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SIDS leaders sign pact

Agree on renewable energy and energy efficiency

Friday, September 05, 2014

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APIA, Samoa — More than 150 delegates and members of the international development community from more than 45 countries were on Monday stunned to see leader after leader approach the podium to sign a historic sustainable energy and climate resilient treaty that will significantly change the lives and destiny of over 20 million small islanders, for the better.

Led by the Deputy Prime Minister of Samoa Fonotoe Nuafesili Pierre Lauofo, multiple leaders from the Pacific, Caribbean and African, Indian Ocean and Mediterranean Sea (AIMS) regions accepted responsibility for fulfilling the commitment to the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Sustainable Energy mechanism — SIDS DOCK.

The opening for signature of this historic SIDS DOCK treaty — a SIDS-SIDS initiative — was a major highlight of the first day of the United Nations (UN) Third International Conference on SIDS, taking place here until tomorrow, September 4.

The treaty was signed by the governments of Barbados, Belize, Bahamas (Commonwealth of the), Dominica (Commonwealth of), Cabo Verde (Republic of), Cook Islands, Dominican Republic, Fiji (Republic of), Grenada, Guinea Bissau, Kiribati (Republic of), Niue, Palau (Republic of), Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa (Independent State of), Seychelles (Republic of), and Tuvalu.

The unprecedented and unexpected number of Heads of State and Government present sent a strong signal to the standing room only audience, the SIDS population and the international community of how deeply committed SIDS leaders are and that they all firmly believe that SIDS must, have and will take responsibility for charting the future of their countries towards a path that will see a total transformation of the SIDS economy away from fossil fuels, to that of one driven by low carbon technologies.

The event was considered so important to the Republic of Cabo Verde, that the prime minister, José Maria Neves, excused himself and his entire delegation from the Plenary Hall to ensure that Cabo Verde, a SIDS DOCK founding member, was well-represented at the signing.

The Cabo Verde Government is aiming to achieve 100 per cent penetration of renewable energies in the country by 2020, one of the most ambitious plans in SIDS.

More than half the members of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) were present for the signing of the historic treaty, witnessed by the SIDS DOCK partners: Denmark, Japan and Austria, whose support facilitated SIDS DOCK start-up activities.

Other SIDS DOCK partners present were the United Nations Development Programme, the World Bank, the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation and the Clinton Foundation.

The statute will remain open for signature in the Samoan capital until September 5, and will re-open for signature in Belmopan, Belize, from September 6, 2014, until it enters into force.

Belize is the host country for SIDS DOCK, with Samoa designated as the location for the Pacific regional office. This year, 2014, is the United Nations International Year of Small Island Developing States.

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