The Inter-Regional Preparatory Meeting for the Mid-Term Review of the SAMOA Pathway was held from the 29th of October to the 1st of November of 2018 at the T.A.T.T.E. Convention Centre in Apia, Samoa. During four days of rich and interactive discussions, the delegates of the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) reviewed the progress achieved and discussed the challenges and ways forward in the implementation of the SAMOA Pathway in national, regional and global levels; bringing together the results of the three regional meetings (Caribbean, Pacific and AIMS - Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean, and South China Sea) held earlier this year.
The Inter-Regional Meeting, enthusiastically hosted by the Government of Samoa and brought together by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs and the Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Countries and Small Island Developing States (OHRLLS), began with the Samoa Partnership Dialogue and the SIDS National Focal Points (NFPs) Meeting on October 29th. The Partnership Dialogue provided an opportunity to discuss and promote genuine and durable partnerships for the sustainable development of SIDS. The event consisted of a plenary and networking sessions, where key stakeholders shared innovative solutions and explored the potential of partnerships in line with the priorities of SIDS. The NFPs Meeting, led by UN-OHRLLS, allowed to discuss the role of the NFPs and share experiences and best practices on mainstreaming the SAMOA Pathway into national development and to better understand existing means of implementation.
The High-Level Political Forum of the SAMOA Pathway Preparatory Meeting took place from October 30th to November 1st. Throughout the forum, the delegates shared the progress achieved in their countries and regions and discussed ways to strengthen the implementation and affront challenges, in terms of climate resilience, disaster risk reduction, data collection and analysis, achieving economic and financial sustainability, childhood development, decent work, labour mobility and youth employment, among others. The different interventions and interactive dialogues allowed a rich exchange in which delegates emphasized the need for custom-made solutions, capacity building and strategic partnerships. Concluding with the revision and agreement on the Outcome Document, SIDS reaffirmed their commitment to sustainable development and to the full implementation of the Small Island Developing States Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway.
Side events organized by different bodies of the UN system were a valuable output of the Inter-Regional Meeting. The Samoa based UNDP Office organized side events on “Empowered Civil Society for Sustainable Development”, “Building on 25+ Years of GEF Support for SIDS: What’s next?”, and “IATI Data, Partnership and Financing for Development Analysis”. The last one focused on sharing the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) framework and encouraging its use to track aid flows to improve the availability of comparative data which can be easily accessed and used by donors and stakeholders. Additionally, a fourth UNDP side event was the launch of the Human Development Statistical Update 2018 for SIDS, with the presence of Mr. Thangavel Palanivel, Deputy Director of the Human Development Report Office at UNDP New York and Mr. Bakhodir Burkhanov, UNDP Country Director for 10 Pacific Nations and Head of Policy and Programme for UNDP Pacific Office in Suva, Fiji.
The UN system played an important role in the organization and implementation of the Inter-Regional Preparatory Meeting. It is noteworthy to mention the presence of the United Nations Under Secretary for Economic and Social Affairs, Mr. Liu Zhenmin, who presented his remarks at the openings of the High-Level Forum, Partnership Dialogue and NFPs Meeting; and visited the UN House in Apia and environment and climate change project sites. Ambassador Heidi Schroderus-Fox, Director of the office of UN-OHRLLS, facilitated sessions during the High-Level Forum and intervened in different parts of the NFPs Meeting agenda. The participation of UNDP was led by Mr. Luis Felipe Lopez-Calva, Assistant Secretary General and Regional Director for UNDP Latin America and the Caribbean, who also addressed the participants of the High-Level Forum. Throughout the event, the UN system evidenced its commitment to keep working to support SIDS to achieve their development priorities through partnerships and other means of implementation.
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