A new briefing provides insights on a key UN document on sustainability which provides a potential framework for securing greater recognition and new partnerships for libraries and library and information professionals.

Sustainable development is both a duty and a challenge for every country and territory around the world. However, it is clear that for some, the challenges are greater than for others.

This is particularly true for small island developing states (SIDS) – 38 UN Member States and 20 other territories which are characterised by their limited population and land surface area, as well as their status as developing countries.

These countries often face specific issues related to their limited human and economic resources, their reliance on imports in order to meet needs (and associated trade deficits and indebtedness), and vulnerability to the effects of climate change.

In response, the SAMOA Pathway aims to provide a comprehensive framework of actions to be taken, and represents one of the key framework documents for the UN’s wider work on sustainable development.

In addition to reviews of its implementation in the context of the High Level Political Forum, there is a dedicated UN team working on SIDS, with a strong focus on building partnerships and targeting support to achieve the goals of the Pathway.

Many of the Pathway’s actions are in areas where libraries already do, or can, make a significant contribution to the success of policy actions. Moreover, the Pathway makes many references to the importance of collecting, managing and giving access to information in order to support better decision-making.

As such, the Pathway provides a helpful potential framework for building the recognition of libraries, and establishing new partnerships which help ensure the impact and sustainability of our own institutions.

This briefing therefore looks at the logic behind the Pathway, the actions it contains that are relevant for libraries, its emphasis on partnerships, and finally on the opportunities that could exist for libraries.

Libraries and the UN SAMOA Pathway

The SAMOA Pathway aims to provide a comprehensive framework of actions to be taken in order to support the sustainable development of small island developing states (or SIDS). 38 United Nations Member States count as SIDS, alongside 20 other territories. There are SIDS either in - or overseen by cou...