Samoa’s Minister of Health, Honourable Tuitama Leao Talalelei Tuitama was invited by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) to speak on the thematic review titled “Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world – Taking forward The SAMOA Pathway” as part of the official sessions of the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) on sustainable development held at the United Nations Head Quarters in New York from 10 to 21 July 2017.
The HLPF is the central platform for the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by world leaders in September 2015. Its main focus is on the implementation of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) at national level and to provide political leadership and guidance.
The Minister’s remarks on the thematic discussion focused on Samoa’s experiences in trying to address “non communicable diseases” (NCDs) and also highlighted some of the Pacific region’s approaches and frameworks on best practices to help strengthen health systems by focusing in particular on primary health care and universal health coverage and how Pacific SIDS can best improve coverage, access and quality of care for NCD management.
The Health Minister from Jamaica also presented on behalf of the Caribbean SIDS with South Pacific Communities (SPC) and Food Agriculture Organization (FAO) presenting as organizations that are assisting with the implementation of programmes on NCDs for SIDS.
Hon. Tuitama was also one of the three (3) keynote speakers for the side-event held on Tuesday 11 July titled “Friends of the United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Disease (NCDs): Supporting member states to achieve the NCD-related targets for the Sustainable Development Goals”. The panel discussion took stock of the progress made by the Task Force in helping countries achieve SDG 3.4 on NCDs and other NCD-related SDG targets and highlighted the financial requirements of the programmatic work of the Task Force in building countries’ institutional capacities to ensure equal opportunity to integrate NCDs into national responses in the implementation of this goal. The Minister’s presentation focused on the challenges faced during implementation at the national level and recommendations on ways in which the Task force can better assist and support the member states in achieving this goal.
Samoa was one of the twenty two (22) countries and the only SIDS that participated in the first Voluntary National Review (NVR) in 2016. This year saw a doubling in the number of participating states with forty four (44) opting to engage in NVR of their countries through the HLPF.
The theme for this year’s HLPF forum is “Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world” with a focus on reviewing the Sustainable Development Goals 1, 2, 3, 5, 9 and 14