Africa stands with its islands- AU Summit expresses support and solidarity for SIDS ahead of UN Conference in Samoa
The 23rd Summit of the African Union has made a solemn declaration of support and solidarity for its island members ahead of the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States to be held in Samoa in the first week of September 2014.
The Declaration recognises 'that the sustainable development of Africa's islands is indivisible from the African Union's goal of transforming Africa's development as per the objectives of Agenda 2063, which aims to mobilise the full potential of the blue ocean economy and build resilient economies for all its Member states."
Furthermore the declaration is situated within the joint efforts of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and the AU to achieve a legally binding agreement to combat climate change by 2015, as these states share the urgent concern of being the most vulnerable to climate change while having contributed the least to its root causes.
The declaration also calls for urgent action in addressing the vulnerabilities and development concerns of SIDS.
In addition the AU has declared its intention to examine the means by which its islands' development concerns may be addressed by a specific mechanism within the AU.
"This declaration of support by the AU reminds us that the development concerns of islands are critical to the global conversation on sustainable development. The fact that the AU will be examining a specific mechanism to address the specificities of islands is historic, and represents the kind of engagement that SIDS are looking for ahead of SAMOA. We are proud to be African islands, striving together to achieve the ideals of Agenda 2063," Seychelles' Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean-Paul Adam has stated following the adoption of the declaration.
Minister Jean-Paul Adam is representing President James Michel at the 23rd session of the AU Summit.
- The SIDS that are members of the AU are: Cabo Verde, Comoros, Guinea Bissau, Mauritius, Sao Tome et Principe and Seychelles, while Madagascar is also engaged as an island country even if it is not formally designated as a SIDS nor a member of AOSIS.