UNGA 78: UN Chief commends Samoa’s leadership on vulnerability index

Secretary-General António Guterres (right) meets with Fiame Naomi Mataafa, Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Independent State of Samoa.

The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has commended Samoa’s leadership in advancing the work towards a Multidimensional Vulnerability Index (MVI) and Loss & Damage fund, expressing the full support of the UN system to that end.  In a meeting before the formalities of the UN High Level Political Forum on Development at UNGA 78, SG Guterres welcomed Samoa’s chairmanship of the Alliance of Small Island States and emphasised that women and youth are on the frontlines of the climate fight and must play a role in decision-making and governance.

The Samoa PM, who is also Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Independent State of Samoa, addressed the 2023 SDG Summit on behalf of Alliance of Small Island States during the opening plenary session on September 18th, the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, the SDG Summit, from 18-19 September 2023 during the UN General Assembly high-level week at UN Headquarters, marks the mid-point of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

PM Mata’afa in the AOSIS statement, noted the need for “urgent action on the climate change front – more climate financing; drastic cuts and reduction in greenhouse emissions, 1.5 is non-negotiable, everyone is feeling the mighty impacts of this, but not many of us have what it takes to rebounded from the devastation. This forthcoming COP28 needs to be a game changer, results must emanate from it – Loss and Damage Fund needs to be fully operationalized and financed; we need progressive movement from the Global Stocktake; and States Parties need to enhance NDCs,” she said.

The AOSIS nations also called for “urgent reform of the governance structure and overall working of the international financial architecture. It is time for it to be changed from its archaic approach to finance. We need a system that responds more appropriately to the varied dynamics countries face today; that goes beyond GDP; that takes into account various vulnerabilities and other aspects; that would look to utilize the Multi-Vulnerability Index, Bridgetown Initiative and all other measures that help to facilitate a more holistic and comprehensive insight into a country’s true circumstances. This reform must also allow for a more inclusive and broader participation.”

The Secretary-General and the Prime Minister exchanged views on the need to scale up international support for Samoa’s development and financing needs, particularly climate resilient infrastructure, coastal and marine conservation and restoration and human capital formation. –ENDS/Imagecredit: UN

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