(3 November 2017, Apia, Samoa) The Government of Samoa, the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and the UN system hosted Pacific Islands Country Representatives in Apia on 1 and 2 November to discuss the delivery of the Pacific Roadmap for Sustainable Development (PRSD). The Roadmap was endorsed by Forum Leaders at the 48th Pacific Islands Forum meeting held in Apia in September.
In welcoming delegates, the Chair of the Pacific SDGs Taskforce and CEO for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Samoa, Peseta Noumea Simi highlighted the importance of gathering as a region to learn from peer experiences. “These regional meetings are a good opportunity for us to share and learn from each other. The development of the Pacific Roadmap for Sustainable Development has been another example of effective collaboration between all stakeholders involved and we would like to acknowledge this,” said Ms Simi.
Peseta also noted that “the PRSD reflects the Pacific region’s collective approach to achieving all of our sustainable development goals and ambitions. It is our Pacific approach to ensuring that we leave nobody behind. As Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum, Samoa is committed to ensuring that the Roadmap is owned and delivered by everyone, and that we work as one region to achieve these goals where there is benefit in doing so”.
The regional meeting focused on the implementation of the PRSD, and consolidation of the Pacific region’s position on the key themes and priorities that should be adopted at the 2018 High Level Political Forum in New York.
Discussions also focused on the reporting arrangements and composition of the 2018 Pacific Sustainable Development Report, as its links to the Annual Asia-Pacific SDGs Report and the UN Secretary General’s SDGs Reports.
UNESCAP and the Government of Samoa also co-hosted a one-day National Workshop on Voluntary National Reviews (VNR) on 31 October. This provided an opportunity for Pacific countries intending to report to the High-Level Political Forum in the coming years to learn from the experience of Samoa, being one of the first countries to submit its first VNR in 2016. It was also an occasion for other countries to share their progress in readying themselves to undertake a VNR in the future, and for participants in general to discuss opportunities for assistance available from peers and partners.
In delivering the keynote address at the National VNR meeting, UN Resident Coordinator Lizbeth Cullity congratulated Samoa for its courage in being the first Small Island Developing State to present its VNR. Ms Cullity also encouraged Pacific countries to follow Samoa’s example, as well as commit to starting their own Voluntary National Reviews.
A High-Level Regional SDGs Taskforce meeting was held on 3 November following the conclusion of these meetings.
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