“Small islands developing states have rich experiences that they could share with each other and which are aligned to many of the key tenets that support sustainable development of Small Island developing states (SIDS).”
This was said by the Prime Minister of Samoa, the Hon Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi during a keynote address which he delivered at the opening of the Pre Conference of the UN Major Groups and Other Stakeholders Forum held in Apia on Thursday, August 28th, 2014.
And taking the lead, the Prime Minister provided some of Samoa’s experiences to the audience of international members of the Major Groups and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) including those from the Pacific region.
The Prime Minister said that Samoa had ‘graduated’ from being a least developed country (LDC) to a country that sees the importance of implementing sustainable development and added,
“We wanted to promote the hope that SIDS are indeed a special case for global partnership and that the political will is there to commit to ensuring SIDS receive priority consideration in their quest to achieve sustainable development.”
Samoa’s choice of the SIDS theme ‘SIDS sustainable development through genuine and durable partnerships’ reflect the modest successes that his country had achieved through its consolidated partnerships framework, the Prime Minister said.
Hon Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi said that climate change is the most serious issue of these times but said that Samoa is addressing this by implementing a National Adaptation Strategy, working on a Mitigation Framework and establishing climate financing modalities in cooperation with its development partners. Furthermore Samoa has also moved to implement renewable energy options with a target of 20% renewables by 2030, he said.
The Prime Minister invited delegates to visit some of the solar projects in the country including the biggest solar array in the Pacific; part of which are being showcased at the SIDS Conference Venue.
He called on the Forum to focus discussions on and make the commitment to address the issue of a Vulnerability Index specifically for SIDS as the GDP indicator and other economic measures continue to be inappropriate for Samoa and other SIDS.
“I do share a strong sense of inclusiveness in the role of Major Groups around SIDS and invite you all to contribute to the series of discussions as your experiences are vital in further shaping the SAMOA outcomes,” the Hon Prime Minister said and added,
“It is worth noting that the 17 Sustainable Development Goals follow similar priorities to the Samoa Pathway and we would call on states to recognize this as a sign of global commitment to SIDS.”
The one day Major Groups and Other Stakeholders Forum will be held on Friday, August 29th and delegates will be discussing integrating gender equality, indigenous rights and human rights advocacy into SIDS, the Beijing +20 Review, the post 2015 development agenda and the UNFCCC.
Over 400 participants from the AIMS, Caribbean and the Pacific regions, have registered for the Forum to be held on Friday August 29th. Pacific CSO leaders have played a crucial role in the lead up and preparations for this Forum.
Developing sustainable development priorities according to the thematic priorities for SIDS and creating effective partnerships to address these will also be discussed and an Outcome Document will be submitted by the Forum to the 3rd UN Conference on SIDS to be held from Sept 1 to 4, 2014 in Apia, Samoa.