New York, 29 April 2003
Let me start by congratulating you on your assumption of the Chairmanship of this important session. The 11th session is crucial to keep the momentum of Johannesburg and chart out a roadmap to make the Plan of Implementation of the WSSD a realisable document. An important component of the roadmap is its future work programme that would encompass particularly the preparations for the Barbados +10 next year. I am fully confident that this session will achieve these important tasks under your able leadership.
The Johannesburg Declaration and Plan of Implementation contained a strong commitment to achieve specific goals with time bound targets, greater integration of the economic, social and environmental dimension, enhanced linkages between global implementation process with that at the national and regional levels with the active involvement of major stakeholders. This further necessitates the integrated approach in the follow-up to the implementation of the WSSD on the part of the UN system organizations. In this regard, I wish to particularly emphasize the lead role that should be assumed by UNDG and the CEB with their relevant mandates.
The Johannesburg Summit placed a particular emphasis on Africa, the least developed countries and small island developing States. They are at risk of remaining marginalized unless urgent measures are undertaken to accord special treatment to these countries in granting greater market access, increased ODA, expanded debt relief, and real and worthwhile capacity building. The implementation of the WSSD outcome should be judged against the full and effective attainment of the goals in support of these countries agreed at the UN global Conferences, particularly those in Johannesburg, Monterrey, Brussels and Barbados. It is absolutely essential to remember that the small island developing States are a special case for both environment and development. They are increasingly constrained by the interplay of adverse factors related to their smallness, isolation and vulnerability. The Plan of Implementation of the Johannesburg Summit sets forth a number of concrete commitments and targets with a time frame for this group of countries. One of the major outcomes of the WSSD was its decision to undertake the ten-year comprehensive review of the implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action in 2004 that would be hosted in Mauritius.
Subsequently, in its resolution 57/262 the General Assembly decided to convene the Conference in 2004 to undertake a full and comprehensive review of the implementation of Barbados Programme of Action. The General Assembly requested the Commission on Sustainable Development to consider its role in the preparatory process. The Commission should provide for effective and timely intergovernmental preparations for the ten-year review. In particular, the Commission needs to agree at its present session on the modalities of its work in the preparatory process for the review and on the specific dates for the regional preparatory meetings in the Caribbean and Pacific regions. This facilitates the preparatory process.
One of the key functions of the Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States is to provide support to the coordinated follow-up of the implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action. My Office has responsibility for coordination, advocacy and mobilization of international support measures and resources in favour of these vulnerable countries. The General Assembly has requested my Office to facilitate the preparatory process for the ten-year review of the Barbados Programme of Action. In this context, my Office has been in close consultations with the relevant parts of the United Nations, especially with the UNDESA and its branch on sustainable development. The advocacy, coordination and mobilization of international support and awareness will be major contributions to be made by my Office.
In conclusion, I wish to emphasize that the attainment of sustainable development for small island developing States requires the full commitment of the international community to effect special measures to address the challenges of globalisation, trade liberalization and economic and environmental vulnerabilities. The ten-year review of the Barbados Programme of Action should not merely take stock of, but must agree on such special measures. For that, my Office is determined to spare no efforts to forge the needed global partnerships and to secure commitments to a resurgence of political will matched by adequate technical and financial resources.
I wish every success to your deliberations. I thank you very much.
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