U N E S C O
Open Planning Meeting on Barbados+10/Mauritius’04
Thursday 8 April 2004. Room XIV
Present: Cambers (SIV, via conference call with Puerto Rico), Chiba (CLT), Curtis
(SC), Elias (Bangkok-SC/CLT, via conference call), Green (SC), Hadley (SC), Ikhlef
(SC), Jacquot (CLT), Kasymov (BSP/YTH), Ladjali (ED), Mandalia (SC),
Nakashima (SC), Perce (SC/IOC), Radoykov (CI), Raondry-Rakotoarisoa (Dakar-SC,
via conference call), Schischlik (CLT), Steffen (Jakarta-SC, via conference call),
Tran (SC), Troost (SC), Tukhtabayev (ERC), Van Oers (CLT/WHC), Voi (Apia-CLT,
via conference call).
Apologies: Alfsen-Norodom (New York-SC), Boer (Doha-SC), Bully (Kingston-CLT),
Engelhardt (Bangkok-CLT), Fortes (Bangkok-SC/IOC), Henriques-Mueller
(BSP/YTH), Holmes (IIEP), Stenou (CLT), Stukel (UIS-Montreal), Thulstrup (Apia-
SC), Virtanen (New Delhi-CI).
Background: Over the last decade, a range of programmes and projects in
UNESCO‘s programme sectors and services have sought to contribute to the sustainable development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), in the light of
the Programme of Action on SIDS adopted in Barbados in May 1994. Following the
World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), the United Nations has called-
for a full and comprehensive review of the implementation of the Barbados
Programme of Action (BPoA), culminating in an international meeting in Mauritius
(30 August-3 September 2004) and follow up. International organizations have
been invited to participate in the Barbados+10 (B+10) review and Mauritius 2004
(M‘04) follow-up process.
To this end, within UNESCO, an informal open ad-hoc meeting on B+10/M‘04 was held on 22 May 2003, following an open invitation issued by the UNESCO Focal
1Point for B+10/M‘04. Subsequent meetings took place on a near-monthly basis.
The tenth open planning meeting took place on 4 March, associated with the first
meeting of the intersectoral working group on Sustainable Development of Small
2Island Developing States (WG-SIDS). The provisional agenda for the 8 April
meeting was distributed by the UNESCO Focal Point for B+10/M‘04 through e-mail
of 31 March.
UN Secretary General’s Report and the CSD session on B+10/M’04. As
reported at previous monthly meetings, UNESCO has compiled a 15-page
34contribution to the UN Secretary General‘s consolidated report that has been
prepared for the twelfth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development
(CSD-12) and its discussion on B+10/M‘04 (UN-New York, 14-16 April). Other documents to be considered by the CSD-12 include the two main outputs of the
inter-regional preparatory meeting (Nassau, Bahamas, 26-30 January 2004): (i)
1 Summary records for each monthly meeting can be accessed at
d=1075466916 2 The working group was set-up by the Director General to promote and coordinate UNESCO-wide
contributions to the B+10/M’04 process. See DG/Note/04/07 dated 10 February 2004:
http://www.unesco.org/csi/B10/DGnote_sids-wg.pdf 3 The 15-page UNESCO contribution can be accessed at http://www.unesco.org/csi/B10/UN-SG_Feb04.pdf 4 Document E/CN.17/2004/8. http://www.un.org/special-rep/ohrlls/sid/e_cn.17_2004-8.pdf
Nassau Declaration, and (ii) AOSIS (Alliance of Small Island States) Draft Strategy
5for the Further Implementation of the BPoA.
B+10 summary record 8April04 2 As an ensemble, these three documents address the principal issues – largely
environment-based— that featured in the 1994 BPoA, such as climate change and
sea-level rise, disasters, waste management, freshwater resources, energy, tourism,
biodiversity. Significantly, they also include explicit recognition of the importance
for sustainable development of such dimensions and perspectives as culture, youth
and gender equality, as well as the adoption of integrated and holistic approaches
at all levels. They also incorporate new and emerging issues, such as health
(HIV/AIDS), ITCs, trade, security (in the widest sense), culture, youth, education for
sustainable development, knowledge management and information for decision
making. As such, the three documents cover most, if not all, of the dimensions of
sustainable development, and articulate with many of UNESCO‘s areas of
competence and programmes. They also reflect a major change in mindset
compared with the 1994 BPoA and the 1999 B+5 review, and indeed the regional
preparatory meetings for B+10/M‘04 held in July-October 2003.
Culture and sustainable island living/development. Culture and traditional
knowledge figure quite prominently in both the AOSIS Strategy paper and the UN
Secretary General‘s report, as reflected in a compilation of selected extracts from
the two documents. For example: ―SIDS recognize the importance of the cultural identity of people and its importance in advancing sustainable development and
also recognize the need to develop cultural industries and initiatives, which present
significant economic opportunities for national and regional development‖ (AOSIS
Draft Strategy, para.77). ―SIDS have begun to examine more closely the importance
of culture and cultural development in national and regional strategies for their
sustainable development. There is growing recognition that an effective
development strategy for SIDS should be cognizant of and responsive to the unique
historical and cultural realities of the people.‖ (UN-SG Report, para 74).
In reflecting on UNESCO‘s possible role and contribution, discussants stressed the
overwhelming importance and all-pervasiveness of culture and cultural identity in
respect to island living and development. Everything that happens in a society is
driven and shaped by culture and value systems. As such, culture plays a crucial
role in fostering sustainable development, as it pervades all aspects of social,
economic and political life as well as representing the collective adaptation of SIDS
populations to their environments, embodying much valuable knowledge. Culture
is also a force for social cohesion, stability and the maintenance of peace and
security, while cultural diversity stimulates creativity and innovation for
sustainable local economic development.
A number of examples were given on particular dimensions of UNESCO‘s culture-
related activities that could enrich the preparation and convening of the Mauritius
meeting and (most importantly) its follow-up: island cultures and identities;
safeguarding the cultural heritage, both tangible and intangible; promoting
cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue; developing cultural enterprises.
Suggestions were made on possible drafting changes that might be brought to the
attention of the proponents of the AOSIS Draft Strategy paper during the CSD-12
B+10 summary record 8April04 3
meeting (14-16 April), as well as follow-up adaptation and usage of the UN
Secretary General‘s document.
In several UNESCO programmes, there are springboards for action: Promoting and
applying standard-setting instruments such as the Universal Declaration on
Cultural Diversity and the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible
Heritage (including associated programmes such as Masterpieces of the Oral and
Intangible Heritage); Reinforcement of World Heritage initiatives in regions such as
the Caribbean and Pacific, and proposed serial nomination of Slave Route sites for
the World Heritage List; Observance of 2004 as International Year for the
Commemoration of the Struggle against Slavery and its Abolition; Intellectual
property rights and the safeguarding of local and indigenous knowledge and
expressions of culture, including the use of traditional knowledge in enriching local
content in school curricula; Intersectoral work on cultural diversity and biological
diversity (in cooperation with UNEP); Global Alliance for Cultural Diversity actions
for optimizing the development of cultural enterprises in SIDS in such fields as
handicrafts, music and heritage tourism; Using ICTs for linking together creators
in chains of production and marketing (e.g. in film animation); Setting-up in
Mauritius of an International Institute for Intercultural Dialogue and Peace.
There was a general feeling that UNESCO could contribute distinctively to culture-
related side events during the Mauritius meeting, particularly in ‗showcasing‘ a
sampling of the many different dimensions and perspectives of island cultures.
Possibilities and options for side-events to be considered by the forthcoming CSD,
AOSIS and Inter-agency Task Force meetings include the attribution of daily themes
for side events (e.g. on island environments, island economies, and socio-cultural
dimensions of island living), community activities at the ‗Community Vilaj‘, and the
completion of the partnership form in respect to culture-related follow-up activities.
Mention was made of the desirability of cultural perspectives infusing a range of
side events in Mauritius (e.g. creative enterprises during discussions on island
trade), as well as culture being a specific focus of attention in one or more special
Youth Visioning for Island Living. Progress was reported in advancing the ‗Youth
6visioning for island living‘ process, focused initially on three themes: Life and love
in islands - island lifestyles and cultures; My island home - safeguarding island
environments; Money in my pocket - economic and employment opportunities. A data-base on youth organizations in SIDS has been developed, as part of the lead-
up to the on-line launching in late April of the interactive web-site for island youth,
in cooperation with the international youth NGO TakingITGlobal. The Lighthouse
Foundation has agreed to provide support to the youth event in Mauritius (28
August-1 September) and to concrete follow-up projects. Discussions are
continuing with a view to the progressive involvement of other bodies as partners
and donors in the project. Nearing completion are a youth friendly publication on
the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity (―Under the Skin‖) and a Pacific
region version of ―World Heritage in Young Hands‖.
In respect to the youth event in Mauritius itself, discussions are continuing with the
national authorities with respect to logistic arrangements. The hope was expressed
that young people would be able to participate in activities linked to the Community
Vilaj initiative. The importance of involving poor, marginalized and disaffected
youth in the whole youth visioning process (and particularly concrete follow-up
activities) was reiterated.
B+10 summary record 8April04 4 Raising awareness on SIDS/B+10/M’04. As indicated in the summary record of the 22 January planning meeting, a number of initiatives within UNESCO‘s
programmes seek to respond to the call of AOSIS to increase public and
professional awareness of the evolving challenges relating to sustainable
development in SIDS. Updates were provided on a number of these activities. Early
April has seen the release of a three-page text on ‗Small Island Developing States‘, as one of 13 briefing documents prepared within the Decade on Education for
7Sustainable Development (to be formally launched in January 2005). Special
dossiers on small islands have been put together for the April issue of the Science
8Sector‘s World of Science news magazine and the ‗in-press‘ issue of the UNESCO Courier. A brochure and substantive report on the Small Islands Voice (SIV)
initiative are in page proof and final draft form, respectively. Drafting continues of
the ‗Island Agenda II‘ overview of UNESCO‘s work on island environments,
territories and societies, with a view to posting in mid-2004 on the UNESCO ‗Small islands (Barbados+10)‘ web-site. A printed 32-40 page distillation will be prepared
for publication in illustrated booklet form for the Mauritius meeting.
In addition, academia, the general public and youth are involved in global
discussions on island issues via three UNESCO internet forums that are accessible
via: http://www.csiwisepractices.org; http://www.sivglobal.org ; www.sivyouth.org (the latter
with username view and password only).
Other. Miscellaneous points raised under ―Other business‖ included the following
items: (a) On 26 March, the Director General met with Ambassadors and
Permanent Delegates of SIDS, who informed the Director General of the informal
group that they have established with a view to contributing to the preparation of
the Mauritius meeting. Views were exchanged on the continuing involvement of
UNESCO in the B+10/M‘04 process; (b) On 6 April, the UNESCO Focal Point for B+10/M‘04 took part in the most recent discussions of the Interagency Task Force
(IATF) for B+10/M‘04, through conference-call link-up facilities organized under the
aegis of UNDESA-New York; (c) Ancillary activities envisaged during the Mauritius
meeting include the launching of a consortium grouping small-island regional
universities, including University of the South Pacific, University of the West Indies.
Next meeting. Thursday 13 May (16.00-17.30 hours, Salle XIV) is proposed for the
second meeting of the intersectoral WG-SIDS. This will be an enlarged meeting,
with Ambassadors and Permanent Delegates, with other staff members cordially
invited to take part. Before and after 13 May, conference-call discussions will be
continued with key field offices involved in the B+10/M‘04 process.
Further information. For the regularly updated Planning Note and the various
documents mentioned above – as well as questions, comments and suggestions on
UNESCO‘s contribution to the B+10/M‘04 process -- please contact islandsBplus10@unesco.org. Most of the documents are accessible through hyperlinks
within the interactive UNESCO web-site on ‗Small islands (Barbados+10)‘: http://portal.unesco.org/islandsBplus10.
URL_ID=27234&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html 8 http://www.unesco.org/science/world_science_april04.pdf