the States participating in the Global
Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island
met in Bridgetown, Barbados from 25 April to 6 May 1994,
the principles and commitments to sustainable development
embodied in the Rio
Declaration on Environment and Development, 1/
Agenda 21 2/
and the Non-legally
Binding Authoritative Statement of Principles for a Global
Consensus on the Management, Conservation and Sustainable
Development of All Types of Forests, 3/
which were adopted by the nations of the world at the
Nations Conference on Environment and Development on 14
June 1992, as well as in the United
Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 4/
and the Convention
on Biological Diversity.5/
that the Global Conference on the Sustainable Development
of Small Island Developing States translates Agenda 21 into
specific policies, actions and measures to be taken at the
national, regional and international levels to enable small
island developing States to achieve sustainable development,
The survival of small island developing States is firmly rooted
in their human resources and cultural heritage, which are
their most significant assets; those assets are under severe
stress and all efforts must be taken to ensure the central
position of people in the process of sustainable development.
Sustainable development programmes must seek to enhance the
quality of life of peoples, including their health, well-being
Full attention should be given to gender equity and to the
important role and contribution of women, as well as to the
needs of women and other major groups, including children,
youth and indigenous people.
island developing States have sovereign rights over their
own natural resources. Their biodiversity is among the most
threatened in the world and their ecosystems provide ecological
corridors linking major areas of biodiversity around the world.
They bear responsibility for a significant portion of the
world's oceans and seas and their resources. The efforts of
small island developing States to conserve, protect and restore
their ecosystems deserve international cooperation and partnership.
Small island developing States are particularly vulnerable
to natural as well as environmental disasters and have a limited
capacity to respond to and recover from such disasters.
While small island developing States are among those that
contribute least to global climate change and sealevel rise,
they are among those that would suffer most from the adverse
effects of such phenomena and could in some cases become uninhabitable.
Therefore, they are among those particularly vulnerable States
that need assistance under the United Nations Framework Convention
on Climate Change, including adaptation measures and mitigation
Small island developing States share with all nations a critical
interest in the protection of coastal zones and oceans against
the effects of land-based sources of pollution.
Limited freshwater resources, increasing amounts of waste
and hazardous substances, and limited facilities for waste
disposal combine to make pollution prevention, waste management
and the transboundary movement of hazardous materials critical
issues for small island developing States.
island developing States are limited in size, have vulnerable
economies and are dependent both upon narrow resource bases
and on international trade, without the means of influencing
the terms of that trade.
enhance their national capacities and self-reliance, small
island developing States, with the assistance and support
of the international community, should actively promote human
resources development programmes including education, training
and skills development. Their institutional and administrative
capacity to implement the programme of action must be strengthened
at all levels by supportive partnerships and cooperation,
including technical assistance, the further development of
legislation and mechanisms for information sharing.
is an urgent need in small island developing States to address
the constraints to sustainable development, including scarce
land resources, which lead to difficult land and agriculture
use decisions; limited fresh water; education and training
needs; health and human settlement requirements; inordinate
pressures on coastal and marine environment and resources;
and limited means available to exploit natural resources on
a sustainable basis.
The special role of non-governmental organizations and the
importance of a partnership between Governments, intergovernmental
organizations and agencies, non-governmental organizations
and other major groups in implementing Agenda 21 and the programme
of action at the national, subregional, regional and international
levels should be recognized.
That partnership should include efforts to increase public
awareness of the outcomes and follow-up of the Global Conference
on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing
States through all available means of communication.
on the principle of the right to development, small island
developing States should, in accordance with their own priorities,
endeavour to achieve the goals of sustainable development
by, inter alia, formulating and implementing policies, strategies
and programmes that take into account development, health
and environmental goals, strengthening national institutions,
and mobilizing all available resources, all of which are aimed
at improving the quality of life.
regional and subregional cooperation, small island developing
States and the international community should encourage strong
functional cooperation in the promotion of sustainable development
by sharing information and technology, strengthening institutions
and building capacity.
The international community should cooperate with small island
developing States in the implementation of the Programme of
Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing
States by providing effective means, including adequate, predictable
new and additional financial resources in accordance with
chapter 33 of Agenda 21; facilitating the transfer of environmentally
sound technology, including on concessional and preferential
terms as mutually agreed, taking into account the need to
protect intellectual property rights as well as the special
needs of developing countries; and promoting fair, equitable
and non-discriminatory trading arrangements and a supportive
international economic system.
The international community has a responsibility to facilitate
the efforts of small island developing States to minimize
the stress on their fragile ecosystems, including through
cooperative action and partnership.
To achieve sustainable development and a higher quality of
life for all people, including people of small island developing
States, all States should reduce and eliminate unsustainable
patterns of production and consumption, and should promote
appropriate demographic policies.
The international community should build new and equitable
partnerships for the sustainable development of small island
developing States through the implementation of the Programme
of Action and should send a powerful message to the world's
peoples on the possibilities of joint action undertaken with
a sense of common purpose and partnership.
* * * *
Report of the United Nations Conference on Environment and
Development, Rio de Janeiro, 3-14 June 1992, vol. I, Resolutions
Adopted by the Conference (United Nations publication, Sales
No. E.93.I.8 and corrigendum), resolution 1, annex I.
Ibid., annex II.
Ibid., annex III.
A/AC.237/18 (Part II)/Add.1, annex I.
See United Nations Environment Programme, Convention on Biological
Diversity (Environmental Law and Institutions Programme Activity
Centre), June 1992.