Following are UN Secretary-General
Thank you for this opportunity to join you on such an important occasion.
Small island developing States have always been a priority for
It is also an opportunity to highlight the various needs and challenges of this diverse coalition. Some small island developing States have enjoyed long-lasting stability. Others are in transition. Some are economically more fragile than others. Many must deal with the challenges of remoteness. This hinders their ability to be part of the global supply chain, increases their import costs, especially for energy, and limits their competitiveness in the tourist industry. Others are extremely vulnerable to the immediate effects of climate change.
But all small island developing States share a common understanding: we need to set our world on a sustainable path. And they are all poised to help lead global discussions on our collective future.
That is why I am so pleased that today we launch the International Year of Small Island Developing States. The
This International Year comes as
In 2011, I travelled to
I have brought their call for global environmental stewardship to officials at
This year, we will hold the
I am confident that the International Year will generate new momentum for the
The Rio+20 Conference noted with concern that small island developing States have made less progress in development than other countries. Some have even regressed on poverty reduction and debt. That is why we need to accelerate progress on achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
We must sustain achievements where they have been made, and make extra effort to bridge gaps wherever they exist. And, looking ahead, we must forge a post-2015 development agenda that provides the opportunity of progress and a life of dignity for all.
I encourage all members of the international community to join us in commemorating the International Year for Small Island Developing States.
Planet Earth is our shared island. Let us join forces to protect it.
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