GREAT BAY, St. Maarten – The Caribbean region is home to several Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) that face similar development challenges. These include geographic and economic isolation, limited resources, environmental fragility, high costs of transportation and energy as well as vulnerability to climate change and natural disasters. English and Dutch speaking Caribbean SIDS members include Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Curaçao, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sint Maarten, Trinidad and Tobago.
The SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (S.A.M.O.A) Pathway is an international framework that was developed as the outcome of the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS), held in September 2014 in Samoa. The overarching theme is “The sustainable development of Small Island developing States through genuine and durable partnerships”
The United Nations convened the Caribbean Regional Partnership Dialogue and the Regional
Preparatory Meeting for the Midterm Review of the SAMOA Pathway, from the 6th to the 9th of
August. The meetings were held on the Island of San Pedro in Belize. Drs. Loekie Morales of the
department of The Interior and Kingdom Relations (BAK) attended the meeting on behalf of the
government of Sint Maarten. Curaçao and Aruba also sent representatives, to discuss the way to
achieve the objectives and to formulate the outcome document, the San Pedro Declaration.
Main Objectives S.A.M.O.A. Pathway meeting
The main objectives of the Caribbean Regional Preparatory Meeting for the Midterm Review of the SAMOA Pathway are: to assess progress achieved in the implementation of the S.A.M.O.A. Pathway; identify emerging development priorities as well as practical and pragmatic action B oriented strategies or mechanisms. These are geared towards accelerating the implementation of the SAMOA Pathway in the region.
Basically, the goal is to identify the development priorities of Caribbean countries, which need to be considered in the formulation of the 2030 Agenda (SDGs), and determine SMART (Inclusive and durable) partners to link with, to reach sustainable development.
SDG 16 provides an immense opportunity for all stakeholders to work collaboratively across sectors and
thematic areas, forging genuine partnerships for supporting implementation of the SDGs and the SAMOA Pathway.
Relevant SAMOA Pathway priority areas include: economic growth, trade, sustainable energy, sustainable transportation, water and sanitation, food security and nutrition, NCDs, social development, gender, climate change, oceans and seas, waste management, biodiversity, sustainable consumption and production and disaster risk reduction.
It is therefore imperative to examine what it is that makes a partnership genuine, durable, and most impactful for SIDS.
S.A.M.O.A. Pathway Framework
The Framework of the SAMOA PATHWAY consists of a member States driven Steering Committee on SIDS Partnerships (currently chaired by Belize and Ireland). Furthermore, the framework entails the organization of an annual action-oriented and results-focused Global Multi stakeholder SIDS Partnership Dialogue, a standardized partnership reporting process of all stakeholders, the organization of regional and national SIDS partnership dialogues with support from the United Nations system and the international community.
Next to representatives of said countries, main stakeholders that joined the discussions were Non-Governmental agencies like The University of the West Indies, The Caribbean Development Bank, UN DESA, UNDP, CARICOM, OECS, CARIBBEAN DEVELOPMENT BANK, ECLAC, UN-OHRLLS (united Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States), and PAHO (Pan American Health Organisation) amongst others.
Caribbean Concerns and Challenges
Dialogues on the relevant Caribbean concerns and potential challenges on development themes took place, including the identification of regional priorities and a list of actions to advance the implementation of those priorities.
Most Caribbean SIDS consider an inclusive, equitable and prosperous Caribbean; a Healthy, a Safe and
Just Caribbean and a Sustainable and Resilient Caribbean to be the priority areas.
Country representatives have addressed where they are with the SAMOA Pathway Actions, where they
need to go and how they will get there in the next five years. They have addressed their priority objectives; what the major factors are that have contributed to the achievement of progress towards those objectives and what challenges presently stand in the way. The resource mobilization and engagement with the private sector and civil society were hot topics. Ways to address those challenges were addressed to support the achievement of the region’s priorities and needs. The deliberations ended with several main recommendations.
Among these are to allow the Private Sector, Academia, NGO’s and Civil society sit from the onset on the table to determine the targets to be met. We need a set of norms what the partnership should be (measurable, monitorable, resource based and result focus).
Partnerships must be SMART. We need to replicate successful partnerships and weight the partnership.
During the last day of the conference, a draft Regional Outcome Document, the ‘Draft San Pedro
Declaration’ was adopted. The latter will be handed over to the UN General Assembly within weeks.