2000, provides an overview of the state of the environment from a regional perspective, evaluates policy responses, and highlights the priority issues that the international community should address.

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