10 Jan 2005

UN Small Island Developing States conference starts

4:59 pm on 10 January 2005

The United Nations Under-Secretary-General says they hope Small Island Developing States, or SIDS, will find new momentum, at an international conference in Mauritius today.

Pacific leaders are among those attending the week long U.N. meeting.

Anwarul Chowdhury said at a press conference, the focus will be on issues of most concern to the future of small island states.

These include climate change, trade losses, security, and dealing with the HIV/Aids epidemic.

"We need to show that the international community cares for these countries, is willing to take up the responsibility to support their development efforts, and we would like to see how we can build new momentum for the small island states."

The conference will also review the Programme of Action for SIDS, which was agreed to a decade ago at a Global Conference in Barbados.