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Major UN Meeting On Small Island States Set

Major UN Meeting On Small Island States Set For Mauritius In Early 2005

Climate change, fragile ecosystems, economic vulnerability, geographic isolation and other concerns of small island developing countries will be taken up at a major United Nations conference set for early 2005 to examine a decade’s worth of efforts to address these issues, the General Assembly decided today.

Adopting a resolution unanimously, the Assembly fixed 10 to 14 January as the dates for the International Meeting to Review Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, to be held in Mauritius.

If necessary, delegates will arrive two days earlier for informal consultations, according to the resolution.

The Programme of Action, adopted at a 1994 meeting in Barbados, focused on climate change, tourism, natural disasters, waste, energy and transport. The Mauritius meeting is expected to also examine trade, HIV/AIDS, information technology and security concerns.

The Secretary-General of the Mauritius Conference, Anwarul Chowdhury, has said the event should galvanize international cooperation on these issues.

Mr. Chowdhury, the UN High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, has pledged to facilitate negotiations on a strong political declaration by the participants.

In another action today, the General Assembly declared 2005 to be the International Year of Physics and invited the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to organize commemorative events.

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