Small island developing states (SIDS) have unique needs and vulnerabilities that have to be recognized, understood and addressed for sustainable development to be realized. Their development challenges stem from factors such as relative isolation or remoteness, small market size, narrow resource and export base, susceptibility to external economic shocks, vulnerability to environmental threats and effects of climate change, and exposure to intense and frequent disasters brought about by natural events. Such challenges often result in high levels of poverty and inequality, greater dependency on imports, susceptibility to volatile energy and food prices, and increasing national debt, among others that adversely impact social development.

Determined to achieve sustainable development Post-2015, SIDS in the Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean and South China Sea (AIMS), Caribbean, and Pacific regions have identified a number of priority areas that will require cooperation and partnership at all levels with considerable support from the international community. These cover, among others, economic and social development, energy, transport, consumption and production, food security, water, health and non-communicable diseases, climate change, disaster risk reduction, oceans and seas, forests, biodiversity, and management of chemicals and waste.

In the Zero Draft of the Outcome of the 3rd Conference on SIDS, data collection and management is one of the enabling factors identified to attaining sustainable development in SIDS. This is the first time the SIDS conference has highlighted the important contribution of data to development. The Zero Draft recognizes the importance of statistics to inform sustainable development policies and evaluate the implementation of internationally-agreed sustainable development goals. It calls for upgrading of SIDS national statistical systems and mainstreaming of sustainable development data collection and analysis.

Following the adoption of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), considerable progress have been made in strengthening national statistical systems to enable them to generate indicators to monitor country progress on MDGs, specifically through the formulation of National Strategies for the Development of Statistics (NSDS) and statistical advocacy. To a large extent, regional cooperation on statistics has grown in Pacific, Caribbean and Eastern Caribbean regions, as an effective strategy towards statistical development in small island countries.

In the 3rd International Conference on SIDS, PARIS21, in collaboration with the Government of Samoa and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community Statistics Development Division (SPC-SDD), will be sponsoring a side event to discuss the status and specificities of statistical development in small island countries in the regions of Pacific, Caribbean, and Indian Ocean. The forum will likewise take stock of emerging challenges and issues in statistics with the goal of coming up with recommended strategies and modalities to further partnership and cooperation on statistical development in SIDS towards strengthening national statistical systems.

Objectives of the forum

  1. Discuss the peculiarities of SIDS in the context of cross-regional lessons learned and experiences in monitoring MDGs, statistical capacity development, and opportunities.
  2. Identify the possible impact that the sustainable development goals (SDGs) would have on SIDS statistical systems.
  3. Establish how the data revolution could be useful in addressing challenges in SIDS.
  4. Recommend partnership and cooperation strategies to leverage statistical development opportunities in post-2015.

Event date and venue
1 September 2014, 15:00-16:30
Faleata Sports Complex (conference room to be announced)
Apia, Samoa

To view the full agenda, please click here.

Agenda_SIDS side event_as of 21 July.docx