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High Level Dialogue on Advancing Sustainable Development in Small Island Developing States
June 13, 2014World Bank, Washington D.C.

The World Bank Group and United Nations hosted a high level dialogue in preparation for the 3rd International Conference on SIDS in Samoa this September. Key issues discussed included economic policy and competitiveness, and emerging challenges and opportu... nities such as climate change and energy policies.  See More

On June 13, 2014, the World Bank Group hosted the joint World Bank Group-United Nations' High-Level Dialogue on Advancing Sustainable Development in Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

The objective of the High-Level Dialogue was to serve as preparation for the Third International Conference on SIDS in Apia Samoa, on September 1-4, 2014. 

It provided an opportunity for a substantive dialogue between UN Permanent Representatives of SIDS, the WBG Executive Directors and technical experts from both organizations. Participants discussed key thematic challenges and identified options for a strengthened international response.

The program covered the key issues that will be featured at the Samoa Conference, including resilience and inclusive growth (encompassing economic policy, competitiveness, migration, and health/non-communicable diseases). Other subjects of discussion included emerging challenges and opportunities, such as climate change, natural disasters, energy policy, and oceans.

For further information, please email Stefano Curto, Senior Economist, World Bank.

Email: scurto@worldbank.org

Agenda

(Download the PDF)

Dialogue on Building Resilience and Inclusive Growth

10:00-10:30 am   Introductory remarks by co-chairs:

  • Axel van Trotsenburg, Vice President for East Asia and the Pacific, The World Bank
  • Pierre Laporte, Minister of Finance, Trade, and Investment, Seychelles and Chair of the Small States Forum
  • Gyan Chandra Acharya, United Nations’ Under Secretary General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and on Small Island Developing States

10:30-11:30 am  

Addressing Macroeconomic Challenges 
Jeffrey Lewis, Director, Economic Policy, Debt and Trade Department

Competitiveness and the Private Sector
Ivan Rossignol, Chief Technical Specialist and Head of Competitive Industries

Open floor discussion

11:30-12:30 pm

Leveraging Human and Social Development
Eva Jarawan, Leads Specialist, Health, Nutrition and Population
Carmen Carpio, Senior Operations Officer, Latin America & the Caribbean

Migration and Remittances
Dilip Ratha, Lead Economist, Development Prospects Group

Open floor discussion

12:30-2:00 pm  Luncheon: Development Agenda in SIDS and the World Bank Support

  • Amina Mohammed, Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning
  • Kyle Peters, Vice President and Head of Operations Policy and Country Services Network, The World Bank
  • Sophie Sirtaine, Country Director for the Caribbean Countries, The World Bank
  • Michael Willcock, Executive Director, The World Bank
  • Alister Smith, Executive Director, The World Bank
  • Roman Zhukovskyi, Alternate Executive Director, The World Bank

Dialogue on Emerging Challenges and Opportunities in SIDS

2:00-2:30 pm    Introductory remarks by co-chairs:

  • Rachel Kyte, Vice-President and Special Envoy for Climate Change, World Bank Group
  • Nikhil Seth, Director – Division for Sustainable Development, UN DESA (on behalf of Under Secretary General Wu Hongbo)

2:30-3:30 pm  

Climate Change and Natural Disasters
Sofia Bettencourt, Lead Adaptation Specialist, GFDRR
Rolande Simone Pryce, Senior Operations Officer, Africa

Open floor discussion

3:30-4:30 pm

Sustainable Energy
Charles Feinstein, Sector Manager, Water and Energy Management

The Oceans
Valerie Hickey, Senior Biodiversity Specialist and Acting Sector Manager for Environment, Agriculture & Environmental Services
Open floor discussion

Conclusions and Messages for the SIDS Conference

4.30-4:45 pm  Concluding remarks by:

  • Pierre Laporte, Minister of Finance, Trade, and Investment, Seychelles and Chair of the Small States Forum
  • Milan Meetarbhan, Permanent Representative of Mauritius (on behalf of the SIDS Bureau)

Closing remarks by Pierre Laporte, Minister of Finance, Trade, and Investment, Seychelles and Chair of the Small States Forum 

Distinguished Ambassadors, Executive Directors of the Bank, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen, we come to the close of what has been, by all accounts, a very successful and productive high-level dialogue on advancing sustainable development in small island development states.

I must say that it has been enormously inspiring to me to see the representatives from over 20 countries meeting here to discuss, at times, I must say, passionately, common problems and challenges.

I want to express my sincere gratitude as Chair of the Small States Forum to the World Bank Group and the United Nations for hosting this important event today, which lays down a solid foundation for the Third International Conference on SIDS to be held in Samoa.

I would also like to graciously give special thanks to the Co-Chairs, speakers, facilitators, and all those who prepared papers and, of course, the distinguished Ambassadors, EDs of the World Bank Group, and distinguished delegates for your contributions which made this conference today a great success.

From my personal observations and notes, I feel we are all committed to return to our respective countries to achieve our ultimate dialogue objectives.  It remains clearer than ever that SIDS face particular challenges which are common, regardless of whether one is establishing a national environment program or implementing a regional program on climate change.

Let me highlight some of the key conclusions that have come out of our very fruitful and rich discussions today.

In the morning session, we all agreed that a return to pre-crisis levels of economic growth calls for extraordinary efforts, individual and collectively.          

We noted that investment on key drivers is essential for growth prospects.  Private sector is key for breaking the vicious cycle of dependency. 

In this context, business environment, investment climate are essential, but removing key bottlenecks and enhancing competitiveness in specific sectors are equally important.

We also need to make progress on reforms in macro fiscal management and governance.  In this context, we benefitted from an extensive discussion on the structural interdependent causes of high debt, low growth, and natural disasters.

We recognized that debt sustainability can only be achieved if accompanied by sustainable growth and strengthening capacities to develop greater resilience and climate adaptation.

Nevertheless, we need to build up on institutions to address structural and continuous challenges of natural disasters.

SIDS continue to express the need for a review of the criteria for lending.  In particular, we reiterate that per capita GDP on its own does not do justice to our specificities.  We urge the Bank and other development partners to include vulnerability as a fundamental element in the lending criteria.

In the second morning session, we also discussed the importance of investing in human capital, and in this context we emphasized the need to address the challenge of health and NCD, in particular.  This will ensure that development gains we achieved over the past decades are not substantially eroded.

We always need innovative ways to tap into remittances for productive investments.  Remittances can be a stable source of finance, but financial costs, as we saw, are too high, and modalities, at times, too rudimentary. 

A priority would be to benefit from IT and financial innovation.

In the afternoon sessions, we expressed concerns about the costs and impact of climate change and small states.  We benefitted from an extensive discussion on the importance of climate change facilities.  We emphasized the imperatives for small island states to build upon ongoing efforts with partners to promote the scaling up of renewable energy and efficiency measures.

Whilst we salute the increasing funding from the World Bank and some of the international NGOs, we remain concerned that most global climate change initiatives presently benefit mostly large economies.  We want that to change.

We discussed the blue ocean economy and its critical importance for our development.  We need to unlock the ocean's potential to increase economic growth and reduce poverty in a sustainable manner.

In managing our human resources, this is the only way forward, and the only way forward, we need to do so effectively but, most importantly, in a sustainable manner.

We wish to echo the comments made by Mr. Acharya, the UN Representative, that enough analysis has been done, and now, as Madam from Kiribati had already reiterated, it is time for action.

And we note, also, that the next 18 months will be a very critical period in terms of a partnership.

In conclusion, every day we strive to tackle new challenges and find solutions.  No one has a more difficult situation than we do as SIDS, given our vulnerabilities.

The consequences of our actions will be felt by our succeeding generations.  With the support of our development partners, the most we can do is think creatively and honestly and share the accumulation of our experience and knowledge with each other in a constructive way.

We share some examples of success in small states and underscore the need to continue to learn from each other, and also to tap into global expertise in specialized areas.

Let me concluded by stressing what I said in my opening remarks.  If we are to succeed in our path toward sustainable development, small islands need more support.  Neither a single country nor a single institution such as the World Bank can solve these priorities alone. Coordinated actions and effective partnerships are urgently needed.  More concessional resources are needed.   Organization and development partners must follow the example of the World Bank in terms of granting access to concessional finance.

More needs to be done in resilience building, including disaster preparedness and mitigation investments.  Climate funds must squarely take into account the needs of small vulnerable states with limited capabilities.

Further actions are needed to obtain a fairer and more equitable return from our ocean resources.  We must always remember that economic prosperity, sustainable development, trade opportunities, and environmental protection are inextricably linked and dependent on one another.

I would once again like to thank the Bank and the UN for organizing today's event.

Distinguished Ambassadors, EDs, delegates, ladies and gentlemen, we take this opportunity to join the Samoan Government in inviting you to Samoa in September.

I want to make a special mention to Mr. Gyan Acharya for having joined us today.  I am pleased to note that he also will be joining us in Samoa.

With those, I want to thank you.

  • Addressing macroeconomic challenges in Small States
  • Enhancing competitiveness in SIDS
  • Health challenges in SIDS of the Pacific and Caribbean
  • Migration and remittances
  • Climate change and natural disasters
  • SIDS towards sustainable energy
  • The World Bank and the ocean

Download as PDF


H.E. Pierre Laporte, Minister of Finance, Trade, and Investment, Seychelles and Chair of the Small States Forum

United Nations

Ms. Makurita Baaro, Permanent Representative of Kiribati
Mr. Winston Thompson, Ambassador of Fiji to the USA
Mr. Denis Antoine, Permanent Representative of Grenada
Mr. Eden Charles, Permanent Representative of Trinidad & Tobago
Mr. Elliston Rahming, Permanent Representative of Bahamas
Mr. Milan Meetarbhan, Permanent Representative of Mauritius
Ms. Amatlain Kabua. Permanent Representative of Marshall Islands
Ms. Francella Strickland, Deputy Permanent Representative of Samoa
Mr. Jeem Lippwe, Deputy Permanent Representative of Micronesia
Ms. Kereeta Whyte, Counsellor & SIDS Bureau Member, Barbados
Mr. Fred Sarufa, Counsellor, PNG
Mr. Napoleon Beras, Counsellor, Dominican Republic
Ms. Fatima Alfeine, Counsellor, Comoros
Ms. Astride Nazaire, Minister Counsellor, Haiti
Ms. Tasha Young, Counsellor, Belize
Ms. Kendall Besisle, Counsellor, Belize
Mr. Troy Torrington, Counsellor, Guyana
Mr. Hassan Shihab, Counsellor, Maldives
Mr. Ashram Soleyn/Mr. Omari Williams, Counselor/Deputy Chief of Mission, St Vincent & Grenadines
Ms. Joy-Dee Davis Lake, First Secretary, Embassy and Permanent Mission of Antigua and Barbuda
Ms. Elizabeth Darius-Clarke, Minister Counsello, St. Lucia
Mr. Hubert Charles, Ambassador of Dominica
Mr. Justin Hawley, Counsellor, St Kitts and Nevis
Mr. Denis G. Antou, Ambassador, U.N. Grenada Mission
Mr. Gyan Chandra Acharya, Under-Secretary-General and High-Representative for LDCs, Landlocked Developing Countries and SIDS
Ms. Amina Mohammed, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Post-2015 Development Planning
Mr. Nikhil Seth, Director - Division for Sustainable Development, Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA)
Mr. Peter Kenilorea, Office of the High Representative for LDCs, Landlocked Developing Countries and SIDS (UN-OHRLLS)
Mr. Damien Sass, Office of the High Representative for LDCs, Landlocked Developing Countries and SIDS (UN-OHRLLS)
Mr. Pio Smith, Executive Office of the Secretary-General
Mr. Joe Colombano, Executive Office of the Secretary-General

The World Bank Group

Mr. Axel van Trotsenburg, Vice President for East Asia and the Pacific
Ms. Rachel Kyte, Vice-President and Special Envoy for Climate Change
Ms. Linda Van Gelder, Director, Operations Policy and Country Services
Ms. Sophie Sirtaine, Country Director for the Caribbean Countries
Mr. Agapito Mendes Dias, Executive Director
Mr. Michael Willcock, Executive Director
Mr. Alister Smith, Executive Director
Mr. Merza Hussain Hasan, Executive Director
Ms. Gwen Hines, Executive Director
Mr. Roberto B. Tan, Executive Director
Ms. Clare Roberts, Alternate Executive Director
Mr. Roman Zhukovskyi, Alternate Executive Director
Mr. Boonchai Charassangsomboon, Alternate Executive Director
Mr. Louis Rene Peter Larose, Alternate Executive Director
Mr. Eugene Miagkov, Alternate Executive Director}
Mr. Rogerio Sutdart, Alternate Executive Director
Mr. Nasir M. Khosa, Alternate Executive Director
Mr. Arnaud Delaunay, Alternate Executive Director
Mr. David Kolitagane, Senior Advisor to Executive Director
Ms. Elisabeth Claverie De Saint-Martin, Senior Advisor to Executive Director
Ms. Jeehan Abdul Ghaffar, Senior Advisor to Executive Director
Ms. Enid Zephyrine, Senior Advisor to Executive Director
Ms. Foketi Imo Evalu, Senior Advisor to Executive Director
Ms. Cushla Thompson, Senior Advisor to Executive Director
Mr. Aliyu Ahmed, Senior Advisor to Executive Director
Mr. Tiofilusi Tiueti, Advisor to Executive Director
Mr. Vishnu Bassant, Advisor to Executive Director
Mr. Leopold Engozogo Mba, Advisor to Executive Director
Ms. Deborah Crane, Advisor to Executive Director
Mr. Letasi Iulai, Advisor to Executive Director
Ms. Rose Nakanaga, Advisor to Executive Director
Mr. Andrew Fauma Oaeke, Advisor to Executive Director
Mr. Navin Girishankar, Advisor to Executive Director
Mr. Amadou Cisse, Advisor to Executive Director
Ms. Ketleen Florestal, Advisor to Executive Director
Ms. Laura Dorling, Advisor to Executive Director
Mr. Ren Ito, Advisor to Executive Director
Mr. Jeffrey Lewis, Director, Economic Policy, Debt and Trade Department
Mr. Ivan Rossignol, Chief Technical Specialist and Head of Competitive Industries
Ms. Eva Jarawan, Leads Specialist, Health, Nutrition and Population
Ms. Carmen Carpio, Senior Operations Officer, Latin America & the Caribbean
Mr. Dilip Ratha, Lead Economist, Development Prospects Group
Ms. Sofia Bettencourt, Lead Adaptation Specialist, GFDRR
Ms. Rolande Simone Pryce, Senior Operations Officer, Africa
Mr. Charles Feinstein, Sector Manager, Water and Energy Management
Ms. Valerie Hickey, Senior Biodiversity Specialist and Acting Sector Manager for Environment
Mr. Rohit Khanna, Manager, Energy
Mr. Stefano Curto, Senior Economist, Operations Policy and Country Services
Mr. Nicholas Jones, International Affairs Officer, External and Corporate Relations
Ms. Andrea Merrick, Senior Country Officer
Ms. Habiba Gitay, Senior Environmental Specialist
Ms. Jane Sansbury, Country Program Coordinator
Mr. Sandeep Kohli, Senior Projects Officer






Slideshow from the conference

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