Issue. UN USG Wu Leads Planning Mission to Samoa IN THIS. April - May Vol1 Issue 3

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1 April - May Vol1 Issue 3 UN USG Wu Leads Planning Mission to Samoa The United Nations Under-Secretary- General for Economic and Social Affairs, Wu Hongbo led a delegation from the United Nations to meet with the Samoan government in Apia Samoa. Samoa will host the Small Island Developing States Conference in USG Wu stated As Secretary-General of the Conference, I am thrilled to be here in Apia for our first planning mission. Already, it is very clear to me and to our team that Samoa will be an exemplary host for this important international event. IN THIS Issue 1 Planning Mission 2 Expert Group Meeting Oceans and Seas 3 EGM on SIDS and Post-2015 Agenda 4 Monitoring & Evaluation Framework for MSI This Conference represents an opportunity for Small Island Developing States in all three regions -the Pacific, the Caribbean, and the Atlantic/ Indian Oceans, - to have their voices heard on their priorities, continuing challenges and opportunities, to launch and showcase partnerships. Thanks to the resilience and political stability of the country, its innovative and hardworking people, and its fruitful and so-called transformational partnerships, Samoa is developing in an inclusive and sustainable manner. I congratulate the Prime Minister and Planning Mission Team Apia Samoa the Samoan people for their upcoming graduation from Least Developed Country status. This conference will offer the chance for Samoa to showcase its path to development, as a model for other small island states and an inspiration to the entire international community. Following a meeting with Prime Minister of Samoa Tuilaepa Sa ilele Malielegaoi at the Central Bank of Samoa s conference room on April 3rd, Mr.Wu said that the world should learn from countries like Samoa stating:

2 Page 2 The world should take notice how these countries are dealing with a range of economic, social and environmental issues, including the impacts of climate change, such as rising sea levels and extreme weather events, He added that The Samoa Conference will help guide us all toward a sustainable future. Mr. Wu expressed the United Nations gratitude to Samoa for offering to host the conference. Small island developing States are on the frontlines of sustainable development and despite their unique vulnerabilities, they never shy away from tackling head-on the social, economic and environmental challenges facing their communities, Prime Minister Tuilaepa is extremely pleased about Samoa being chosen as the conference venue he stated: Coincidentally, 2014 holds special significance for Samoa. Barring any natural catastrophes, we will graduate from the category of Least Developed Countries on 1 January that year, We want to underscore that through genuine partnerships with development partners our Small Island Developing State, also a least developed country, is able to markedly lift the socioeconomic situation of our country and the standard of living for our people. U N USG, Wu Hongbo, Prime Minister of Samoa Tuilaepa Sa ilele Malielegaoi Mission team tour the facilities In addition he added the success of meetings should be measured on the quality of the decisions and commitments agreed to, not just on costs and number of participants considerations only. The delegation visited the conference site and had detailed discussions with the subcommittees on conference arrangements, venue, partnerships, ICT, and security. The Mission team was deeply appreciative of the courtesies extended by the Samoan Government, especially the Prime Minister, his colleagues and the National Coordinator.

3 Page 3 DESA-DSD Expert Group Meeting on Oceans, Seas and Sustainable Development: Implementation and follow-up to Rio+20 New York, April 2013 The Expert Group Meeting on Oceans, Seas and Sustainable Development: Implementation and follow-up to Rio+20 was not an intergovernmental meeting, but represented a two-day meeting for information exchange and dialogue among different stakeholders in order to identify perspectives for cooperation to enhance the conservation and sustainable use of oceans, seas and their resources. The Expert Group Meeting aimed to provide an opportunity to engage in discussions on how to implement and follow-up Rio+20 decisions with regard to oceans and seas. After opening remarks by Mr. Nikhil Seth, Director of DESA-DSD, and a keynote address by Ambassador Picco from Monaco, Ambassador Ronald Jumeau, Ambassador for Climate Change and SIDS issues from the Seychelles, spoke about SIDS and oceans while referring to small island developing states, large ocean states and highlighting the great dependence of SIDS on oceans as well as the increased impacts of climate change and human activity on SIDS, which have aggravated their vulnerabilities. In this context, he welcomed the Rio+20 outcome on oceans, while emphasizing the importance of capacity-building in technical, institutional, technological and financial terms and noting some innovative approaches to be explored (e.g. use of marine renewable energy). Ambassador Picco - Monaco & Mr. Nikhil Seth Director Division For Sustainable Development Expert Group Meeting on Oceans and Seas Participants Ms. Elizabeth Thompson, former Minister for Energy and Environment of Barbados and Executive Coordinator for the Rio+20 Conference, spoke about climate change as one of the biggest challenges for SIDS, which is increasing natural disasters and thus destroying livelihoods and infrastructure while having impacts on all three pillars of sustainable development. She emphasized the need to create an action agenda or framework that can deliver at the SIDS Conference 2014 while taking into account the importance of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation and the need for means of implementation, in particular financing. In addition, Mr. Sefanaia Nawadra, Director, Environmental Monitoring and Governance, SPREP spoke about climate change and disaster risk reduction in the Pacific and presented the Pacific SIDS Framework for Action on Climate Change as well as the planned joint regional platform related to climate change and disaster risk reduction which will be established in July The presentations and summary of the Expert Group Meeting will be published in electronic format on the DESA administered United Nations Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform:

4 Page 4 EGM on SIDS and Post-2015 Agenda Ambassador Ronald Jumeau On 23 and 24 April, the Division for Sustainable Development of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs sponsored an Expert Group Meeting on Small Island Developing States and the Post-2015 Development Agenda. This event, held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, gathered experts from a variety of fields relevant to the sustainable development of Small Island Developing States. The participants brought a rich diversity of perspectives to the discussion of SIDS sustainable development issues and their links to the post-2015 development landscape. While the dialogue addressed a variety of key topics, certain themes recurred throughout the sessions. There was a consensus that growth will be central to any post-2015 agenda, and that we must think of growth in new and inclusive ways. Inequality cannot become ingrained. We are not asking for ODA [Official Development Assistance] here, we are now passed that stage, we are not begging, Ronald Jumeau, Ambassador of the Seychelles emphasized. We are saying: how best can we leverage the financing, the support we need beyond 2015, to achieve sustainable development goals without returning to a state where we were very highly indebted. This consensus points to the enhanced emphasis on social issues while acknowledging the real economic imperatives that many SIDS are facing. Growth must be sustainable, especially given the vulnerability of SIDS, and climate change must be addressed with urgency. At the same time, opportunities must be expanded, creating opportunities for youth, women and others, stimulating the local economy and small enterprises, for sustainable progress. Ambassador Jumeau pointed out that though many SIDS are officially classified as middle income countries, this designation does not tell the whole story. In particular, he focused on two aspects of their vulnerability- -their high levels of debt and the risks presented by extreme weather events. High levels of debt hinder economic growth and discourage foreign investment. And every violent storm, occurring with increasing frequency due to climate change, brings with it the potential to wipe out any economic growth and development that a small island state has managed to achieve. The world must acknowledge the precariousness of SIDS sustainable development and seek ways, through concessional financing and other means, to strengthen and support it. This two day event began Tuesday morning with opening remarks from Ms. Hiroko Morita-Lou Chief of Small Island Developing States Unit followed by the guest speaker Ambassador Ronald Jumeau of Seychelles. The program consisted of five sessions. Session I - Critical Issues and Priorities for Small Island Developing States Session II - Beyond 2015: Entry Points for SIDS Session III - Monitoring and Accountability Framework and Mechanisms. Session IV- Role of Partnerships as Engagement Mechanisms. Session V Key Messages and Recommendations Ambassador Feturi of Samoa stated during the meeting We need partnerships for SIDS to achieve our sustainable development goals,

5 Page 5 Monitoring & Evaluation of the Mauritius Strategy for Implementation (MSI) Project Steering Committee for EU-funded project: April, Moroni, Comoros The 3rd Project Steering Committee meeting for the EU-funded project: Monitoring & Evaluation of the Mauritius Strategy for Implementation. Ms. Coral Pasisi In the view of the Ambassador, the Samoa conference is to be the launching ground for partnerships. SIDS are not interested in announcing partnerships that may happen ten years down the road but would like to see implementation today and tomorrow. Partnerships do not all need to be at a global or large scale; some can be more effective at the regional, national, or community level. In addition, Mr. Feturi expressed that active follow up and concrete deliverables from the partnership process will be critical. During each session presentations were a followed up with a Q & A and an opportunity for discussion. In addition there were video interviews done by South South News and DESA Communications. Notably three experts were interviewed by South South News: Developed countries, having accepted that they re partly - 75 percent- to be blamed for the existing stock of greenhouse gasses should take the responsibility and leadership in cleaning up their own economy and reducing and cutting back emissions to 1990 levels. Mariama Williams, Senior Research Fellow at South Centre in Geneva said. And furthermore that they would provide financing for developing countries, in particular SIDS and LDC, for those countries to be able to meet their adaptation need. The meeting stressed the importance of capacity building for data collection in SIDS, to enhance its use as a policy tool for monitoring and evaluation of the Mauritius Strategy of Implementation. The outcomes of this expert group meeting will be available shortly on the conference website SIDS2014.org and will feed into the preparations for Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States. In particular, the outcomes will address the fourth objective enumerated in the modalities resolution adopted by the General Assembly at the end of last year: to identify priorities for the sustainable development of SIDS in the elaboration of the post-2015 development agenda. Ms. Liz E.Thompson The objectives of this meeting are to review the progress made on the decisions of the 2nd steering committee; and review and analyse the achievements and progress of the project. To date, this project has developed a draft methodology/tool for M&E of the MSI, known as the Country Vulnerability-Resilience Profile (VRP) which has undergone peer review and undergoing final revisions, and will identify criteria and indicators for assessing country ratings in both the vulnerability and coping capacity dimensions, before piloting the VRP in a few SIDS in the AIMS/IO, Caribbean and Pacific regions. Consultations are ongoing on ground work to secure agreement with selected SIDS for piloting of the methodology and to conduct baseline studies, organise training, and putting mechanisms in place for the actual piloting exercise of the methodology. It is anticipated that results of the piloting phase could be showcased in UN DESA SIDS Unit Ms. Hiroko Morita-Lou, Chief UNHQ, 26th Floor New York, USA Tel:

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