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Negotiators plan for major UN meeting to address needs of small island States

Negotiators plan for major UN meeting to address needs of small island States

USG Chowdhury briefs journalists
To be credible, the international community must focus on the needs of the world's poorest countries, the Secretary-General of an upcoming major United Nations meeting on the special needs of island nations said today as negotiators wrapped up three days of talks in preparation for that event.

"Without such an effort, all our attempts for international development cooperation will not be very effective," Anwarul Chowdhury, who is also Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, told a press briefing in New York.

He predicted that the Mauritius International Meeting to Review the Implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, set to run from 30 August to 3 September, would help galvanize international action on the issue.

The Mauritius meeting is expected to produce a plan for the further implementation of the 1994 Barbados action plan, he said. "Ten years have gone by and not much has happened and we are wondering why it is so and we are trying to find out how we can do a little bit extra to see that something happens."

In addition, the Mauritius conference will also produce a political declaration providing a broad basis for crafting international development cooperation for the small island development States.

"As the Secretary-General of the Conference, it is my intention to see to it that we have a good outcome document, and for that I will make every effort to facilitate the negotiating process," Mr. Chowdhury said.

"I am hoping that the Mauritius meeting will come up with some proactive, strong monitoring elements in the document so that we don't have to wait for five years or 10 years before we can say whether we have been able to achieve something or not," he added.

"Small islands have a lot of good will from the development partners, from the international community," he said. "The mood of negotiations has been quite good during these two days, and we would like to maintain that mood and hopefully, we'll come up with a very good document at Mauritius."