The SIDS (small island developing states) meeting at the UN on 27 September showed that the international community dared*.
All the microstates hit by natural catastrophe in recent years reported how the system has shafted them.
Hurricane Dorian had given the UN’s first Trade Forum on 9-13 September a special edge. Even before the UN Secretary General visited the Bahamas islands worst hit and blamed climate change for the hurricane, the developing country politicians and international specialists meeting in Geneva over five days were focused on the longer-term consequences. Following the St Lucia Prime Minister, they also put the spotlight squarely on the human tragedies created by the storms and sea-surges.
UNCTAD organized forum with hopes for “a call to arms” to the UN Climate Summit to bring trade into the talks, particularly to help small island developing states (SIDS) to cope with their climate crises. The call was made, but it hardly received a warm response.
The SIDS got the chance to make their case to the world community for an hour on 23 September at the Climate Action Summit in New York. UNCTAD argued in its advance declaration: “Global trade policy must change and do more to be part of the climate solution. [The] climate crisis will wipe out trade gains of small island developing states if not addressed now.”
With such a short time, just before lunch. we shouldn’t have expected the UN General Assembly to leap to a startling new initiative to keep these countries alive. But at least it gave the SIDS the chance to make their case to the Forum in Geneva and at the prestigious Raúl Prebisch lecture, organized during the meeting.
On 27 September 2019 commitments in Samoa five years before received a high-level mid-term review at the U.N. See how the SIDS were coldshouldered (LINK).
* Swedish climate activist 16-year-old Greta Thunberg charged the adult world community at the UN with stealing her future (and her childhood that should be spent in school) with “How dare you!”
For an earlier, fuller version of the UNCTAD advance presser, see here.
Complete package (53 pages)
5 September 2019: Advance Presentation (updated)
9 September 2019: Trade and Climate Change: Bringing SIDS into focus
9 September 2019: Climate action and trade
Third Oceans Forum
10 September 2019: Oceans economy and climate change action
Fish trade and food security: 1140 words
10 September 2019: Taking stock of final phase of fish subsidies negotiations
10 September 2019: Raúl Prebisch lecture
11 September 2019: Circular Economy, Oceans and Plastics Pollution
11 September 2019: Launch of the Commodities and Development Report 2019: Commodity Dependence, Climate Change and the Paris Agreement
12 September 2019: The post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework
13 September 2019: Roundup
Climate change is more than a human rights issue; 2000 words (updated)
Tables and charts
SIDS review conference. UNTV, 27 September 2019 morning session, 3 hrs (LINK). See also afternoon session.
UN Trade Forum convenes to tackle climate emergency. UNCTAD. 3 September 2019. (LINK)
Prime Minister Chastanet puts Bahamas Human Crisis on Priority at UN Trade Forum. The Voice. 9 September 2019. (LINK)
“Sacrifices have to be made”: Env Min at UN Trade Forum. The Edition, Maldives. 9 September 2019. (LINK)
No exit plan for small islands on climate crisis frontlines. UNCTAD. 10 September 2019. (LINK)
DuPont Biomaterials to share ideas and innovations to combat plastic pollution in the oceans at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. British Plastics and Rubber Magazine. 10 September 2019. (LINK)
A Plan of Action for sustainable fisheries and oceans trade. UN Environment. 10 September 2019. (LINK)
SDG progress ‘in danger’ of going backwards without change in direction, new UN report reveals. UN News. 11 September 2019. (LINK)
ACP Secretary-General Reiterates Call for Urgent Ambitious Climate Action, IDN-InDepthNews. 13 September 2019. (LINK)
Saint Lucia PM Backs SIDS Foundation. St Lucia Times. 15 September 2019. (LINK)