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Small Islands (Barbados +10)

In Johannesburg in August-September 2002, the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) reaffirmed the special case for Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and called for a full and comprehensive review of the Programme of Action on SIDS adopted in Barbados in 1994. This review is being carried out under the aegis of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), and will culminate in an international meeting (with a high-level segment) to be held in Mauritius from 10-14 January 2005. Further background is given in a resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly in December 2002.

Among other operative paragraphs, the Resolution requests the relevant organs and agencies of the UN system to undertake concrete measures for the further implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action. For UNESCO, such measures will continue to be undertaken in 2003-2004 within various parts of the approved Programme and Budget and the five programme sectors of the Organization. Among the areas of concern are distance education, freshwater resources, global sea-level monitoring, coastal area management, local and indigenous knowledge, biodiversity conservation, tangible and intangible cultural heritage, use of modern communications technologies to mitigate problems of geographic isolation, and so on. In addition, the approved Programme and Budget includes provision for UNESCO's contribution to the UN system-wide implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action and the preparation of inputs for the Barbados+10 process.

It is within such a context that the present UNESCO web-site has been launched. The principal aims are threefold:
  1. to provide an overview of the whole Barbados+10 process, with hypertext links to key documents and sources of information, including the web-sites of other organizations which are actively involved in small island affairs;
  2. to bring together information on UNESCO activities relating to SIDS and the Barbados Programme of Action (BPoA) over the last 10 years (since 1994), particularly through providing a summary of UNESCO work in various fields identified within the BPoA (renewable energy, tourism, freshwater resources,...) and making hypertext links to existing UNESCO web-sites in various programme sectors, field offices and institutes;
  3. to contribute to forward-looking discussions on sustainable development in Small Island Developing States.
The main target group for this web-site are those involved in the Barbados + 10 process, and more particularly the various stakeholder groups in SIDS. The web-site is designed to provide access to a fair amount of presently dispersed information.

As such, it is hoped that this web-site will contribute to the full and comprehensive review of the Barbados Programme of Action on SIDS, called-for by the WSSD. The web-site may also serve to encourage discussion and debate on future UNESCO actions relating to sustainable development in SIDS, particularly through actions that cut across disciplines, sectors and constituencies, and building on existing, distinctive UNESCO initiatives in such fields as stakeholder discussion fora using modern communication technologies and local and indigenous knowledge.

This web-site will be actively managed and updated on a near-weekly basis, in the lead up to the Mauritius meeting (10-14 January 2005). As such, UNESCO would welcome reactions and suggestions concerning the information posted on the web-site, including corrections and additions. We would also welcome your views on issues related to the promotion of sustainable development in Small Island Developing States.

Please send corrections/ additions/suggestions to UNESCO-CSI (Coastal Regions and Small Islands platform)






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