UNCTAD/PIFS Side-event at the UN Conference on Small Island Developing States

03 September 2014
7 pm. to 8:30 pm, Faleata Sports Complex
, Samoa
UNCTAD/PIFS Side-event: Harnessing the Oceanic Wealth of Small Island Developing States through Sound Trade Specialization and Sustainable and Resilient Maritime Transport

UN-SIDS-2014_300x182.jpgOceans and seas have a great potential for sustainable growth but are also vulnerable to significant environmental and economic shocks which need to be addressed by the international community including the impact of climate change, over-exploitation and poor management of marine resources, pollution, damage to the seabed and problems with oil, gas and mineral extraction.

At the same time, maritime transport, a key oceans economic sector and crucial for SIDS to connect to world markets, remains vulnerable to economic shocks and environmental risks arising from climate change, energy-dependency, and lack of appropriate financing.

This side event is part of joint efforts by UNCTAD and the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat (PIFS) to address emerging issues of interest to SIDS and implement the future outcomes of the Third UN SIDS Conference in Samoa.

The event will be co-chaired by UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi and PIFS Secretary-General, Tuiloma Neroni Slade.


  1. Highlight some of the various economic and environmental challenges related to the oceanic environment and demonstrate how they can be turned into economic opportunities for SIDS and contribute to the structural progress and sustainable development of their economies; and

  2. Provide examples of possible international action in support of efforts by SIDS to harness this potential and make the ocean an engine of economic and social progress.

The goals of developing sustainable and resilient maritime transport systems and promoting sound ocean-based trade and economic specialization will be focused upon as two important, complementary development objectives of SIDS.

These two subjects will also be flagged as two areas of action for UNCTAD, the arm of the UN system which pioneered international attention to the particular problems of SIDS four decades ago (1974), and has remained at the forefront of international support to the resilience-building and development efforts of SIDS.

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UNCTAD and the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat (PIFS)



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