P.M. Tuilaepa takes up climate financing with U.N. Secretary General

Climate financing should be available to small island states regardless of their political and income status, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi has said.

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres met Pacific Island leaders in his first official trip to the region last week, and used the opportunity to highlight the burden of climate change, and to tell the world to take the issue more seriously.

In his official meeting with Mr. Guterres in Suva, Fiji last week, Prime Minister Tuilaepa said small islands states are vulnerable to climate change regardless of their political situations or their gross national income per capita.

Mr. Guterres will host a Climate Action Summit in New York in September, which Tuilaepa said should be an opportunity to ensure climate change efforts around the world reinforce each other.

In their meeting, Tuilaepa said Samoa is ready to host a Pacific Pulse Lab in partnership with U.N. Global Pulse, with funding underway from Australia, Ireland, and the Commonwealth Fund, and in response, Mr Guterres has asked the U.N. Resident Coordinator Simona Marinescu to speed up the opening of the Samoan lab.

U.N. Global Pulse is an attempt to use big data to improve sustainable development and humanitarian action. The Pacific Pulse Lab would be the regional division of the project, which would harness data for local challenges like climate change, natural disaster and governance.

Global Pulse currently has labs in Jakarta, Kampala and New York, researching and using big data to improve responses to online hate speech, refugee resettlement, disaster management and much more.

The meeting between Mr Guterres and Tuilaepa also touched on the Spotlight Initiative of financing action against violence towards women, and the request by the North Pacific Island nations of a separate Multi Country Office of the U.N. and the mid-term review of the SAMOA Pathway.

Tuilaepa also mentioned Samoan Police Officers are prepared to expand support to U.N. peacekeeping missions. To date, Samoa has sent officers to South Sudan, Liberia, Sudan, and Timor Leste, as well as on a non-U.N mission to the Solomon Islands.

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