I am pleased to be here to launch, within the framework of the activities of the 2nd Committee of the 69th session of the General Assembly, the first effort of the United Nations to respond to the call of the SAMOA Pathway for a reinvigorated and more focused supporting presence of the United Nations system in relation to the pressing priorities and needs of the SIDS. The 2nd Committee has always had a very active role in bringing to the fore the challenges that have increasingly threatened the achievement by SIDS of the Millennium Development Goals; and principally through the 2nd Committee Member States have endeavored to raise the world consciousness on the SIDS special vulnerabilities and pursued ways and means to assist SIDS in their efforts towards sustainable development.
The SAMOA Pathway constitutes a rich and diversified framework for constructing a new kind of international cooperation in many areas, for achieving peaceful societies and safe communities, transparent and accountable institutions and all-inclusive national capacities to address the SIDS pressing challenges, from adapting to climate change and mitigating its omnipresent negative impact, to ensuring the continuous health of the oceans and food security for all. The underlying connectivity of many of the measures outlined in the SAMOA Pathway Call for Action is technology, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in particular. Technology creates virtual bridges that nullify physical distance, mitigate the impact of isolation, permit travel in more than one direction, afford the people of the world to learn from one another, and can present formidable opportunities to promoting business opportunities and employment creation. Today’s event is designed to explore the role of ICT and e-Government for the achievement of sustainable development by SIDS.
I therefore would like to thank the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, in particular Mr. Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, and his Division for Public Administration and Development Management, for thinking of and organizing this event. The challenges that the SIDS face are global challenges that rank among the top priorities of the 2nd Committee; we all know that the implementation of the SAMOA Pathway will ultimately benefit all communities on this planet. The measures and pathways that we will collectively devise for assisting SIDS to achieving sustainable development will be invaluable lessons in the pursuit of the sustainable development Agenda in the post 2015 era. This event, I have no doubt, will constitute and important input to the deliberations on the post-2015 agenda.