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Bringing the regions together


Small Islands Voice
Inter-Regional Workshop, Koror, Palau, 18th-22nd November, 2002.

Background Document

Small Islands Voice, supported by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, is an inter-regional initiative bringing together islanders from the Pacific, Indian Ocean and Caribbean regions to find out their concerns regarding environment and development issues. These concerns and issues will be compiled to contribute to the review of the Programme of Action for Small Island Developing States (2004), and will also be channeled back to the local level for specific action on the ground. In the long term, it is hoped that the increased debate and openness will encourage small islands to broaden their decision-making processes.

Activities have commenced in Palau and Cook Islands in the Pacific; Seychelles in the Indian Ocean; and St. Kitts and Nevis and Bequia (St. Vincent and the Grenadines) in the Caribbean. These include opinion surveys, meetings and Internet-based discussions, among others, all designed to find out people's views and concerns.

During the week of 18th-22nd November 2002, specific attention will focus on Palau when a Small Islands Voice workshop will bring together representatives from government, non-governmental organizations and youth in these islands to:

  • promote direct interaction and linkages between island countries in the three regions (Pacific, Indian Ocean and Caribbean).
  • discuss and further advance specific activities for Small Islands Voice, nationally, regionally and inter-regionally.
  • start discussions on specific issues emerging from Small Islands Voice, which can be presented to the 2004 review of the Programme of Action for Small Island Developing States.

The workshop will bring together for the first time representatives from the islands directly involved in Small Islands Voice, providing them the opportunity to learn about lifestyles and people in the different regions, and to exchange information both formally and informally. On Wednesday 20th November, participants will see the road construction in Babeldoab and discuss the new development with state representatives and local communities. Given that one of the main goals of Small Islands Voice is to promote debate on small-island environment and development issues via existing and new media, there will be an interactive session on the morning of 21st November exploring ways in which the media (print, radio, television and Internet providers) can participate in Small Islands Voice. On the afternoon of the same day (21st November) other organizations in Palau will be invited to discuss their programmes and how they can assist with the goals of Small Islands Voice.

In addition to these activities, discussions will continue throughout the week on how to ensure that the voice of the general public becomes a true and sustainable catalyst for action in the development of small islands.



To get involved, contact :


Coastal Regions and Small Islands Platform
UNESCO, Paris, France
fax: +33 1 45 68 58 08

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