Published On: Fri, Sep 5th, 2014

ECLAC Reaffirms Commitment to Support Caribbean SIDS into the Post 2015 Development Agenda

Building resilience to external shocks and addressing vulnerability of island States are key issues to attain sustainable development, the UN Commission stated.

ECLACThe Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) reaffirmed this week its commitment to continue supporting small island Caribbean States (SIDS) in implementing the SAMOA Pathway, the outcome document of the Third International Conference on SIDS in Apia, within the framewok of the post 2015 development agenda and the future sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Addressing the delegates during the plenary session of the Conference on Wednesday 3 September, Raúl García-Buchaca, Director of ECLAC’s Programme Planning and Operations Division, highlighted that the international community must take into account the unique characteristics of the Caribbean SIDS in order to properly support these nations in their path to development.

“For SIDS, the fundamental issue is how to build resilience while mitigating risk and uncertainty. This entails development planning and a national commitment by all stakeholders and development partners to assist SIDS in addressing their vulnerability and to help them build resilience to economic and other external shocks”, expressed the ECLAC representative.

García-Buchaca explained that the region has made much progress in pursuing the outcomes of the previous international conferences on SIDS –the Barbados Programme of Action (1994) and the Mauritius Strategy (2005)- and now will work to implement the agreement of this Third Conference –the SAMOA Pathway.

However, he said that there are structural gaps in the Caribbean subregion that constrain its development, such as limited access to international financing, low levels of domestic savings and investment, inadequate human capital development, and declining productivity, among others.

“Many Caribbean islands are defined as middle income by virtue of the GDP per capita, which ECLAC regards as inadequate to measure for their vulnerability, and high levels of inequality and poverty. In this context, a strategy of profound structural change is recommended by ECLAC with equality at the center and suggestions to diversify economic sectors, to incorporate innovation through science and technology, to search for new markets and invest in human capital to improve local capabilities”, García-Buchaca declared.

Also on 3 September, ECLAC hosted a side event to the Third International Conference on SIDS where ministers from several Caribbean States discussed the challenges related to the vulnerability of Caribbean SIDS as a result of small size and resulting limited capacity.

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