Framework for implementation of the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in the small island developing states of the Caribbean subregion
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Preface If the SIDS of the Caribbean are to be thorough in their approach to the further implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS POA), it is absolutely vital that the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) be factored into the exercise, so that the most recent developments of relevance to that implementation process might be duly taken into account. By merely drawing attention to the very close connection between the WSSD and the SIDS POA and, also, between the processes that each has set in train, this proposition will be amply clarified. The WSSD convened in the context of what had earlier been envisaged as Rio + 10 i.e. a 10-year review of the implementation of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development and of Agenda 21. The Summit entrenched the tri-dimensional (social, economic and environmental) approach to sustainable development that was first formally and explicitly articulated in operational terms, at the twenty-second special session of the United Nations Generally Assembly in 1999 (resolution S-22/2). Significantly also, it dedicated a separate section (Section V11) of its Plan of Implementation to Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States. Indeed, setting the stage for the substantive provisions of Section V11, the opening paragraph of that section (paragraph 58) makes a direct link, in operational terms, between Agenda 21, the SIDS Programme of Action and the decisions adopted at the twenty-second special session of the General Assembly. The provisions of Section V11 also direct attention to other sections of the Plan of Implementation in which critical issues to be addressed in the context of the sustainable development of small island developing States are covered. Section 11 (Poverty eradication), is thus sign-posted, for example. The WSSD Plan of Implementation adopted in Johannesburg, as will be illustrated later in this paper, also covers topics that are of critical importance to SIDS. Section 1V (Protecting and managing the natural resource base of economic and social development) under which are covered such important areas as oceans, seas, island and coastal areas" (paragraphs 30-36); in addition to Vulnerability/Disaster management (paragraph 37, an extended paragraph); Waste Management (para 22); the transboundary movement of hazardous wastes (paragraph 23); and Sustainable tourism development (paragraph 43) is but one example of this. Further, the explicit recognition by the WSSD, of the constraints to implementation encountered by SIDS and as articulated by SIDS themselves, in the relevant international forums, in addition to the fact that the global problems of sustainable development were reviewed by WSSD through the prism of the outcomes of such other major international instruments as the United Nations Millennium Declaration, means that the final documents emanating from Johannesburg have passed the imperatives of implementation of the SIDS POA through the filter of all the relevant international decisions which SIDS, to their great advantage, now find it impossible to overlook. At least, since the time of the convening of the twenty-second special session of the General Assembly, it had become necessary, in any meaningful discussion on the further implementation of the SIDS Programme of Action, to emphasise, in addition to the specific provisions of the document that was adopted at the UNGCSIDS in 1994, the relevance of other related international decisions. Falling into that category are, necessarily, those that were adopted at that special session itself, as well as those that were adopted at the WSSD. Nor should this be surprising in the specific context of the WSSD, inasmuch as the SIDS POA is the direct progeny of Agenda 21. The convening of the UNGCSIDS, by the General Assembly, in its resolution 47/189 of 22 December 1992, it will be recalled, was done on the specific recommendation of UNCED. Likewise, it will be noted that it was on the basis of a recommendation of the WSSD, not, for example, of the twenty-second special session - even though a similar recommendation issued from that forum - that the General Assembly proceeded to adopt the resolution (A/C.2/57/L.64) in which it decided to convene an international meeting in 2004, which will include a high-level segment, to undertake a full and comprehensive review of the implementation of the Programme of Action, as called for in the Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development.." The Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development and the Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development are deemed by the Subregional Headquarters of ECLAC for the Caribbean to be central to the further implementation of the SIDS Programme of Action."