Honourable Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi, Prime Minister of Samoa
H.E Ali’ioaiga Feturi Elisaia, Permanent Representative of Samoa to the UN
Mr. Liu Zhenmin, Under Secretary General, DESA
Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates,
It is an honour for me to speak to you this morning as the Chair of the Alliance of Small Island State (AOSIS). Let me express my gratitude to the Government and people of Samoa for hosting this inter-Regional Preparatory Meeting for the Midterm Review of the SAMOA pathway, and for your warm welcome and hospitality.
A lot has changed since we adopted the Samoa Pathway. Since then we have adopted the Disaster Risk Reduction strategy, the Addis Agenda for Financing for Development, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and indeed, the Paris Agreement on climate change.
These were all very encouraging developments at global level to galvanise support for sharing a future that is more sustainable, more climate friendly. We are also witnessing a change in the behaviour of some countries, to walk away from multilateral framework that we forged so successfully in 2015. We hope that these countries will return to the multilateral approach to overcome the challenges of our time; we are all in this together. We can overcome that by remaining together as well.
While a lot has changed, what have not changed, since our last meeting in Samoa, is the vulnerabilities of small island developing States.
Since then more SIDS have faced disaster that wiped away years of developments progress, and reduced their ability to build resilience.
Since then, the space for SIDS to access development financing has been reduced significantly, and as a result, the abilities of these countries to build resilient infrastructure has been reduced.
And since the 2014 Samoa meeting, global warming has accelerated, as the last report of the IPCC shows, and have caused significant damages, not only to the small amount of land in SIDS, but also to the marine life, which provide an important source of economic livelihood for the SIDS communities.
It is against this background that we are meeting here today, to review the progress that we have achieved, the challenges that we continue to face, and evaluate the pathway forward; the pathway that we wish to recommend to Mid-Term review Meeting in New York in 2019.
In the last few months, we have held three regional meeting. The outcome documents of these meeting highlight the challenges that SIDS face in realising the commitments that were made here in Samoa in 2014. The regional documents also crystallise outstanding performances that some SIDS have registered, particularly, in building their structural resilience.
The success of these endeavours shows that there is a need for SIDS to believe in their own ability, to celebrate their own successes, and to steer the journey forward to shape their own destiny.
To be able to do that, we need to forge strong partnerships with countries and organisations that have the resources that we don’t.
I am confident that the partnership dialogue that we had yesterday, create space for endeavours that are mutually beneficial.
The PRs and the Working Group Members of AOSIS countries have worked very hard in New York in the last few weeks to prepare a document that we can present to the Mid-Term Review next year. We hope to be able to adopt the document, and with a focus on accelerating its implementation.
While we stress the importance of strengthening global support and means of implementation for our goals, it is also incumbent on us to be our own champions and our own advocates. Just as we paved the way for the international community in 2014, it is my hope that a successful, meaningful and impactful mid-term review will again guide the global community.
This review is an opportunity for us to strategically analyze the gaps and challenges that remain, to identify new areas of concern and to share best practices and lessons learnt with our island communities.
I also recognize the presence of our developed partners who have come to support us once again on this journey. We thank you for your continued support and solidarity, and we look forward to strengthening our bonds over these couple of days, in order to provide a better tomorrow for our citizens and for the generations to come
Let me once again express our appreciation to the government and people of Samoa for facilitating this important meeting and for their incredible hospitality. I wish you all a very successful meeting
Faafetai! I thank you.