Inter-Agency Consultative Group for SIDS
Information
  • Date submitted: 27 Oct 2011
  • Stakeholder type: United Nations & Other IGOs
  • Submission Document: Download
  • Additional Document:

SIDS IACG input to the Rio+20 compilation text

Background

This submission represents the consolidated input of the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Inter-Agency Consultative Group (IACG) . It is prepared based on the guidance provided to member States and other stakeholders in the ¡§Co-chairs¡¦ guidance note ¡V inputs for compilation document¡¨.

The general content of the present document addresses the following main questions:

- Continuing need to provide substantive support for addressing the special case of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) within the context of sustainable development.

- How international support to SIDS can be enhanced, as repeatedly called for by SIDS and endorsed by the wider international community.

- What areas of additional collective efforts can be suggested for the post Rio+20 period, as a follow-up to the Barbados and Mauritius Conferences and with particular emphasis on preparations for a possible "Barbados+20" in 2014

In order to address these questions, IACG members formulated a number of recommendations, which focus on: (a) continuing support for addressing the special case of SIDS within the wider context of sustainable development; (b) One UN approach for SIDS; (c) regional and inter-regional coordination; (d) role of the IACG; and (e) institutional framework for sustainable development.

Continuing support for addressing the special case of SIDS

Building on the 1992 UNCED, BPOA, Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, MSI and the outcome of the MSI+5 High-Level Review, consideration should also be given for the special case for SIDS within the Rio+20 process, with a view to ensuring that the special characteristics and circumstances of SIDS which lead to their vulnerabilities are properly addressed in the Rio+20 outcome and its follow up. Continuous post-Rio+20 international and coordinated support to help promote implementation in SIDS should be so tailored to address their specific vulnerabilities.

One UN approach for SIDS

The challenges facing SIDS requires a coherent, focused approach from all entities of the UN system. Ongoing efforts to deliver a system wide approach merit recognition and support. By harnessing processes such as the national capacity self-assessment, common country assessment and the United Nations Development Assistance Framework, SIDS and the UN system have opportunities to work in close partnership. Enhanced collaboration within the UN system, and also involving relevant non-United Nations regional organizations, enables SIDS to benefit fully from the capabilities of the United Nations system and ensures the system can better tailor its services to the particular needs and priorities of SIDS. Specific actions in this regard include:

- To recommend the Regional United Nations Development Group Teams to assess how the UN system can support, at the regional level, the UN Country Teams in SIDS in implementing the Barbados Programme of Action and the Mauritius Strategy.

- To make explicit reference to the Barbados Programme of Action and the Mauritius Strategy in the UN Development Assistant Frameworks (UNDAF) prepared for SIDS, making clear and concrete indication on how the UN system intends to support their implementation.

- The United Nations Development Assistance Framework process provides an example of a good practice which helps the United Nations system to deliver a coherent and coordinated development programme. Positive examples of ¡§One United Nations¡¨ approaches at the country level in Small Island developing States include those of Cape Verde, the Comoros, Mauritius and Seychelles. This approach should be replicated in more SIDS with a view to strengthening the results-oriented nature of the UN system interventions in SIDS.

- To encourage high-level collaboration between the UN agencies, programmes and funds that have presence at the country level, to harmonize their delivering and administrative models (particularly in relation to financing programmatic work), in order to increase the effectiveness of the UNDAF.

- To establish a dedicated and clearly identified focal point within every United Nations entity and relevant inter-governmental organizations (IGOs) dealing with issues of concern or thematic issues of relevance to SIDS is vital for the effective delivery of that support to such States.

- The efficiency and effectiveness of international support to and cooperation with SIDS could be improved by adopting more targeted interdisciplinary implementation modalities, specifically targeting SIDS priorities. In this regard, a good example is given by the ¡§Intersectoral Platform on UNESCO¡¦s Contribution to the Mauritius Strategy¡¨, which pools expertise from various sectors within the organization to address issues of relevance to SIDS, such as Climate Change, Oceans, and others. At the wider multilateral level, this approach could take the form of an increased focus on interagency priority action for SIDS under the ¡§One UN¡¨ implementation mechanism.

Regional and interregional coordination

Coordination and coherence of support provided to SIDS by United Nations entities needs to be strengthened, at the global and regional levels. Efforts in this regard might include the following:

- Existing structures and arrangements at the SIDS regional level for the coordination and implementation of specific initiatives should be further optimized to strengthen United Nations Regional SIDS.

- In the case of the geographically diverse AIMS region (covering the Atlantic, Indian Ocean, and the South China Sea) it has proven challenging to provide adequate coordination, given that they belong to different UN regional commissions or UNDP Regional Bureaux. The United Nations organizations represented in this region need to explore ways and means of setting-up a coordinated support mechanism for these SIDS.

- Interregional SIDS-SIDS cooperation, technology transfer and knowledge exchange ¡V through mechanisms such as SIDSnet ¡V should be strengthened in order to effectively promote partnerships; share knowledge and expertise, including best practices, lessons learned and case studies; accumulate SIDS-specific data and information, and facilitate networking. The establishment of the SIDS DOCK programme focused on energy efficiency, conservation and the development of renewable energy in SIDS merits recognition in relation to Rio+20-related priorities as an example of a SIDS-initiated programme to address one of the most pressing sustainable development challenges facing this group of developing countries.

- A strategic institution-wide approach that ensures that issues related to the priorities of SIDS are integrated within the overall context of the global work programmes of United Nations organizations should be developed. Thereafter, regional and local offices may help to tailor specific projects and programmes based on the individual needs of their constituent countries.

Role of the IACG

At the global level, the Inter-agency Consultative Group considers it has been reasonably effective, despite its informal status, in working-level coordination of issues of concern to SIDS. It views the Rio+20 preparatory process and the Conference itself as an opportunity to gauge the satisfaction of the wider international community and SIDS in particular, to its work.

Specific recommendations to ensure enhanced support to SIDS by and through the IACG might include the following:

- Strengthening and expanding the role of the IACG, reviewing its modus operandi, and considering its possible contribution to United Nations system-wide coordination mechanisms.

- The IACG, in the same way it has supported the preparatory process for Mauritius + 5 and Rio + 20, should continue to help support the SIDS in post-Rio+20 intergovernmental, capacity-building and analytical processes and activities

- Members of the IACG should continue to undertake work to address the special vulnerabilities of SIDS and explore ways to help build their resilience in a coordinated and comprehensive manner, with a view to enabling a stronger case to be made in favour of SIDS within the various climate change, economic and trade forums.

Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development

Specific recommendations to ensure continued and enhanced monitoring and follow-up of the Barbados Programme of Action and the Mauritius Strategy of Implementation post Rio+20 include the following:

- Whatever institutional framework for sustainable development may be adopted following the conclusion of UNCSD, its responsibilities should include the monitoring and follow-up of the Barbados Programme of Action and the Mauritius Strategy of Implementation, currently entrusted to the Commission on Sustainable Development.
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