The Civil Society Steering Committee of the AIMS region welcomes the convening of the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) scheduled from September 2014 in Apia, Samoa. Each national civil society focal point in the AIMS region is currently actively engaged in a preparatory process at national level and will seize all opportunities offered by national, regional and international processes to participate and contribute in defending and promoting the interests of SIDS.
Despite the reaffirmation of the relevance and importance of the Barbados Programme of Action (1994) and the Mauritius Strategy(2005) in several national, regional and international fora, the implementation has been far from satisfactory. In fact, past mistakes must not be repeated and the international community should ensure that past commitments are respected. Lessons learned from our engagement in the implementation of the BPoA and the Mauritius Strategy, demonstrate that unless, we, Civil Society and Government, recognise not only our commonalties but also our differences and independence and put in place a new partnership based on respect, shared information and a collaborative implementation framework, existing and emerging threats will undermine and in some cases destroy entire island societies in the the AIMS region.
It is within this context that we are making the following recommendations to governments of the region and national and international partners:
- Integrate a representative of civil society of each SIDS of the region in the national delegation for the Samoa International Conference
- Strengthened existing coordinating and monitoring mechanism for the outcomes of Samoa 2014.
- Facilitate the participation of the Seychelles Civil Society in the AIMS regional meeting in July in the Seychelles.
- Disseminate and popularise the outcomes of the International Conference in Samoa in partnership with civil society
- Affirm that civil society groups and communities must be integrated in the core of policy-making
- Enhance successful local practices relating to sustainable development.
- Facilitate adequate space and project funding for civil society groups in implementation of the Samoa recommendations
- Ensure policy coherence between the outcomes of the Samoa recommendations and other international conventions and the eventual UN Sustainable Development Goals at national level.
- Provide a new mandate to the Indian Ocean Commission to ensure coordination and effective implementation of the recommendations that will come out of Samoa at regional level. This will imply the integration or participation of non-IOC members (Maldives, Sao Tome & Principe, New Guinea, Cap Verde and Singapore) in the SIDS programme.
- Ensure that the IOC makes provision for a permanent dialogue and implementation mechanism for NGOs on the outcomes of Samoa.
- Ensure a time slot at the UN SIDS regional review, schedule in the Seychelles in July 2013, for the Civil Society of the AIMS region to present their position at the meeting
- Transform the current SIDS unit into a full-fledge division of the UNDESA to better coordinate and further the implementation of the BPoA, the Mauritius Strategy and the Samoa outcome.
- Develop benchmarks and indicators to facilitate effective monitoring and evaluation programs and mechanism
- Increase joint funding (Governments and civil society partnerships) for successful implementation of the Samoa recommendations
Steering Committee Secretariat of the AIMS Region
Dr Nirmal Shah, Chairperson of Steering Committee, C/O Nature Seychelles, Victoria, Mahe, Seychelles. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone : +248 2711288
Pynee Chellapermal, Secretary General of Steering Committee, C/O CEDREFI, 31 Draper St, Quatre Bornes, Mauritius. E-mail: email@example.com Phone : +(230) 7942438