To mark the United Nations Development Programme 50th birthday, UNDP Samoa Multi-Country Office is organizing a parade. The event, that will take place tomorrow Tuesday, March 22nd, aims at celebrating UNDP’s achievements over the last five decades but also raising awareness on the new Sustainable Development Goals.
The Honorable Prime Minister and the Cabinet Members, Government Ministries, Diplomatic Corps, NGOs, private sector, Head of UN Agencies, the media and representatives from seventeen schools throughout the country have been invited.
For the parade, all invitees will assemble at the Police Parking Lot (next to the Apia Fire Station) at 8:30am and then march, lead by the Police band, towards the Government Building. The official ceremony is expected to start at 9:30am and the Honorable Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi will be delivering the keynote speech.
More than 250 students, both from Upolu and Savai’i, will be actively participating in the celebration. A few weeks ago, UNDP provided the selected schools with educational materials on the Sustainable Development Goals and invited them to work on a specific goal. The initiative aimed at helping the students learn and familiarize themselves with the Global Goals. Since then, pupils and teachers, have been debating on how we can translate the SDGs into action. During the ceremony, one representative from each school will be making a short presentation on how best Samoa can work through communities and Government to make the SDGs a reality.
UN Resident Coordinator, Ms. Lizbeth Cullity, highlighted: “The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is broad and complex and now, more than ever, we need to foster participation and engage with all sectors of society.
The SDGs are our last chance to build a more prosperous and peaceful planet for all but if we fail, young children and youth will be the most affected. For that reason, they need to be informed, consulted and contribute to the implementation of the development goals over the next fifteen years.” And then she added: “Youth are full of energy, creativity and talent. I am looking forward to the event and am sure that the students will surprise us with forward-thinking solutions.”
UNDP would like to ackowledge the kind contributions received by Digicel and SSAB as main sponsors of the event. The two businesses provided spot prizes for the young students. The ceremony is expected to end around 12noon and will be followed by a tree planting activity at 3pm at the Vaiala seawall.