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Commissioner Piebalgs calls for a stronger partnership with SIDS

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Monday, 01 September 2014

Commissioner Piebalgs calls for a stronger partnership with SIDS

EU Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, will represent the EU at the UN Third International Conference on Small Islands Developing States (SIDS), organised in Samoa from 1 to 4 September. The event, which takes place every 10 years, will aim to put in the spotlight the significant challenges that these small islands face. The Commissioner will confirm EU's renewed commitment to address the special needs and vulnerabilities of SIDS.

Due to their small size, the lack of domestic markets and economies of scale, the SIDS face geographic isolation and have limited institutional capacities. They are all greatly affected by climate change and confronted with rising sea levels, great dependence on highly costly imported fossil fuels, and face frequent natural and man-made disasters.

Ahead of the visit to Samoa (from August 31 to September 2), Commissioner Piebalgs said: ”Although thousands of miles may separate the EU and SIDS, we are united by the will to tackle common challenges like climate change, access to sustainable energy, oceans and biodiversity protection, food and nutrition security. Small islands can count on EU’s support to face these challenges on the way forward, as we have been, and will remain, a leading donor and a key trading partner for them”.

At a stakeholders' dialogue on Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management, the Commissioner will highlight ongoing EU cooperation with SIDS in these important areas.

Commissioner Piebalgs will also participate at the Private Sector Partnership Forum, which will be a key opportunity to highlight the role of the private sector in the EU’s cooperation with the SIDS, for example through sustainable energy and tourism, or support to Small and Medim Enterprises.

UN high-level officials, including Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, will be present at the conference, and joined by representatives of more than 100 countries, business CEOs, non-governmental organizations, and academics.

Source: europa.eu