A political declaration was adopted by Small Island Developing States (SIDS) last night, but negotiations on the draft outcome document on sustainable development for SIDS will now continue in New York.

This brought an end to three days of intense negotiations between SIDS regions during the SIDS Inter-Regional Preparatory Meeting at Hilton Barbados.

Just before midnight last night, Minister of the Environment and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe, announced that ???the Inter-Regional Preparatory Meeting in preparation for the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States decides that negotiations on the draft outcome document will continue in New York???.

However, it was agreed that those negotiations would continue with Barbados as the Chair, and would be concluded prior to the end of the 67th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

In addressing delegates, Dr. Lowe expressed his satisfaction with the work done, noting that all those involved in the process did an outstanding job in laying the pathway for the continuation of the work.

???I am further convinced of your commitment to SIDS issues and your dedication to working towards building a stronger more cohesive family among SIDS partners,??? he said, noting there were many other people involved in the process.

The Minister stressed that the hard work done must not be overlooked, neither must it be measured by a single moment in this process. ???All of us should be applauded for the outstanding work we have done so far on behalf of Small Island Developing States, and I pledge as Chair, that I will continue to play my role in ensuring that we continue to build a strong and sustainable pathway for Small Island Developing States.

???Your voices must always be heard and your commitment must always be known. You should always be defined as a group of hardworking citizens from different countries who are committed to the betterment of the world,??? Dr. Lowe stated.

He added that the survivability of SIDS was important, and the opportunity should always be for them to have their voices heard. ???One of the things I kept saying throughout this meeting is that everyone must be heard, and that the commitment demonstrated by each one must be respected and must be advanced,??? he said.

Under Secretary General, Wu Hongbo, also described the three-day conference as an exhaustive but rewarding process, with countries demonstrating their determination to overcome the vulnerabilities they face as SIDS.

He stressed that a political declaration was a big achievement for the meeting, a successful outcome document was also of ???utmost importance??? for the sustainable development of SIDS.

???I am sure under the leadership of Barbados and our continued efforts we will find a solution to all the remaining issues. There are many innovative ways to accomplish this. It is incumbent upon us all to represent the concerns of every member of the SIDS family and to support each other whenever we can. Working together is the only solution. I am confident that in New York you will build on your achievements here and reach agreement before the start of the General Assembly,??? Mr. Wu said.

He added that the General Assembly would, in the coming months, adopt a second modality resolution on the global preparatory process of the conference, and encouraged all SIDS to be actively engaged in the process and speak with one unified voice.


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