Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, attended the European Union’s (EU) Europe Days of Development forum in Brussels, Belgium at the beginning of the month.
He was invited to provide an update on the implementation of the S.A.M.O.A Pathway in the context of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, in his capacity as Chair of the 3rd UN SIDS Conference held in Samoa in 2014.
The Prime Minister’s update is expected to assist the EU in charting its future support for small islands developing states through the African Caribbean Pacific (A.C.P) Group.
Referring to the S.D.Gs, the Prime Minister Tuilaepa said, “the complexity behind the need to effectively communicate 17 goals, 169 targets and a host of indicators will challenge the political will for commitments at country, region and global levels. But there is opportunity for resource-constrained countries like Samoa, to adapt and localise the SDGs to suit our context.
“Pacific S.I.D.S including Samoa strongly support the overarching objectives of Agenda 2030 namely; eradication of poverty, and the healing of the health of the planet, through attaining sustainable development by 2030 without leaving any one behind.”
He also highlighted the opportunity to align S.D.Gs to national strategies for sustainable development.
“The milestones achieved in adopting the SDGs, the 2030 agenda, the Paris Agreement and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda 2015 and earlier, the S.A.M.O.A Pathway, mean that we need to fast track implementation.
“Each country should look to localize and integrate these agendas into its national strategic sustainable development plans. Samoa has been able to mainstream these global processes in its current national strategy for sustainable development, SDS 2016-2020 with its theme of ‘accelerating sustainable development and creating opportunities for all.’
“The vision, values and objectives of the SDGs are fully aligned with those of the S.A.M.O.A Pathway – and the Framework for Pacific Regionalism - endorsed by Pacific Islands Forum Leaders in July 2014.
The S.D.Gs can therefore boost the implementation of these regional frameworks through the establishment of specific targets, monitoring and evaluation systems, and financial mechanisms, all of which are essential building blocks for partnerships.
“Achieving sustainable development rests on genuine, effective and inclusive partnerships that operate on mutual trust and accountability and hold each stakeholder as equal.”
The funding component was also noted, with Tuilaepa calling for the urgent mobilization of financial resources to support S.D.G implementation.
“They must be accessible and provided at scale. Scaled-up climate finance presents S.I.D.S with opportunities to leverage larger shares of development assistance, given their disproportionate exposure to impacts of climate change.
“Accessing public sources of finance is a persistent challenge for us. We are often told that our projects are too small to be funded. Other times, we are blocked by burdensome application and reporting requirements. Addressing these barriers must be an integral part of partnership arrangements.”
Crucially, the Prime Minister highlighted the importance of knowing that “there is no one-size-fits-all solution. This should be one of the key considerations of this global partnership,” he said.
A Financing Agreement for the Water and Sanitation Sector and climate change support of Euro 20.2million under the 11th EDF and delivered through budget support was also signed between the Prime Minister and the EU Commissioner of Development.