Press Releases

    UNIS/INF/45
    13 January 2005

    Mauritius Conference Highlights: 12 January 2005

    Secretary-General Kofi Annan Encourages Small Islands to Establish Clear Priorities

    (Re-issued as received.)

    PORT LOUIS, Mauritius, 12 January -- The United Nations Secretary-General will address on Thursday 2,000 participants of the International Meeting to Review the Implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States.

    At the end of the afternoon today, after being introduced by the Prime Minister of Mauritius and Chairman of the Mauritius International Meeting, Mr. Paul Raymond Beranger, the Secretary-General addressed the 5th Summit of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) in the brand-new conference centre of Mauritius where this week’s conference is being held. He was accompanied by the Secretary General of the International Meeting, Mr. Anwarul K. Chowdhury.

    Speaking to island leaders gathered in Mauritius for the Conference, Mr. Annan said, “The Alliance of Small Island States has become an increasingly effective voice in the international arena. You have created and maintained a sense of solidarity amongst a membership that spans the globe and represents a sizeable segment of humanity. You may be small in size, but your potential is big.”

    Referring to this week’s International Meeting, the Secretary-General also invited small island States to establish clear priorities for the period ahead. “You will have to deepen partnerships at all levels – through South-South cooperation; through closer cooperation with developed countries; by engaging more actively with civil society; and by tapping the knowledge and capacities of regional organizations such as CARICOM, the Pacific Islands Forum and the Indian Ocean Commission.”

    Earlier today, the Secretary-General and Mrs. Annan visited a major parallel activity of the Mauritius conference, called the Community Village, which is a showcase of sustainable development efforts and innovative approaches at the community level in small islands worldwide. This island fair is sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme. Mr. Annan also opened the final session of the parallel youth forum of the conference, held under the theme “Youth Island Visioning”.

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    Press Contact: Nosh Nalavala, Media Officer, United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, Tel: (917) 367-2471, e-mail: nalavala@un.org Website: www.un.org/ohrlls

    François Coutu, UN Department of Public Information, Development Section
    Tel.: 230-286-0567 (in Mauritius) E-mail: mediainfo@un.org

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