The Third International Conference on SIDS was convened in Apia, Samoa, from 1-4 September, 2014. The theme of the conference was: The sustainable Development of SIDS through Genuine and Durable Partnerships. This theme recognized that international cooperation and partnerships of various kinds and across a wide variety of stakeholders are critical for the implementation of the sustainable development of SIDS and that Such partnerships should be based on the principles of national ownership, mutual trust, transparency and accountability. Over 3000 participants attended the conference. In addition to the Plenary, Six Multi-stakeholder Partnerships Dialogues were also convened. These dialogues were convened under the following themes: Sustainable Economic Development; Climate Change & Disaster Risk Management; Social Development in SIDS, Health and NCDs, Youth and Women; Sustainable Energy; Oceans, Seas and Biodiversity; Water and Sanitation, Food Security and Waste Management. These dialogues resulted in the registration of some 301 partnerships in support of SIDS.
The conference was preceded by a number of Pre-Conference Events which covered themes of: Youth, Civil Society, Renewable Energy, and the Private Sector. UN-OHRLLS, jointly with the Government of Samoa and the Samoa Chamber of Commerce, convened the private sector Pre-Conference Event. The Private Sector Partnerships Forum was attended by over 400 participants, most of whom were from the private sector, including a number of global private sector entities. Some 20 announcements and initiatives were registered during the Forum under the Seven themes of: Oceans and Marine Resources; Connectivity – Transport and ICTs; Sustainable Tourism; Sustainable Agriculture; Disaster Risk Reduction; Renewable Energy; and Finance and Support Measures. One key outcome of the Forum was the establishment of the SIDS Global Business Network, which is aimed to better facilitate better SIDS interregional linkages between SIDS regional private sectors, encourage exchange of best practices and lessons learned; follow-up on the announcements made in Apia; and promote new partnerships between SIDS private sectors themselves and with those from their development partners.
The Third International Conference on SIDS adopted the SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway. This comprehensive and forward looking document contained sections on: Sustained and sustainable, inclusive and equitable economic growth with decent work for all; Climate change; Sustainable energy; Disaster risk reduction; Oceans and seas; Food security and nutrition; Water and sanitation; Sustainable transportation; Sustainable consumption and production; Management of chemicals and waste, including hazardous waste; Health and non-communicable diseases; Gender equality and women’s empowerment; Social development; Biodiversity; Invasive alien species; Means of implementation, including partnerships; Priorities of the small island developing States for the post-2015 development agenda; Monitoring and accountability.
The SAMOA Pathway reaffirmed that SIDS remained a special case for sustainable development in view of their unique and particular vulnerabilities and that they remain constrained in meeting their goals in all three dimensions of sustainable development. In it, the international community also recognized the ownership and leadership of SIDS in overcoming some of these challenges, but it also stressed that in the absence of international cooperation, success will remain difficult.