Washington, DC - The U.S. Delegation to the Third UN Conference on Small Island Developing States in Apia, Samoa, September 1-4, will be led by Assistant to the President for Science and Technology & Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Dr. John Holdren, with Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Judith G. Garber serving as Deputy Head of Delegation.
The UN Conference on Small Island Developing States occurs once every ten years to focus the world’s attention on the unique vulnerabilities of these nations. The United States is committed to working with small island developing states on critical global issues including climate change and ocean conservation as well as the islands’ sustainable development, energy security, food security, and health issues.
The U.S. delegation will include senior officials from the Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of the Interior, and the Department of Defense.
In addition to sending a high-level delegation to Samoa, the United States is co-sponsoring, with the Government of New Zealand and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program, a pre-conference ocean acidification workshop, August 28-29. Secretary Kerry’s June 2014 Our Ocean conference identified ocean acidification as a key threat and the workshop is one of several U.S. Government initiatives focusing on the problem. The Department of State and the East-West Center in Hawaii also organized the multi-national Future Leaders of the Pacific Conference, August 27-31, in Apia. This conference is addressing regional issues including non-communicable diseases, gender equality, climate change, and sustainable development in the Pacific.