SIDS agenda for St. Maarten partnerships needed for sustainable development | THE DAILY HERALD

Dutch Caribbean representatives Loekie Morales (St. Maarten), Danaë Daal (Curaçao) and Jocelyne Croes (Aruba) at the recent Belize Samoa Pathway meeting.

PHILIPSBURG–The Caribbean region is home to several Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) that face similar development challenges.

These include geographic and economic isolation, limited resources, environmental fragility, high cost of transportation and energy, as well as vulnerability to climate change and natural disasters.

English- and Dutch-speaking Caribbean SIDS members include Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, the British Virgin Islands, Curaçao, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Maarten, and Trinidad and Tobago.

The SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) pathway is an international framework that was developed as the outcome of the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States held in Samoa in September 2014.

The overarching theme was “The sustainable development of Small Island Developing States through genuine and durable partnerships.”

The United Nations convened the Caribbean Regional Partnership Dialogue and the Regional Preparatory Meeting for the Midterm Review of the SAMOA Pathway, in San Pedro, Belize, August 6-9.

Department of the Interior and Kingdom Relations BAK representative Loekie Morales attended the meeting on behalf of government. Curaçao and Aruba also sent representatives to discuss the way to achieve the objectives and to formulate the outcome the document – the San Pedro Declaration.

The main objectives of the Caribbean Regional Preparatory Meeting for the Midterm Review of the SAMOA Pathway are to assess progress achieved in the implementation of the SAMOA pathway; identify emerging development priorities as well as practical and pragmatic action B oriented strategies or mechanisms. These are geared towards accelerating the implementation of the SAMOA pathway in the region.

“Basically, the goal is to identify the development priorities of Caribbean countries, which need to be considered in the formulation of the 2030 Agenda (SDGs [sustainable development goals – Ed.]) and determine SMART (inclusive and durable) partners to link with, to reach sustainable development.

“SDG 16 provides an immense opportunity for all stakeholders to work collaboratively across sectors and thematic areas, forging genuine partnerships for supporting implementation of the SDGs and the SAMOA Pathway,” it was stated in a press release on Thursday.

Relevant SAMOA pathway priority areas include economic growth, trade, sustainable energy, sustainable transportation, water and sanitation, food security and nutrition, non-communicable diseases, social development, gender, climate change, oceans and seas, waste management, biodiversity, sustainable consumption and production and disaster risk reduction. “It is therefore imperative to examine what it is that makes a partnership genuine, durable, and most impactful for SIDS.”

Dialogues on the relevant Caribbean concerns and potential challenges on development themes took place, including the identification of regional priorities and a list of actions to advance the implementation of those priorities. Most Caribbean SIDS consider an inclusive, equitable and prosperous Caribbean; a healthy, safe and just Caribbean; and a sustainable and resilient Caribbean to be the priority areas.

Country representatives have addressed where they are with the SAMOA pathway actions, where they need to go and how they will get there in the next five years. They have addressed their priority objectives; what the major factors are that have contributed to the achievement of progress towards those objectives and what challenges presently stand in the way.

Resource mobilisation and engagement with the private sector and civil society were hot topics. Ways to address those challenges were addressed to support the achievement of the region’s priorities and needs. The deliberations ended with several main recommendations. Among these are to allow the private sector, academia, non-governmental organisations and civil society to sit at the table from the onset to determine the targets to be met.

“We need a set of norms of what the partnership should be (measurable, monitor-able, resource based and result-focussed). Partnerships must be SMART. We need to replicate successful partnerships and weigh the partnership.”

A draft regional outcome document, the “Draft San Pedro Declaration” was adopted during the last day of the conference. The latter will be handed over to the UN General Assembly within weeks.

Source: The Daily Herald