Samoa hosts Commonwealth conference

Samoa is hosting the 5th Commonwealth Global Biennial Conference on Small States this week, on the theme of Building Resilience through Disaster Risk Reduction.

One objective of the conference will be to agree on a Commonwealth small states disaster risk management perspective, which the Commonwealth will use in Geneva, at the United Nations Global Forum on Disaster Risk Reduction.

This week, the conference will focus on training for ministries of finance on disaster finance and risk reduction, and also providing spaces for non-state actors to offer solutions to disaster risk management too.

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On Thursday, a special ‘youth breakfast’ event will be had for 15-30 year old's to offer their solutions to ministries and state-actors. Those participants are also full participants of the conference.

The Commonwealth Secretariat, alongside the World Bank held a capacity building training course on Monday and Tuesday for the member states, to help them make best use of the rest of the conference (till the 29th March).

Today (Wednesday), Samoa’s Minister of Finance Sili Epa Tuioti will give the opening remarks at the launch of the official conference, and the beginning of the small states actually sharing their needs when it comes to disaster risk reduction.

The Commonwealth is an association of 53 states, encompassing 2.4 billion people. The Secretariat is focused on development, democracy and peace. 31 of those members are small states, and 24 of those are small island developing states (SIDS) like Samoa.

“At Commonwealth summits, we bring together government leaders whose decisions will have an enduring impact on all citizens. By uniting our member countries in this way, we help to amplify their voices and achieve collective action on global challenges,” the website states.

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