STATEMENT ON THE OCCASION OF THE HIGH LEVEL REVIEW OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE MAURITIUS STRATEGY FOR FURTHER IMPLEMENTATION OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF SMALL ISLAND DEVELOPING STATES
21 October 2010 / 12:42
HIS EXCELLENCY AMBASSADOR HENRY L. MAC DONALD
PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE REPUBLIC
SURINAME TO THE UNITED NATIONS
ON THE OCCASION OF
THE HIGH LEVEL REVIEW OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF
THE MAURITIUS STRATEGY
FOR FURTHER IMPLEMENTATION
OF THE PLAN OF ACTION ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
OF SMALL ISLAND DEVELOPING STATES,
UNITED NATIONS HEADQUARTERS,
NEW YORK, 24 SEPTEMBER 2010
Mr. Chairman (madam Chair),
Your Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,
On behalf of the Government and the People of the Republic of Suriname I take this opportunity to congratulate the General Assembly with the convening of this meeting to review our achievements in carrying out the Mauritius Strategy for further implementation of the plan of action for sustainable development in Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
Mr. Chairman (Madam Chair),
The Report of the Secretary General on the Review of the Mauritius Strategy states that in general substantial progress has been made in “Small Island Developing States (SIDS)” in implementation of the Strategy and also towards the Millennium Development Goals, but that renewed efforts are needed. Despite this encouraging progress SIDS remain highly vulnerable to external shocks, among others the adverse effects climate change, natural disasters, and the food, energy and financial global crises, which threaten many hard-earned gains.
Mr. Chairman (Madam Chair),
These conclusions form a good representation of the situation in my country, which although on the mainland of South America is being considered a SIDS primarily because of its low lying coast and vulnerabilities it shares with small islands states.
These vulnerabilities become evident as one observes that the majority of our settlements, including the Capital City Paramaribo, is situated in the coastal areas along with major social and economic infrastructure, in particular those related to agriculture and energy.
At this moment Suriname is already feeling and suffering the immediate effects of climate change and global warming. As an example I bring to the attention the heavy rainfalls these days, in a period that should be the main dry-season in my country with the lowest rainfall statistics.
As a consequence of these rains, we have had a number of extreme floods, in particular in the coastal areas, which caused setbacks to agricultural production and the quality of life of those affected, mainly through water-based pollution. These floods come on top of coastal erosion and degradation we have been experiencing in the last couple of years and which are detrimental to the mangroves forests, which are essential to our fisheries and coastal wildlife.
This picture becomes grim when we consider the forecasts by meteorologists and weather specialists that these rains may persist until the end of this year.
A salient detail is the claim from scientists that the southward movement of the hurricane belt in the Atlantic and the Caribbean Sea, due to climate change, is also to blame next to the “La Nina” phenomenon.
Mr. Chairman ( Madam Chair),
The Government in Suriname which rose to power recently as consequence of a democratic elections process is aware of its primary responsibility for sustainable development of our people. In this regard we are considering options to adapt to these consequences of climate change and sea-level rise, including through infrastructural works such as sea walls.
But we are also aware of the challenges and the extra burden the costs to adaptation present us, especially since they increase the pressure on our already scarce resources, which we as a developing nation would like to prioritize for investments in health, education and other sectors of sustainable development.
In this light we look forward to further operationalization of the Adaptation Fund under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Mr. Chairman (Madam Chair),
By putting legislation and institutions in place as early as the first half of the past century, we have been taking good care of our forests. Due to this we are making a significant contribution to the global community in terms of conservation of biodiversity and climate change mitigation.
The Republic of Suriname aspires to continue managing our resources sustainably. We are therefore open to those members of this august assembly, who are ready to partner with us in these endeavors by contributing resources, in particular through financing and technology for capacity building.
In this regard, the timing to initiate new partnerships is excellent, since we are just starting the next cycle of national development planning processes and the formulation and implementation of national sustainable development strategies, including sustainable forest management.
We also welcome the efforts within the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) to improve financing for sustainable forest management and those within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in regard to the developments of REDD+ and related fast track financing and look forward to significant progress in those negotiations, by the end of this year in Cancun, Mexico and beyond.
Such progress should include ambitious emission reduction targets of major emitting economies so as to keep global temperature rise well below 1.5 °C.
In Closing, Mr. Chairman (Madam Chair),
Suriname as a member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is in favor of partnerships with other developing countries, including SIDS, through south-south and triangular cooperation mechanisms and will continue to be an active participant within the “Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS)” in search of collective solutions for common challenges to sustainable development.
In this regard we call on the multilateral and bilateral donors to increase the resources available to the SIDS Unit and programs for SIDS within the budgets of the UN operational activities, in order to strengthen their sustainable development planning, monitoring, evaluation and reporting.
I thank you for your kind attention.