Preamble – Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS)

We, the Member States of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), meeting in New York this 27th day of September 2012,

Recalling the Charter of the United Nations, and reaffirming the principle of the sovereign equality of all nations;

Reaffirming further the 1972 Stockholm Declaration, the 1992 Rio Declaration and the 2012 Rio+20 outcome document, “ The future we want”;

Reaffirming that the Barbados Programme of Action (BPOA) and the Mauritius Strategy of Implementation (MSI) remain the essential blueprints for addressing the sustainable development needs of Small Island Developing States (SIDS). In this regard, we remain fully committed to ensuring the full and effective implementation of the BPOA and the MSI and we urge our development partners to provide, in a timely and predictable manner, financial and technical support to ensure the successful implementation of the BPOA and MSI;

Reaffirming that SIDS remain a special case for sustainable development in view of our unique and particular vulnerabilities, including our small size, remoteness, narrow resource and export base, and exposure to global environmental challenges and external economic shocks, including to a large range of impacts from climate change and more frequent and intense natural disasters;

Welcoming the Third Global Conference for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States in 2014 to inter alia, seek a renewed political commitment by the international community, be action oriented and mobilize resources. We call on the international community to support this conference;

Calling on the United Nations General Assembly to designate 2014 as the International Year of Small Island Developing States to raise awareness of the special situation of SIDS and mobilize international support for their sustainable development; and

Reaffirming the AOSIS Leaders’ Declaration on Climate Change of 2009.

1. We are gravely concerned that climate change poses the most serious threat to our territorial integrity, viability and survival, and that it undermines our efforts to achieve sustainable development goals and threatens our very existence. We reaffirm the sovereign rights of all SIDS in light of the adverse impacts of climate change.


  1. We reiterate our alarm that scientific evidence shows that the effects of human- induced climate change are happening faster and are more extreme than previously projected and that the impacts of climate change, which we are already experiencing, including sea-level rise and storm surge, more frequent and extreme weather events, ocean acidification, coral bleaching, coastal erosion, and changing precipitation patterns, will further intensify.
  2. We express profound alarm that due to the impacts of climate change people have been forcibly displaced from their homes and entire islands may become uninhabitable or entirely submerged causing mass climate change displacement.
  3. We emphasize that there is an urgent need to consider and address the security implications of climate change, including violation of territorial integrity, more frequent and severe climate-related disasters, threats to water and food security, increased natural resource scarcity, and forced displacement and the human dimensions of climate change, including where necessary, initiatives for preparing communities for relocation.
  4. We firmly maintain that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is the primary international, intergovernmental forum for negotiating the global response to climate change.
  5. We reaffirm the ultimate objective of the UNFCCC.
  6. We reaffirm the principles and provisions of the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol, in particular that Parties should protect the climate system for the benefit of present and future generations of humankind on the basis of equity and in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.
  7. We reiterate that preventing dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system and ensuring the viability and survival of all SIDS requires the following mitigation imperatives:
    1. Global average temperature increase must be limited to well below 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels;
    2. Long-term stabilization of atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations at well below 350ppm CO2-equivalent levels; and
    3. Global greenhouse gas emissions must peak by 2015 and decline thereafter.
  8. In this regard we express our grave concern that international action to address climate change continues to be grossly inadequate and that emissions of greenhouse gases continue to rise globally at an alarming rate.


  1. Accordingly, we reiterate our call to the international community, with developed countries taking the lead, to undertake urgent, ambitious and decisive action to significantly reduce emissions of all greenhouse gases, including fast action strategies, and to support SIDS, and other particularly vulnerable countries, in their efforts to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change, including through the provision of increased levels of financial and technological resources.
  2. We are profoundly disturbed by the significant gap between the aggregate effect of Parties’ mitigation pledges in terms of global annual emissions of greenhouse gases by 2020 and aggregate emission pathways consistent with having a likely chance of holding the increase in global average temperature to well below 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and reiterate the urgent need to close the gap.
  3. We demand a concerted global effort from all, with developed countries taking the lead, to enhance their mitigation ambition in order to close the pre-2020 ambition gap, in particular by urgently increasing the ambition of their current targets and nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs), and by bringing forward mitigation action where they are yet to do so.
  4. We emphasize the necessity for developed countries to provide new, additional and predictable financial resources, technology and capacity building, delivered in a timely and transparent manner to enable developing countries in particular SIDS to implement their NAMAs and meet their adaptation needs.
  5. We emphasize that the outcome of the process launched under the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action should be a Protocol under the Convention applicable to all Parties, to be adopted no later than 2015 which strengthens the multilateral rules-based and legally binding regime, is based on science and the principles of the UNFCCC and ensures the survival of all SIDS. We urge all Parties to work with an increased sense of urgency and purpose towards an ambitious, comprehensive and meaningful outcome.
  6. We emphasize that failure to close the pre-2020 mitigation ambition gap would have profound implications for the scale, scope and nature of the necessary commitment and obligations under the new Protocol.
  7. Building on the progress achieved thus far we underscore our commitment to work towards a successful outcome at COP18/CMP8 in Doha, including the following elements:A. Adoption and provisional application of the Doha Amendments to the Kyoto Protocol pending their entry into force that:

I. Ensure the widest participation of Annex I Parties in a second commitment period;


  1. Establish a five-year second commitment period to run from 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2017;
  2. Establish more ambitious quantified emission limitation or reduction commitments for all Annex I Parties to the Kyoto Protocol; and
  3. Limit the use of surplus carry over units in the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol to ensure environmental integrity.

B. Adoption of an ambitious and comprehensive workplan on enhancing mitigation ambition to close the pre-2020 mitigation ambition gap.

C. Definition of the modalities for a science-based 2013 to 2015 review of the adequacy of the long-term global goal and the overall progress made towards achieving it, including the establishment of a Review Expert Group to undertake, inter alia, technical assessment, technical studies and synthesis reports to inform appropriate action by the Conference of the Parties.

D. A commitment by developed countries to ensure that there is no gap in the provision of scaled-up, new and additional, predictable and adequate climate finance to developing countries after the end of the fast start finance period, taking into account the urgent and immediate needs of developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change, in particular SIDS, LDCs, and Africa.

E. Establishment of an international mechanism to address loss and damage from the adverse effects of climate change, comprising of at least three distinct components:

  1. A risk management facility to promote risk assessment and risk management tools and strategies at all levels and to facilitate the implementation of risk reduction management measures;
  2. An insurance facility to enable, administer and support risk sharing and risk-transfer schemes for damage incurred by climate related disasters; and
  3. A “solidarity fund” to provide compensation for permanent loss and damage caused by slow onset impacts such as sea level rise, ocean acidification and temperature rise.

17. We recognize the importance of effective and continuing support for REDD Plus activities, recall the COP 17 decision on REDD Plus, and encourage all Parties at COP 18 to agree on modalities for REDD Plus results-based financing from both


public and private sources, which could include, as appropriate, market-based approaches, while ensuring that environmental integrity is preserved and in accordance with all relevant COP decisions.

  1. We recognize the need for inclusive and sustainable growth to enable SIDS to accelerate progress in achieving internationally agreed development goals, including the MDGs, and call for urgent and scaled-up efforts to expand development opportunities in our countries, especially for the young, particularly in relation to eradicating poverty and hunger, promoting greater investment and capacity building in such areas as sustainable agriculture and food security, sustainable tourism activities, and the conservation of land, water, plant and animal genetic resources, combating the growing epidemic of non-communicable diseases, and enhancing resilience to climate change and natural disasters.
  2. We recognize the importance of building the capacity of SIDS to be able to benefit from the sustainable use and conservation of the ocean and its resources through the provision of finance and technology transfer. We are concerned about, inter alia about the adverse impacts of climate change, ocean acidification, overfishing, destructive fishing practices and pollution. We reiterate the importance of sustainable fisheries, healthy coral reefs and mangroves.
  3. We welcome the Barbados Declaration on Achieving Sustainable Energy for All in Small Island Developing States aimed at promoting transformational activities in the areas of, inter alia, affordable and modern energy access, renewable energy, energy efficiency and low carbon development, in the context of sustainable development, including the commitments by some SIDS to undertake the actions contained in its Annex I and we call on the international community to support the implementation of the Declaration.