September 2018 I SIDSletter #19

Looking for Actionable Insights for SIDS 

The SIDSletter is a monthly publication of the Centre of Excellence (COE) for the Sustainable Development of SIDSa UNDP initiative based in Aruba. The COE aims to collect, connect and collaborate with stakeholders from SIDS from around the world to catalyze innovation, resilience and sustainable development.

The 73rd session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) will open on the 18th of September 2018, with the first high-level debate starting on the 25th. María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, President-elect of the  session announced the general theme: ‘Making the United Nations Relevant to All People: Global Leadership and Shared Responsibilities for Peaceful, Equitable and Sustainable Societies.’  (Source: IISD)

Needless to say, these themes are as relevant to SIDS as any other UN member state, if not more. We hope the challenges of SIDS will surface on the agendas, as they did at other recent global gatherings like COP23 and The Ocean Conference. Side-events will also take place in parallel such as Global Goals Week 2018 and Climate Week NYC 2018, so do take a look for SIDS-relevant events taking place.

Soon after, an upcoming event where SIDS' interests will no doubt take center stage will be the Inter-regional preparatory meeting for the SAMOA Pathway review in Samoa at the end of October. Summaries of the earlier regional preparatory meetings can be found here.

As always, for these events and others, the COE will aim to identify actionable insights for SIDS and share them across our various channels. We'll be sure to keep bridging islands of knowledge.

Best wishes,

Oranjestad, Aruba

ps. Feel free to forward this newsletter to colleagues who may not yet be on our list. Also, please help spread the word about our activities, let us know what you think, and follow us on our Twitter account @COE4SIDS with hashtag #SustainableSIDS. 


  Let's Collaborate... that together we can support islands in becoming more sustainable and resilient.
Accelerating Knowledge Sharing for the 2030 Agenda

The 2018 meeting of the United Nations High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (UN HLPF) was held in July and focussed on "Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies". The set of goals reviewed in depth: SDGs 6, 7, 11, 12, 15, as well as Goal 17: “Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development”, an annual theme of the HLPF.

The COE co-organized a breakfast session "Knowledge Frameworks to Accelerate the 2030 Agenda" together with The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), The Kingdom of the Netherlands, and The Knowledge for Development Partnership (K4DP). The session was chaired by the vice-Prime Minister of Aruba, H.E. Otmar Oduber.


Click here for the outcomes of the side-event

Webinar: Islands as Living Labs for Resilience

More Partnerships for Knowledge Collaboration!

During the UN HLPF event, the COE signed an MoU with The Pacific Island Development Forum (PIDF) for collaboration and sharing knowledge to support SIDS.

It is aimed at accelerating Island-Island knowledge sharing. This includes fostering multi-stakeholder engagement, focusing on the comparative advantages of south-south cooperation and supporting inter-regional and intra-regional SIDS partnerships to benefit the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The signing ceremony was held after the breakfast session on “Knowledge Frameworks for Accelerating the 2030 Agenda” hosted at the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations in New York.

Photo: Secretary General of PIDF, Francois Martel, and Manager of the COE, Arno Boersma. (photo credit: World Bank Group)

 Let's Connect... that we don't miss opportunities to meet, discuss, and explore sustainable solutions for a more resilient future.
CARILEC Renewable Energy  I  Miami, USA  I  23 - 27 September, 2018
The 2018 Renewable Energy and Smart Grid (ICT) Conference, themed “Energy Resilience and Independence”, will gather researchers, thought leaders, utility and energy professionals and vendors  and provide them with a unique platform to delve deeply into renewable energy and resilience from both a global and a regional perspective.

International Conference on Sustainable Development  I  New York, USA  I  26 - 28 September, 2018
The International Conference on Sustainable Development (ICSD) provides a forum for academia, government, civil society, UN agencies, and the private sector to come together to share practical solutions to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The organizers are The Center for Sustainable Development (CSD)The Earth Institute of Columbia University, The Global Master’s in Development Practice (MDP) and The Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN).

Inter-regional SAMOA Pathway Review I Samoa I October, 2018
In September 2019, member states will convene a one-day high-level meeting at the United Nations Headquarters in New York to review progress made and where the preparatory meetings will feed into. For this, preparatory meetings are taking place in 2018.
Read more ...
Our Ocean Conference  I  Bali, Indonesia  I  29 - 30 October, 2018
The Government of the Republic of Indonesia will host the fifth Our Ocean Conference in Bali on 29 and 30 October 2018. Our Ocean Conference is focused on generating commitments and taking actions to maintain the sustainability of our oceans. Since 2014, Our Ocean Conference has successfully generated commitments totaling around 18 billion dollars (USD) and 12.4 million square kilometers of marine protected areas. Our Ocean Conference 2018 will convene participants from countries across the globe to ensure diverse perspectives from various stakeholders, including governments, commercial sectors, financing entities, scientific communities, civil society organizations, and young leaders. Heads of States, Ministers, and champions from various backgrounds will also be invited to influence concrete and actionable commitments to preserve the oceans' health.

CALL FOR PAPERS "Knowledge Islands"  I  Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain  I  20-22 November, 2018
The 11th Knowledge Cities World Summit (KCWS-2018) will be held in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. Tenerife is the largest and most populated island of the seven Canary Islands. The island receives about five million tourists annually, and it is one of the most important tourist destinations in Spain and the world. Tenerife has been investing on knowledge economy for quite some time and the summit will help strengthening its knowledge island endeavour and strategies. The Summit aims to contribute to the discussion on the importance and trends of knowledge-based development theory and practice.

COP24  I  Katowice, Poland  I  3-14 December, 2018
COP24 is the informal name for the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The UNFCCC is a “Rio Convention”, one of three adopted at the “Rio Earth Summit” in 1992. The UNFCCC entered into force on 21 March 1994. Today, it has near-universal membership. In the course of the 2018 Climate Summit Poland would like to demonstrate how neutrality in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, i.e. a balance between CO2 emissions and its sequestration by soils and forests, can be attained. 

 Let's Collect...
... so that we do not reinvent the wheel or repeat mistakes, but rather build and improve on the best practices of others. 
The SIDS x SDGs Toolkit
Looking for practical information on SDG implementation in SIDS?

The SIDS x SDGs Toolkit was developed to support policymakers from SIDS in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Currently, there is no practical online resource for helping policymakers specifically from SIDS with the process of implementing SDGs. The Toolkit aims to be a practical and action-oriented one-stop-shop for supporting policymakers in decision-making processes.

You can search by implementation phase, the SDG goals, the SIDS or by type of resource. Please feel free to let us know what you think and any suggestions you might have.

Take a look at the SIDS x SDGs Toolkit
The Challenges of Financing the Resilience of SIDS
A comprehensive overview of speakers, presentations, video’s and outcomes of
the Financing the Resilience of SIDS conference recently organized by the COE,
and hosted by the Government of Antigua & Barbuda and the Government of Belgium.

SDG Implementation Corner

The COE closely follows the SDG Aruba team to capture lessons and insights from their SDG implementation journey that can benefit other SIDS. In this corner they provide a monthly update as well as other related news relevant to SIDS.

The SDG implementation process in Aruba continues...
Knowledge sharing makes us stronger! The Aruba SDG National Commission as well as the SDG-IWG (Indicators Working Group) would like to share the following two documents pertinent to the implementation and localization of the SDGs on islands:

  • The Aruba SDG Roadmap: This publication is a comprehensive part of localization of the national SDG implementation, the identificantion of Accelerators, which are priority areas that can catapult a positive development on differing SDGs simulteanously.
    See here...
  • The Aruba SDG Baseline Measurement: This publication explains the identification of gaps to be able to provide data for the monitoring and reporting of the SDGs and what capacity building is needed.
    See here...

For more information, please check the website,
email them at and
follow them on 
Facebook@SDGAruba & Twitter@SDGAruba

 Also good to know...
An App for SDG Localization

Provided by: United Cities and Local Governments
  • Policy Paper: SIDS & Planetary Security: See here...
  • MoU: Solar Heads of State and OECS: See here...
  • Workshop: NGOs for SDGs on SIDS: See here
  • Blog: A Story of Heart & Spirit in Fiji: See here
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