Opening Remarks by Lizbeth Cullity, UN Resident Coordinator at the Regional Meeting on Implementation of Pacific Roadmap for Sustainable Development

Nov 1, 2017

Peseta Noumea Simi, Representative of the Pacific Islands Forum Chair

The Representative of the Secretary General of the Forum Secretariat 

Senior Government Officials of Forum Member States

Members of the Diplomatic Corps

UN Heads of Agencies

Heads of CROP agencies and their Representatives

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

Thank you for the opportunity to speak this morning on behalf of the United Nations Country Team in the Pacific, representing some 22 UN agencies, funds and programmes that work in the region. 

The UN is honoured to be a partner in supporting the 2030 Pacific Roadmap for Sustainable Development, which was adopted by Pacific Islands Forum Leaders at their meeting in Apia this past September. I commend you all for this achievement, and I am very pleased that the UN was well represented in this work. 

I also want to mention that Forum Leaders, under the leadership of the Prime Minister of Samoa as the Forum Chair, met with UN Secretary-General Guterres in the margins of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly in New York. They discussed the Blue Pacific and the 2030 Pacific Roadmap for Sustainable Development, which was as I am certain you recall – developed by the Pacific to ensure coherent implementation and accountability for global commitments, such as the 2030 Agenda and the SAMOA Pathway. 

So we now must focus on implementation. 

The Leaders have called on the UN to support the Pacific’s interest in strengthening implementation of this Roadmap, particularly through the development of Pacific-relevant statistics as well as more meaningful accountability measures for partnerships under the SAMOA Pathway. This resonates well with our next five-year plan, the United Nations Pacific Strategy 2018-2022. 

The UNPS is our response to a call from Forum Leaders and UN member States for the United Nations to “further improve the UNDAF as a strategic framework and to simplify the UNDAF process to reduce the workload of national Governments and other stakeholders” (2013 GA res. 67/226, QCPR). 

The UNPS is tailored to each of the 14 Pacific country’s national priorities. It is also aimed at complementing and supporting the continued efforts of your respective Governments under six outcome areas  to enhance the resilience of our people and communities, including towards the achievement of the SDGs, the SAMOA Pathway, the Pacific Framework for Regionalism, and other international and regional commitments. 

Beyond the evolution of our own UNDAF, the UN system itself is also undergoing necessary reforms encompassing changes to the architecture of the peace and security pillar, the UN development system, and overall management support to help position the UN to deliver with high impact on the 2030 Agenda. A series of consultations with UN member States continue in New York under the leadership of the UN Secretary-General, to discuss what works and what could change or improve to ensure that the UN system engages the best ideas, practices and experience from all parts of the system to reposition itself to deliver on the 2030 Agenda. 

So – from today, focusing on the implementation of the Roadmap, we need to ensure that the foundation from which we leave no one behind, a foundation which is inclusive, ensures a rights-based approach, and focuses on durable partnerships, is both robust and enduring. 

I think we all know what needs to be done and that partnerships are vital to this work.  I would like to acknowledge our partnerships with all Pacific governments, the Forum Secretariat, SPC, FFA and SPREP, our development partners, and national and regional CSOs and private sector in this regard. 

Cross-sectoral cooperation and collaboration within and amongst governments, including with non-government partners and the private sector, is essential.  

Your resolve to advance this work is exceptional. And it is timely too that we are all meeting today on the eve of the COP 23 in Bonn. There are no easy short cuts to durable sustainable development, but we can work together to vigorously pursue the successful achievement of the SDGs, and at the global level, the full implementation of the Paris Agreement, and to raise our ambitions to tackle climate change.

Let me now wish Fiji’s leadership and your work in COP 23 much success, including our work on the Roadmap and the UNPS going forward. 

Fa’afetai tele. 


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