Millennium Development Goals Out Of Reach For Many SIDS

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Kiribati President: International community must "focus their attention"

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, Samoa (Talamua, Sept. 3, 2014) – For many Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) members hopes of achieving their Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the year 2015 are very slim.

Several leaders have publicly spoken out about this during the SIDS Confrence now in its third day including the President of the Republic of Kiribati Mr. Anote Tong.

Also speaking out is the Under Secretary General/UN Executive Secretary for the Economics Commission in Africa Dr. Carlos Lopez.

In addressing the 3rd SIDS 4th Plenary meeting conference President Tong publicly said several small island nations are doubting achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) set down for 2015.

Kiribati is one country that is certain not reach their Millennium Development goals by 2015.

"Despite the adoption of the action programme in Barbados and despite international dialogue and agreement, the reality is SIDS is yet to realise the potential pursuit of sustainable development," Mr Tong told conference now in its third day.

While he commended the UN and governments support, there is a need to refocus on global attention.

"We need to encourage the Post 2015 conference to focus their attention and look at the unfinished business of 20 years ago," he said.

For small islands, he said global action has not been matched due to the severity of climate changes.

"We need to re-focus and re-dialogue," said the President.

Tong’s remarks were supported by Tuvalu, Mauritius, Niue and all the six African region SIDS members.

"None of the six African countries that are members of SIDS will achieve those goals," said Dr, Lopez.

He said climate change is not the only setback but health and the economy has had a tremendous impact on the success of MDGs in their countries.

"With Ebola now spreading fast and deadly throughout Africa, I do not think the African SIDS member countries will achieve their goal," said Dr. Lopez.

However, both leaders are not throwing in the towels just yet.

"We have to embody hope and work together to achieve sustainable developments together," said President Tong.

Samoa on the other hand has achieved most of the MDGs as set down by the United Nations.

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