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UN Conference on Small Island Developing States opens in Samoa


A renewed political commitment to tackle the many unique, sustainable development challenges facing the world's small island states, is expected to be the most important outcome of a United Nations conference taking place in Samoa from 1-4 September.

The Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) also seeks to build partnerships aimed at addressing issues such as food security, the safeguarding and harnessing of aquatic resources, climate change and environmental degradation.

SIDS are a group of countries, mostly from the Pacific, Caribbean, Atlantic and Indian Ocean regions which share similar development challenges.

These include small populations, limited resources and susceptibility to natural disasters, vulnerability to external shocks and an excessive dependence on international trade.

The growth and development of SIDS is often further hampered by high transportation and communications costs, disproportionately expensive public administration and infrastructure, and limited opportunities to create economies of scale.

FAO, which is represented at the Apia conference by Director-General, José Graziano da Silva, is working closely with SIDS to enhance these countries' sustainable development efforts.

FAO has invested over 40 million US dollars in the past two years to support SIDS address issues related to food and nutrition security, agriculture, fisheries, forestry and natural resources management.

See FAO thematic issue papers:

Fisheries, aquaculture, oceans, seas | Climate change | All 14 themes