Small Island Developing States 2022

What is the Small Island Developing States Program?

The Small Island Developing States (SIDS) program is a categorization of 38 UN Member States and 20 Non-UN Member States or Associate Members. Three geographical locations comprise SIDS: The Caribbean, The Pacific, and the Atlantic/Indian/South China Sea (AIS) regions. The combined population of all SIDS members is only 65 million, which represents less than 1% of the global population. Despite this, they face unique, and some of the most distressing challenges regarding social, economic, and environmental problems.

SIDS faces these problems due to many reasons, including its geographical location. The nations under this categorization are largely remote, which makes it difficult to accumulate resources and form partnerships with neighboring nations and states. The increased cost of transportation is associated with trade, and the lack of natural or manufactured economies does little to help the situation. They also face some of the highest tariffs, and cannot enjoy commerce on a global scale - which makes them lag considerably considering the importance of the global economy.

How Was the Small Island Developing States Program Formed?

SIDS was initially recognized as both a categorization and a program in 1992 during the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Brazil. Since 1994, there have been three separate programs, which will be outlined below.

What is the Main Goal of the Small Island Developing States Program?

For SIDS counties, much of the ocean under their control is much larger than the effective land mass, which can be as high as 28 times the amount. This means that SIDS nations' resources are primarily associated with the ocean. This means that SIDS faces major problems: the effects of global climate change efforts (or lack thereof in certain circumstances) and the lack of workforce and technology necessary to transport and harvest the ocean's resources.

Exploitation is a huge issue, as member nations cannot completely industrialize their economies, as this would hurt the biodiversity and health of the world's largest bodies of water. There are currently 3 UN Programmes of Action in Support of SIDS:

  1. In 1994, the Barbados Programme of Action was created to work on specific actions that would assist SIDS nations to achieve sustainable development. The UN conference endorsed and reaffirmed the commitments and principles to development that were embodied in Agenda 21. This has been further translated into policies, actions, and measures that will be taken at various levels - national, regional, and international.

  2. In 2005, The Mauritius Strategy was created to further implement the first program, and to further address any gaps that remained during or post-implementation.

  3. In 2014, the SAMOA pathway was created, which is an international community that gathered in Samoa for a conference on SIDS regions which helps forge new pathways for further sustainable development. This primarily recognizes that their inherent vulnerabilities lie in their remoteness, small size, and climate change impacts. This pathway is primarily focused on fostering partnerships for SIDS regions to take advantage of to mitigate the damage done to their economies.

Small Island Developing States 2022