Aliioaiga Feturi Elisaia, Samoa’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations and current Chair of the 14 Pacific islands Forum Group with Missions to the United Nations in New York, delivered a statement on behalf of the group during the thematic discussion on Sustainable Development in the United Nations Economic and Financial Committee.
The statement emphasized the importance of The SAMOA Pathway as the comprehensive roadmap of Small Island Developing States sustainable development priorities and the means of achieving them. It called for the full implementation of the recommendations of the Joint Inspection Unit on UN System support for SIDS if SIDS are to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals [SDGs]. The High level Political Forum was highlighted as an important mechanism to facilitate the effective implementation and follow-up of the SAMOA Pathway and the 2030 Agenda.
To provide a Pacific context, the statement referred to the “2030 Pacific Roadmap for Sustainable Development” and its implementation strategy adopted by the Pacific Leaders at the Apia Forum in September to underscore the need to have a regional approach to try and achieve these international commitments.
Ambassador Elisaia reminded member states about the profound impacts of climate change and extreme weather events on SIDS because their capacities to respond quickly and effectively were being constrained by their realities, making the burden of rehabilitation a massive undertaking.
The statement welcomed the steps taken by the United Nations organizations, Funds and Programs in developing a range of performance monitoring systems for reporting results towards mainstreaming the SDG’s into their Strategic Plans.
The need for adequate and predictable climate funding which can be expeditiously accessed was voiced as some of the on-going challenges faced by SIDS. To end on a positive note, the PIF statement referred to a recent decision in Cairo by the Board of the Green Climate Fund to approve the “Simplified Approval Process” for small scale activities on a pilot scheme.