This year, the United Nations Development Programme (U.N.D.P) celebrates its 50th anniversary.
To mark the occasion, U.N.D.P hosted a Ministerial Meeting on February 24th at the UN Headquarters in New York.
The event was held by Helen Clark, U.N.D.P Administrator and the UN Secretary-General Tupua Ban Ki-moon also attended.
More than 160 Ministers, Heads of Government and other senior officials from around the world participated in the high-level debates, discussed about U.N.D.P’s role and charted a course for the future of global development.
Samoa is joining the global celebrations and to commemorate the 50th birthday, U.N.D.P is organising a parade on Friday, March 18th.
The Prime Minister and the Cabinet Members, Government Ministries, Diplomatic Corps, NGOs, private sector, Head of UN Agencies and the media have been invited.
More than 250 students from seventeen schools throughout the country will also take part in the celebration.
The event is an opportunity to look back at U.N.D.P’s history and celebrate its achievements but also to look towards the future and highlight the role that the organization can play in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the new Sustainable Development Goals (S.D.Gs) adopted by the UN General Assembly in September last year.
This agenda, is the most ambitious effort on development in world history and is what will guide UNDP’s - and the broader UN System - work for the next fifteen years.
For the parade, all invitees will assemble at the Police Parking Lot (next to the Apia Fire Station) at 9:00am and then march, lead by the Police band, towards the Government Building. The Official Ceremony is expected to start at 10:00am. The Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi will be delivering the keynote speech.
UN Resident Coordinator Lizbeth Cullity highlights: “The Government of Samoa requested the UN to focus its efforts on youth and therefore, engaging with young people in the implementation of the new Sustainable Development Goals, is a top priority for us.
This upcoming event is the first attempt to working with students on issues that are relevant to them and to their future.”
Ms. Cullity added: “Young people can play a critical role in reaching these very ambitious goals and help us build a better world.
We assigned one Sustainable Development Goal to each school and provided educational materials for the students to learn about the new Agenda and discuss how the Government, the United Nations, the development partners and the civil society should work together to make the Goals a reality at local level. We look forward to seeing their active participation and listening to their proposals.”
As part of the official ceremony, each school will be making a short presentation on how best Samoa can work through Government and communities to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Digicel and SSAB are the main sponsors of the event and UNDP would like to acknowledge their kind contributions.
The celebration is expected to end around 12noon.