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But additional rent-generating activity includes second home properties; military bases; detention centres; refuelling stations; fishing licenses; shipping registries, communication facilities; test installations; transhipment sites; low tax regimes; and internet domain names. Even in a post-cold war world, the maintenance of military bases in various parts of the world, particularly for the United States, has been scaled back but remains impressive: where small island states are concerned, this is especially so in the Middle East with extensive US facilities in Bahrain and the Western Pacific where the US has the right to operate military bases in Palau, Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia.

Three per cent of the land area of Cyprus consists of British Sovereign Bases; while Turkey maintains a military presence in North Cyprus. Nauru now runs a detention centre for undocumented migrants and asylum seekers caught in Australian waters; this centre provides one-fifth of all employment on that island country Hasmath and McKenzie, The industry has been vilified as unjust by virtie of cheating states of precious tax revenues and jeopardising welfare systems e.

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Hampton and Christensen, Whereas island jurisdictions retort that there is no morality in the market and that they are merely exploiting one of their very few current competitive advantages e. Cobb, ; Rose and Spiegel, Lucrative fish or marine species — from cod in the North Atlantic to sea cucumber in the Pacific — have been hunted to near extinction e.

Kurlansky, Islands as plantation economies — first involving tobacco but then mainly sugar as the key cash crop — was very profitably pursued with the indiscriminate use of slave and indentured labour, and while Europe had a huge craving for all things sweet e. Mintz, ; Strachan, More recent large-scale agricultural production, as in bananas for Grenada, Dominica, St Lucia and St Vincent, benefited from trade protectionism with privileged access to European Union markets; but eventually had to give way to a more neo-liberal WTO-driven trade regime that rewarded more efficient producers from larger states Mlachila et al.

Customer loyalty to specific place-based and more expensive commodities needs to be earned, and then maintained. Local companies may fly under the radar of the big corporate players but, once successful, they can attract attention, and eventually can get bought out by the stronger competition. A successful firm could also encourage other local service providers to enter the field, quickly saturating the small local market and threatening both quality and profitability. And some activities are verging on the criminal and illegal: interested in a passport from Tonga, Samoa, the Marshall Islands, Vanuatu or Nauru van Fossen, ?

When does offshore banking become money laundering e. Hampton and Levi, ? When does a flag of convenience become a euphemism for clandestine arms trafficking e. Sydney Morning Herald, ?

Waste Issue in Small Island Developing States (SIDS)

But, the greatest challenge of all remains the fact that success depends on extra-territorial take-up, be this made up of governments, tourists, investors, consumers or a combination of these. Should things change in the sending country — a change in defence, marine, taxation, migration or detention policy, for example — the source of revenue can disappear, and can do so quite suddenly too.

Indeed, this is the very same argument making the case for the structural vulnerability of small island states. Openness is a double-edged sword:. Lacking a hinterland under their own control, these states cannot count on the material, fiscal, food or even human resource reserves available to larger countries; and yet, paradoxically, they must tap these pools to survive: even Singapore, with its solid reputation as a robust and successful economy, needs to negotiate with neighbouring Malaysia for its water requirements Sprake et al. If survival depends on trans-border activity, then is it not easier to access, secure and consolidate such a flow by operating from inside a larger, wealthier state, rather than from outside?

True: the status of a distinct sovereign state may be notionally more prestigious and dignified — with the flag, UN seat and head of state that accompanies sovereignty - yet, could it not be economically much more dubious and fickle Baldacchino, ? And if that is so, then what has changed since the s to warrant such a hesitation? It is probably not just that the rhetoric of self-determination and sovereignty has worn off from the heydays of decolonization of the late s and mids. More significantly, neo-liberalism and an enhanced cross-boundary openness to trade and finance capital flows may have significantly improved the economic fortunes of sub-national jurisdictions, particularly in terms of revenues from tourism and offshore finance, spectacularly transforming these spaces from the policy-neglected, labour-sending and remittance-fuelled societies of just a few decades ago.

For example, Bertram and Poirine recount the transition of the Cayman Islands from its dependence on remittances from off-island seafaring labour in the early s, to the sophisticated tourism destination, in-migration hub and offshore financial centre it has become. In spite of the mantra of sustainable development, islands fare best economically when they lure revenue from elsewhere, and the performance of their politicians often appraised by how well they manage to secure such largesse. Those small island territories that have, for some reason, been obliged to live off their own resources would have morphed themselves as plantation and often largely monocrop economies, providing non-essential goods to the kitchens of the West; but without the economies of scale of larger continental competitors, this business model has been shown to fail without those protectionist policies whose heyday is a thing of the past.

This then is a strong case for non-sovereignty: a political economy that secures autonomy but maintains the vital lifelines with larger, richer economies and their labour markets. Today, vulnerability, resilience, dogged perseverance, and clever opportunism are best played out in a scenario where decolonization does not equal disengagement. Alesina, A.

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Spolaore Amoamo, M. Anklesaria Aiyar, S. Armstrong, H. Read The international political economy of micro-states: an overview , Paper presented at 5 th Islands of the World Conference, Mauritius, University of Mauritius, July. Poot ed. Li, and R. Baldacchino, G. Bertram Bray eds Milne, eds Bertram, G. Poirine Baldacchino ed.

Watters Braudel, F. Reynolds, London, Collins. Briguglio, L. Bugeja and N. Farrugia Conceptualizing and measuring economic resilience. Brookfield, H. Bryant, N. Carnegie, C. Carse, S. Baldacchino and R. Greenwood eds. Cartier, L. Krzemnicki and M. Ito Cobb, S. Connell, J. Islands at Risk? King King and J. London, Pinter: 1- Conrad, A. Croes, R.

We acknowledge that the further implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action and the Mauritius Strategy and the implementation of the Samoa Pathway in support of the sustainable development of small island developing States would require appropriate consideration in the post development agenda. We recognize that, in spite of the considerable efforts of small island developing States and the mobilization of their limited resources, their progress in the attainment of the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals, and in implementing the Barbados Programme of Action and the Mauritius Strategy has been uneven, and some have regressed economically.


A number of significant challenges remain. We recognize that the adverse impacts of climate change compound existing challenges in small island developing States and have placed additional burdens on their national budgets and their efforts to achieve the sustainable development goals. We note the views expressed by small island developing States that the financial resources available to date have not been adequate to facilitate the implementation of climate change adaptation and mitigation projects, and we also recognize that, at times, complex application procedures have prevented some small island developing States from gaining access to funds that are available internationally.

In this regard, we welcome the recent Green Climate Fund Board decision to aim for a floor of 50 per cent of the adaptation allocation for particularly vulnerable countries, including small island developing States, and we note the importance of continued support to address gaps in the capacity to gain access to and manage climate finance. We note that small island developing States consider that the level of resources has been insufficient to ensure their capacity to respond effectively to multiple crises, and that without the necessary resources, they have not fully succeeded in building capacity, strengthening national institutions according to national priorities, gaining access and developing renewable energy and other environmentally sound technologies, creating an enabling environment for sustainable development or fully integrating the Barbados Programme of Action and the Mauritius Strategy into national plans and strategies.

We underscore the need for adequate and coordinated support from the United Nations system and the importance of accessible and transparent support from the international financial institutions that take fully into account the specific needs and vulnerabilities of small island developing States for the implementation of Barbados Programme of Action, the Mauritius Strategy and the Samoa Pathway, and we call for a renewed dedication of United Nations system support for cooperation among small island developing States and national, regional and interregional coordination. We recognize that small island developing States have made significant efforts at the national and regional levels to implement the Barbados Programme of Action and the Mauritius Strategy.

They have mainstreamed sustainable development principles into national and in some cases regional development plans, policies and strategies, and undertaken political commitments to promote and raise awareness of the importance of sustainable development issues. They have also mobilized resources at the national and regional levels despite their limited resource base. Small island developing States have demonstrated strong leadership by calling for ambitious and urgent action on climate change, by protecting biodiversity, by calling for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and seas and their resources and by and adopting strategies for the promotion of renewable energy.

We recognize and call for the strengthening of the long-standing cooperation and support provided by the international community in assisting small island developing States to make progress in addressing their vulnerabilities and supporting their sustainable development efforts. Mindful of the importance of ensuring that the graduation of a country from least developed country status does not disrupt the development progress which that country has achieved, we reaffirm the need for the smooth transition of small island developing States that have recently graduated, and emphasize that a successful transition needs to be based on the national smooth transition strategy elaborated as a priority by each graduating country, which can, inter alia, mitigate the possible loss of concessionary financing and reduce the risks of falling heavily into debt.

While the well-being of small island developing States and their peoples depends first and foremost on national actions, we recognize that there is an urgent need to strengthen cooperation and enable strong, genuine and durable partnerships at the subnational, national, subregional, regional and international levels to enhance international cooperation and action to address the unique and particular vulnerabilities of small island developing States so as to ensure their sustainable development. We reaffirm our commitment to take urgent and concrete action to address the vulnerability of small island developing States, including through the sustained implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action and the Mauritius Strategy, and we underscore the urgency of finding additional solutions to the major challenges facing small island developing States in a concerted manner so as to support them in sustaining the momentum realized in implementing the Samoa Pathway.

With renewed political will and strong leadership, we dedicate ourselves to working in meaningful partnership with all stakeholders at all levels. It is in this context that the present Samoa Pathway presents a basis for action in the agreed priority areas. Sustained and sustainable, inclusive and equitable economic growth with decent work for all Development models in small island developing States for the implementation of sustainable development and poverty eradication We recognize that the ability of the small island developing States to sustain high levels of economic growth and job creation has been affected by the ongoing adverse impacts of the global economic crisis, declining foreign direct investment, trade imbalances, increased indebtedness, the lack of adequate transportation, energy and information and communications technology infrastructure networks, limited human and institutional capacity and the inability to integrate effectively into the global economy.

The growth prospects of the small island developing States have also been hindered by other factors, including climate change, the impact of natural disasters, the high cost of imported energy and the degradation of coastal and marine ecosystems and sea-level rise. As it is vitally important to support the efforts of small island developing States to build resilient societies and economies, we recognize that beyond the rich ecosystems of those States, people are their greatest resource.

In order to achieve sustained, inclusive and equitable growth with full and productive employment, social protection and the creation of decent work for all, small island developing States, in partnership with the international community, will seek to increase investment in the education and training of their people. Migrants and diaspora communities and organizations also play an important role in enhancing development in their communities of origin. Sound macroeconomic policies and sustainable economic management, fiscal predictability, investment and regulatory certainty, responsible borrowing and lending and debt sustainability are also critical, as is the need to address high rates of unemployment, particularly among youth, women and persons with disabilities.

We affirm that there are different approaches, visions, models and tools available to each country, in accordance with its national circumstances and priorities, for achieving sustainable development in its three dimensions, which is our overarching goal. In this regard, we consider the green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication as one of the important tools available for achieving sustainable development.

We call upon the United Nations system, in collaboration with other stakeholders, to strengthen its coordination and support of small island developing States that want to pursue green economy policies. We acknowledge that the implementation of sustainable development depends primarily on national action and leadership. We recognize that the private sector plays an increasingly important role in achieving sustainable economic development, including through public-private partnerships.

We recognize that sustainable development will also depend, inter alia, on intergovernmental and international cooperation and the active engagement of both the public and private sectors. Taking into full account their national development priorities and individual country circumstances and legislation, we call for support for the efforts of small island developing States to take the following actions: a Enhancing international cooperation, exchanges and investments in formal and non-formal education and training to create an environment that supports sustainable investments and growth.

Acknowledging the way in which debt servicing limits the fiscal space of highly indebted small island developing States, we support the consideration of traditional and innovative approaches to promote the debt sustainability of highly indebted small island developing States, including their continued eligibility for concessionary financing from international financial institutions, as appropriate, and the strengthening of domestic revenue mobilization.

We acknowledge the importance of addressing debt sustainability to ensure the smooth transition of those small island developing States that have graduated from least developed country status. Sustainable tourism Climate change We reaffirm that small island developing States remain a special case for sustainable development in view of their unique and particular vulnerabilities, and we acknowledge that climate change and sea-level rise continue to pose a significant risk to small island developing States and their efforts to achieve sustainable development and, for some, represent the gravest threat to their survival and viability.

We also reaffirm that climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time, and we express profound alarm that emissions of greenhouse gases continue to rise globally. We are deeply concerned that all countries, particularly developing countries, are vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change and are already experiencing an increase in such impacts, including persistent drought and extreme weather events, sea-level rise, coastal erosion and ocean acidification, further threatening food security and efforts to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development.

In this regard, we emphasize that adaptation to climate change represents an immediate and urgent global priority. We acknowledge the leadership role of small island developing States in advocating for ambitious global efforts to address climate change, raising awareness of the need for urgent and ambitious action to address climate change at the global level and making efforts to adapt to the intensifying impacts of climate change and to further develop and implement plans, policies, strategies and legislative frameworks with support where necessary.

We stress that the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is the primary international intergovernmental forum for negotiating the global response to climate change in order to protect the global climate. We recall the objectives, principles and provisions of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, [18] and underscore that the global nature of climate change calls for the widest possible cooperation by all countries and their participation in an effective and appropriate international response, with a view to accelerating the reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions.

We recall that the Convention provides that parties should protect the climate system for the benefit of present and future generations of humankind on the basis of equity and in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. We note with grave concern the significant gap between the aggregate effect of mitigation pledges by parties in terms of global annual emissions of greenhouse gases by and aggregate emission pathways consistent with having a likely chance of holding the increase in global average temperature below 2 degrees Celsius, or 1.

We reaffirm the decision of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change on long-term climate finance, [19] noting the importance of climate finance in addressing climate change. We look forward to the full operationalization and initial capitalization of the Green Climate Fund, including the expeditious implementation of its initial resource mobilization process, taking into account that the Fund will play a key role in channelling, new, additional, adequate and predictable financial resources to developing countries and will catalyse climate finance, both public and private, at the international and national levels.

We urge developed country parties to increase technology, finance and capacity-building support to enable increased mitigation ambition and adaptation actions on the part of developing country parties. We reaffirm the importance of engaging a broad range of stakeholders at the global, regional, subregional, national and local levels, including national, subnational and local governments and the scientific community, private businesses and civil society, and also including youth and persons with disabilities, and also reaffirm that gender equality and the effective participation of women and indigenous peoples are important for effective action on all aspects of climate change.

We reaffirm the decision of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to adopt a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all parties at its twenty-first session, to be held in Paris in December , and for it to enter into effect and be implemented as from We note the convening by the Secretary-General of the Climate Summit in New York on 23 September , aimed at mobilizing actions and ambition in relation to climate change.

We will work together to implement and operationalize the Warsaw international mechanism for loss and damage associated with climate change impacts [20] through comprehensive, inclusive and strategic approaches to address loss and damage associated with the impacts of climate change in developing countries, including small island developing States, that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. We call for support for the efforts of small island developing States: a To build resilience to the impacts of climate change and to improve their adaptive capacity through the design and implementation of climate change adaptation measures appropriate to their respective vulnerabilities and economic, environmental and social situations; b To improve the baseline monitoring of island systems and the downscaling of climate model projections to enable better projections of the future impacts on small islands; c To raise awareness and communicate climate change risks, including through public dialogue with local communities, to increase human and environmental resilience to the longer-term impacts of climate change; d To address remaining gaps in capacity for gaining access to and managing climate finance.

We recognize that the phasing out of ozone-depleting substances is resulting in a rapid increase in the use and the release into the environment of hydrofluorocarbons with a high potential for global warming. We support the gradual phasing down of the consumption and production of hydrofluorocarbons. We recognize that dependence on imported fossil fuels has been a major source of economic vulnerability and a key challenge for small island developing States for many decades and that sustainable energy, including enhanced accessibility to modern energy services, energy efficiency and use of economically viable and environmentally sound technology, plays a critical role in enabling the sustainable development of small island developing States.

We highlight the efforts of small island developing States concerning sustainable energy, including through the Barbados Declaration on Achieving Sustainable Energy for All in Small Island Developing States, aimed at promoting transformational and innovative activities in such areas as access to affordable modern energy services, renewable energy, energy-efficient technologies and low carbon development, in the context of sustainable development, including, on a voluntary basis, the commitments by many small island developing States to undertake the actions contained in annex I to the Declaration.

We urge the international community, including regional and international development banks, bilateral donors, the United Nations system, the International Renewable Energy Agency and other relevant stakeholders to continue to provide adequate support, including in the areas of capacity-building and technology transfer, on mutually agreed terms, for the development and implementation of national, regional and interregional energy policies, plans and strategies to address the special vulnerabilities of small island developing States.

We welcome the Global Renewable Energy Islands Network of the International Renewable Energy Agency, which helps small island developing States by pooling knowledge and sharing best practices. Disaster risk reduction We recognize that small island developing States continue to grapple with the effects of disasters, some of which have increased in intensity and some of which have been exacerbated by climate change, which impede their progress towards sustainable development.

We also recognize that disasters can disproportionately affect small island developing States and that there is a critical need to build resilience, strengthen monitoring and prevention, reduce vulnerability, raise awareness and increase preparedness to respond to and recover from disasters. Oceans and seas Healthy, productive and resilient oceans and coasts are critical for, inter alia, poverty eradication, access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food, livelihoods, economic development and essential ecosystem services, including carbon sequestration, and represent an important element of identity and culture for the people of small island developing States.

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  5. Sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, coastal tourism, the possible use of seabed resources and potential sources of renewable energy are among the main building blocks of a sustainable ocean-based economy in small island developing States. Recognizing that small island developing States have large maritime areas and have shown notable leadership in the conservation and sustainable use of those areas and their resources, we support their efforts to develop and implement strategies for the conservation and sustainable use of those areas and resources.

    We also support their efforts to conserve their valuable underwater cultural heritage. We reaffirm that international law, as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, [22] provides the legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources. We recognize that an integrated ecosystem approach to ocean-related activities is needed to optimize opportunities.

    It should be based on the best available science, give due regard to conservation efforts and precautionary approaches and ensure coherence and balance among the three dimensions of sustainable development. Food security and nutrition We recognize that small island developing States, primarily net food-importing countries, are exceptionally vulnerable to the fluctuating availability and excessive price volatility of food imports.

    It is therefore important to support the right of everyone to have access to safe, sufficient and nutritious food, the eradication of hunger and the provision of livelihoods while conserving, protecting and ensuring the sustainable use of land, soil, forests, water, plants and animals, biodiversity and ecosystems.

    We stress the crucial role of healthy marine ecosystems, sustainable agriculture, sustainable fisheries and sustainable aquaculture for enhancing food security and access to adequate, safe and nutritious food and in providing for the livelihoods of the people of the small island developing States. We also recognize the danger caused by an unhealthy diet and the need to promote healthy food production and consumption. We recognize the call, in the outcome of the interregional preparatory meeting for the third International Conference on Small Island Developing States, adopted in Bridgetown on 28 August ,[24] to facilitate a meeting on food and nutrition security in small island developing States in order to develop an action programme to address food and nutrition challenges facing those States, and we invite the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to facilitate this biennial forum.

    We note the convening of the second International Conference on Nutrition in Rome in November , organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Health Organization, which has important implications for small island developing States, and look forward to its outcome. Water and sanitation We recognize that small island developing States face numerous challenges with respect to freshwater resources, including pollution, the overexploitation of surface, ground and coastal waters, saline intrusion, drought and water scarcity, soil erosion, water and wastewater treatment and the lack of access to sanitation and hygiene.

    Furthermore, changes in rainfall patterns related to climate change have regionally varying and potentially significant impacts on water supply. Sustainable transportation We recognize that transportation and mobility are central to the sustainable development of small island developing States. Sustainable transportation can enhance economic growth, promote trade opportunities and improve accessibility. Sustainable, reliable and safe transportation achieves better integration of the economy while respecting the environment. We also recognize the importance of the efficient movement of people and goods in fostering full engagement in local, regional and global markets and the potential for sustainable transportation to improve social equity, health, the resilience of cities, urban-rural linkages and the productivity of rural areas of small island developing States.

    Sustainable consumption and production As promoting sustainable patterns of consumption and production is an overarching objective of and essential requirement for sustainable development, we recall the year framework of programmes on sustainable consumption and production patterns and its vision, and we recognize that all countries should promote sustainable consumption and production patterns, with developed countries taking the lead and all countries benefiting from the process.

    This should be done in accordance with national objectives, needs and priorities, taking fully into account the specific needs and conditions of developing countries with the aim of minimizing the possible adverse impacts on their development, and in a manner that protects the poor and affected communities. In this regard, we call for support for the efforts of small island developing States to develop and implement programmes under the year framework of programmes on sustainable consumption and production patterns to advance sustainable consumption and production, with an emphasis on micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, sustainable tourism, waste management, food and nutrition, lifestyles, education for sustainable development and linkages in the supply chain to promote rural development.

    Management of chemicals and waste, including hazardous waste We recognize that the sound management of chemicals throughout their life cycle and of waste is crucial for the protection of human health and the environment. For small island developing States, as for all countries, environmentally sound waste management is also crucial for human health and environmental protection, and the small land area and remoteness of many small island developing States pose particular challenges for the sound disposal of waste. Health and non-communicable diseases We recognize that health is a precondition for and an outcome and indicator of all three dimensions of sustainable development.

    Sustainable development can be achieved only in the absence of a high prevalence of debilitating communicable and non-communicable diseases, including emerging and re-emerging diseases, and when populations can reach a state of physical, mental and social well-being.

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    While prevention, treatment, care and education are critical, we call upon the international community to support the national actions of small island developing States in addressing communicable and non-communicable diseases. We take note of the outcome document of the high-level meeting of the General Assembly on the comprehensive review and assessment of the progress achieved in the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases.

    Women can be powerful agents of change. Social development We recognize that social development, as one of the three dimensions of sustainable development, is crucial to ensuring development progress by small island developing States both now and in the future. We therefore support efforts to enhance social protection and inclusion, to improve well-being and to guarantee opportunities for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged.

    We support small island developing States in their commitment to an approach to development that is focused on poverty eradication, which should ensure that people, particularly those living in poverty, have equal access to education, health, food, water and sanitation and other public and social services and access to productive resources, including credit, land, training, knowledge, information and know-how.

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    That approach enables citizens and local communities to participate in decision-making on social development policies and programmes. Culture and sport We recognize that small island developing States possess a wealth of culture, which is a driver and an enabler for sustainable development. In particular, indigenous and traditional knowledge and cultural expression, which underscores the deep connections among people, culture, knowledge and the natural environment, can meaningfully advance sustainable development and social cohesion. Recognizing the strong capacity of small island developing States in sport, we support the use of sport as a vehicle to foster development, social inclusion and peace, strengthen education, promote health and build life skills, particularly among youth.

    Promoting peaceful societies and safe communities We recognize the importance of supporting small island developing States in their ongoing efforts to ensure peaceful societies and safe communities, including through building responsive and accountable institutions and ensuring access to justice and respect for all human rights, taking into account their national priorities and legislations. We recognize that the sustainable development of small island developing States can be negatively affected by crime and violence, including conflict, gang and youth violence, piracy, trafficking in persons, cybercrime, drug trafficking and transnational organized crime.

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    In particular, the lack of sustainable livelihoods and opportunities for further education and the breaking down of community support structures can lead to increasing numbers of young men and women becoming involved in violence and crime. We support the efforts of small island developing States to combat trafficking in persons, cybercrime, drug trafficking, transnational organized crime and international piracy by promoting the accession, ratification and implementation of applicable conventions, enacting and using legislation that prohibits trafficking, promoting strong institutions and improving protection mechanisms to ensure adequate care for victims of sex trafficking and forced labour in accordance with relevant national and international agreements and treaties.

    We support the development of action plans in small island developing States to eliminate violence against women and girls, who are often targets of gender-based violence and are disproportionately affected by crime, violence and conflict, and to ensure they are centrally involved in all relevant processes.

    Education We reaffirm that full and equal access to quality education at all levels is an essential condition for achieving sustainable development and the importance of local, national, regional and international efforts in this regard. We are committed, in this regard, to strongly supporting the efforts of small island developing States: a To provide high-quality education and training for youth and girls with a focus on the most vulnerable, in particular persons with disabilities, including in creative, cultural and environment-related fields, so that all people have the necessary skills and can take advantage of employment opportunities to lead productive lives; b To ensure that education contributes to further building peace and promoting social inclusion; c To increase their investment in education, training and skills development for all, including vocational training, and to improve their access to formal and non-formal education, including to gain entrepreneurial skills, through both formal and non-formal means, such as the use of distance teaching and the development of training approaches appropriate for small island developing States.

    Biodiversity We agree to promote international cooperation and partnerships, as appropriate, and information exchange, and in this context we welcome the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity, , for the purpose of encouraging the active involvement of all stakeholders in the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, as well as their access to and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources, with the vision of living in harmony with nature.

    We recognize that, overall, small island developing States have extraordinary marine and terrestrial biodiversity that in many cases is fundamental to their livelihoods and identity. Noting that this valuable biodiversity and the ecosystem services it provides are at grave risk, we strongly support the efforts of small island developing States: a To conserve biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources; b To export organic, natural, sustainably produced and locally grown products; c To access financial and technical resources for the conservation and sustainable management of biodiversity.

    We invite parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity[29] to consider ratifying and implementing the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from Their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity, while acknowledging that having access to and sharing the benefits of genetic resources contribute to the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, poverty eradication and sustainable development. Desertification, land degradation and drought We recognize that addressing desertification, land degradation and drought challenges will be critical for the achievement by small island developing States of food security and nutrition, their adaptation to climate change, the protection of their biodiversity and the development of resilience to natural disasters.

    We also strongly support the efforts of small island developing States in designing and implementing preparedness and resilience policies relating to desertification, land degradation and drought as a matter of priority and in catalysing financial resources from a range of public and private sources, as well as in promoting the sustainability of their limited soil resources.

    Forests Invasive alien species Means of implementation, including partnerships While acknowledging the primary responsibility of small island developing States for their own sustainable development, we recognize that the persistent development challenges of the small island developing States require enhanced global partnership for development, adequate provision and mobilization of all means of implementation and continued international support to achieve internationally agreed goals.

    Partnerships We call for an increase in all forms of partnership with and for small island developing States. Small island developing states SIDS are characterised by high economic, geographical and social vulnerability. These states are perceived as economically vulnerable, exhibiting poor economic performance, and embedding low levels of achieved well-being on most criteria.

    SIDS, which occupy very large parts of the world, face idiosyncratic development challenges largely owing to their susceptibility to external shocks. Still, these countries are all too often overlooked in the development research literature. Using a wealth of data, as well as case studies, the main topics examined comprise: aid, policies and growth; the costs of neglect, in terms of losses owing to a country falling into the fragile states group, of that country and those in its region; the composition of trade and the impact of external shocks, and the impact of remittances.