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Tonga hosts UN regional meeting for small islands

News 20 Jun 2018

Officials from small island developing States in the Pacific region are meeting in Nuku’alofa to review progress in implementing the SAMOA Pathway - the dedicated programme of action for small island developing States (SIDS).

The venue is the new Taufa'ahau Tupou IV Domestic Wharf Terminal on Vuna Road.

Tonga's Prime Minister Hon. Samuela ‘Akilisi Pohiva declared the meeting open this morning and said the gathering was at a critical juncture in terms of our common interests in the sustainable development of our islands. It was the 5th year since the world came together in Samoa in 2014 and endorsed the SAMOA Pathway, "it is critical that we recall the mandate of the Conference," he said.

Ms. Fekitamoeloa Katoa ‘Utoikamanu, High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, said the meeting helps to chart the future direction of sustainable development for island nations in the region and Tonga has played a critical role in this process.

The three-day meeting from 19-21 June will discuss achievements, challenges and gaps in the first five years of implementing the SAMOA Pathway. They aim to agree on an outcome for accelerating implementation in the region.

She said that substantive discussions are expected to take place in areas including social inclusion, the environment, and equitable economic growth, as well as addressing gaps in implementation through partnerships. Addressing linkages between the implementation of the SAMOA Pathway and the wider 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Sustainable Development Goals are also on the meeting agenda.

Various stakeholders from governments, private sector and civil society will also have dialogues to assess the status of SIDS-specific partnerships which were launched at the 2014 SIDS Conference in Samoa.

In a statement this evening the UN-OHRLLS said that the Midterm Review of the SAMOA Pathway will take place in 2019 to review all major commitments of the last five years through a SIDS lens – from the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals, to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Paris Climate Change Agreement, the New Urban Agenda, and the outcomes of the 2017 Ocean Conference - and how living up to these commitments will help accelerate the implementation of the SAMOA Pathway.

The regional meeting is being hosted by the Tonga government and co-organised by the United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs with support from the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific and the United Nations and the United Nations Development Programme.

Source: Matangi Tonga