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In January 2005, a high-level United Nations (UN) meeting was convened in Mauritius to review the implementation of and refine the 1994 Barbados Programme of Action (BPoA) for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS). The principal negotiated outputs of the meeting are a strategy document and a political declaration. The Mauritius Strategy builds on and reassesses the original BPoA areas. But it also highlights several new priorities and emerging issues now considered important dimensions of sustainable development in SIDS.

The twenty chapters of the Mauritius Strategy call for action in many fields related to UNESCO’s concerns, programmes and priorities. Particular attention is being given to often marginalized dimensions such as culture, youth and outer islands. In 2008, to ensure that UNESCO’s unique multi-disciplinary expertise – in science, culture, climate change, education, biodiversity resource preservation, knowledge management and information for decision-making – are productively used in addressing the multiplicity of challenges facing SIDS, a UNESCO intersectoral platform has been established. The SIDS platform mobilizes UNESCO’s house-wide contribution to the implementation of the Mauritius Strategy for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States through an integrated approach to sustainable island living and development, emphasizing interregional linkages and cooperation, reflecting the priority status assigned to SIDS in UNESCO’s current medium-term strategy.  

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