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Small Island Developing States (SIDS), with special emphasis on the Caribbean - The Challenges for International Development Cooperation in the 2010's

UNESCO Future Forum

Small Island Developing States (SIDS), with special emphasis on the Caribbean - The Challenges for International Development Cooperation in the 2010's
  • © UNESCO/S. Le Nechet
  • La Havane, Iles de Rosaire

A special edition of the UNESCO Future Forum on “Small Island Developing States (SIDS), with special emphasis on the Caribbean - the challenges for international development cooperation in the 2010s” will be held in Port of Spain , Trinidad and Tobago on 8 July 2010. This day-long Forum will immediately follow the UNESCO Director-General’s Consultation with the National Commissions from Latin America and the Caribbean on the preparation for UNESCO’s Draft Programme and Budget for 2012-2013.

Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) face unprecedented challenges. In a globalized and interconnected world subject to economic and environmental crises, small islands are particularly at risk – whether from increasingly unpredictable and severe weather, the prospect of rising sea level, biodiversity losses, geographic isolation and economic vulnerability. However, small islands societies have a record of thriving in challenging times, inventing and refining new and innovative approaches to development, social mobilization and technological adaptation.

No agenda can deliver on such a wide range of interconnected challenges without a holistic and future-oriented approach UNESCO is well positioned to pursue through its multi-disciplinary expertise – in science, culture, climate change, education, biodiversity, knowledge management and information.

The small island developing States constitute a priority group of countries of UNESCO’s Medium-Term Strategy. In line with the 2005 Mauritius Declaration and the Mauritius Strategy, UNESCO developed an integrated approach to sustainable island living and development, emphasizing interregional linkages and cooperation. Action in support of SIDS aims mainly at the promotion and development of quality education focused particularly on addressing SIDS issues and needs, the adoption of evidence-based policies for sustainable development and their translation into effective on-the-ground practice, and the safeguarding of tangible and intangible heritage.

In September 2010, during the 65th Session of the UN General Assembly, a high-level review meeting will provide the international community with an opportunity to conduct a thorough assessment of the progress made, lessons learned and constraints encountered in the implementation of the Mauritius Strategy and agree on what needs to be done to further address the vulnerabilities of Small Island Developing States.

Given the international development context and the current dynamics of UNESCO, a UNESCO Future Forum on the theme “Small Islands Developing States – Challenges for international Development Cooperation in the 2010s” is a timely opportunity to analyze the major trends affecting them, discuss common approaches and envision new strategic opportunities.

The forum will be:

  • an occasion to discuss strategic responses by UNESCO
  • following UNESCO’s regional consultation on the draft Programme and Budget for 2012-2013 (36 C/5) to demonstrate UNESCO’s role as a laboratory of ideas, a policy advisor and a strategic development partner
  • an opportunity to focus on the potential of South-South Cooperation and North-South-South Cooperation
  • a contribution of UNESCO to the 2010 Reviews:

  • - 5-year review of the Mauritius Strategy for the Implementation of the Plan of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island States ( New York , 18-19 September 2010);

    - Millennium Development Goals Summit ( New York , 20-22 September 2010)

  • an occasion to reflect on action pertaining to the International Years of Biodiversity and Rapprochement of Cultures

Representatives of UNESCO National Commissions from SIDS in the Latin-America and the Caribbean region, representatives of other National Commissions in the Latin-America and the Caribbean region, and high-level experts will tackle the following themes:

  • Entering the 2010’s: rethinking multilateral cooperation for SIDS to attain the internationally agreed development goals in education, the sciences, culture and communication and information and implementing the Mauritius strategy through action in UNESCO’s domains

  • Addressing environmental and climate change challenges faced by SIDS, especially in the Caribbean

More information on UNESCO’s work towards implementation of the Mauritius Strategy for the Sustainable Development of SIDS, can be found at http://www.unesco.org/en/sids

For more information, please contact:
Caroline Descombris
Bureau of Strategic Planning
Tél: +33145681624


Address by Mr Davidson Hepburn, President of the UNESCO General Conference
Address by Mr Hans d’Orville - UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Strategic Planning
List of Small Island Developing States (SIDS)
Background documentation

DocumentsSummary Report of the Forum BSP
DocumentsKeynote Address by Dr The Honourable Ralph E. Gonsalves - Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
DocumentsAddress by Juliana Johan Boodram, Permanent Secretary - Ministry of Planning, Economic and Social Restructuring and Gender Affairs of Trinidad and Tobago
DocumentsAddressing environmental and climate change challenges faced by Caribbean SIDS through a sustainable development lens Marlene Attzs - University of West Indies
DocumentsPresentation by Gordon Bispham Caribbean Policy Development Centre
DocumentsUnderstanding Environmental and Climate Change Vulnerabilities of SIDS Hiroko Morita Lou
DocumentsMajor Trends affecting Caribbean SIDS and New Strategic Opportunities H.E. Dessima M. Williams
DocumentsPresentation by Rogel Nuguid Special Unit for South-South Cooperation
DocumentsSmall Islands, Big Impact: Climate Change and Biodiversity in the Caribbean Sarah McIntosh - Caribbean Natural Resources Institute
DocumentsEducation in the Caribbean: contributing to sustainable development Presentation by Ryan Burgess - Inter American Development Bank
DocumentsPresentation by Cletus Springer Organization of American States
Europe and North America Latin America and the Caribbean Africa Arab States Asia Pacific