The Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS), to be held in Samoa from 1 to 4 September 2014 (Samoa Conference) and the designation of 2014 as the International Year of SIDS offer an opportunity to focus international attention on the unique transport-related challenges facing SIDS and consider ways in which these can be better understood and adequately addressed.
Against this background, and in line with the UNCTAD mandate, including in particular the Doha Mandate, which directs UNCTAD to "advise SIDS on the design and implementation of policies addressing their specific trade and trade logistics challenges linked to their remoteness and geographical isolation" (para. 56(j)), the Ad Hoc Expert Meeting will provide a platform for expert discussions on transport-related challenges facing SIDS and on how best to address these challenges. The main outcomes of the meeting and insight gained will help inform an UNCTAD report on the subject that is currently in preparation ahead of the Samoa Conference.
Relevant issues to be considered include, inter alia, the following:
Transport and trade logistics challenges in SIDS: Current state of play
Sectoral interlinkages between transport and trade as well as other key economic sectors of relevance to SIDS, in particular, tourism and fisheries
Climate change impacts on transport infrastructure in SIDS and adaptation needs
Financing as a cross-cutting enabling factor
Priority action areas and effective response measures
The role of partnerships, relevant partners and collaboration mechanisms
As appropriate, experts may wish to make suggestions for each session topic on the way forward and identify some concrete actionable recommendations ahead of the Samoa Conference and regarding the post-2015 development agenda.