UNCTAD Secretary-General reiterates long-standing commitment to private sector development in Small Island Developing States

02 September 2014

​UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi, in a High-level dialogue on private sector partnership in Apia, Samoa on 31st August 2014, recalled the 40-year history of UNCTAD support to productive capacity-building and trade development in the SIDS.

The High-level dialogue took place during the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the presence of the Secretary-General of the United Nations and was co-chaired by the Prime Minister of the Independent State of Samoa, and the President of Digicel.

Dr. Kituyi - who announced the three new UNCTAD publications on SIDS (Addressing the vulnerabilities of the SIDS more effectively; The Oceans economy: opportunities and challenges for the SIDs; and Closing the distance: partnerships for sustainable and resilient transport systems in SIDS) - highlighted UNCTAD's work to help SIDS create the most favourable environment for private sector development.

The private sector is a paramount engine of economic and social progress in these countries, most of which are geographically handicapped and economically disadvantaged, facing "the tyranny of smallness and remoteness".

The Secretary-General of UNCTAD noted the importance of connectivity to promote competitiveness and private sector development in island economies. He added that it is also key to address resource mobilization in sectors that are essential to achieve sustainable development goals in the SIDS and to build creative linkages that promote private sector participation.

UNCTAD's support to SIDS development efforts, Dr. Kituyi pledged, will continue to be geared toward "addressing the vulnerabilities of SIDS more effectively", a goal implying resilience-building through durable economic diversification. This calls for partnerships, not only between private operators, but also with government and donors through a number of SIDS-specific international support measures.