Inter-regional Preparatory Meeting for SIDS Conference Suspended

ipm-sids28 August 2013: The Inter-regional Preparatory Meeting (IPM) for the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) discussed pressing issues and emerging challenges facing SIDS in preparation for the 2014 conference. Negotiations on an outcome document could not be concluded, however, and the IPM will resume in New York ahead of the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA).

The meeting took place in Bridgetown, Barbados, from 26-28 August 2013. Members of the three SIDS regions—Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean and South China Sea (AIMS), the Caribbean and the Pacific—held discussions addressing, inter alia: the outcomes of the three regional preparatory meetings; gaps and constraints in implementing the Barbados Programme of Action (BPOA) and the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action on the Sustainable Development of SIDS (MSI); the blue economy; debt management strategies; and the upcoming first International Year of SIDS (2014).

Contact and drafting groups met throughout the meeting to draft the outcome text, which was expected to form the basis of the negotiating text in the lead-up to the Third International Conference on SIDS, which will take place in Apia, Samoa, in September 2014.

At the end of the meeting, delegations were presented with a draft declaration, the ‘Needham's Point Bridgetown Declaration,' which was provisionally adopted with amendments.

The meeting's draft outcome document, however, was the subject of extended negotiations that were not concluded, and delegates agreed to suspend the IPM. Negotiations will resume in New York with an aim to adopt the outcome document before the conclusion of the UNGA's 67th session, in mid-September 2013. Delegates agreed that both the Declaration and the outcome document will be submitted together once negotiations conclude.

The Earth Negotiations Bulletin on the IPM includes an analysis of the main issues of contention arising from the meeting, the efforts undertaken to try to enable the SIDS to speak with a ‘single voice,' and the road ahead.

On 24 October the UN General Assembly (UNGA) issued the Needham Point Bridgetown Declaration as an Annex in A/C.2/68/7. [IISD RS Meeting Summary] [UNGA Second Committee Documents]