The High-level Meeting for the Mid-term of Progress on the SAMOA Pathway took place in the Trusteeship Council Chamber at UN Headquarters.
As heads of state and government, and ministers, gathered to review progress made in addressing the priorities of small island developing States (SIDS) through the implementation of the SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway, frustration at the slow pace of progress, despite exponentially rising threats, was clearly evident.
Prime Minister Mia Mottley, Barbados, made an impassioned appeal on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) during the opening session. She lamented the lack of progress since the Barbados Programme of Action 25 years ago and reminded participants that the UN Charter commits to respect the right to life. “We have come to this point of time with a selfishness that is unparalleled,” she said.
The opening segment also heard from Jason Momoa, actor, who appealed to leaders to honor their commitments to the Paris Agreement on climate change, warning that humans are the “disease infecting the planet” and that “entire islands are drowning into the sea due to emissions by first world countries.”
The opening segment was followed by two multistakeholder dialogues:
Progress, gaps, and challenges: This session discussed, among other things: gaps in finance, including difficulties in accessing available and affordable funding; the devastating effects of natural disasters; the long-term benefits of investing in resilience; holding big emitters accountable; disaster risk reduction (DRR) and management including through the Sendai Framework for DRR; efforts to reduce the reporting burden on SIDS; and the need for strong institutions to enable SIDS to recover sooner and better after disasters.
Priorities, solutions, and the way forward: This session discussed, among other things, helping SIDS “build back better” in the aftermath of disasters; partnerships; the need for concessional funding and special trade treatment for middle-income countries (MICs) in the Caribbean; “debt for climate adaptation swaps” to fund resilience; and the potential of the blue economy and the digital economy to drive economic growth, development, and employment.
A Political Declaration was adopted during the closing, recognizing progress in areas such as social inclusion, gender equality, peaceful, prosperous, and inclusive societies, as well as in making communities safer. At the same time, it urges international action in a number of areas, including finance, capacity, and institutions.
IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB meeting coverage, provided daily web coverage, reports of each of the Summits and High-level meetings, and a summary and analysis report of the UN Summits Week 2019.
The Trusteeship Council Chamber is filled to capacity as the SAMOA Pathway Review begins.
President Michael Higgins, Ireland
Jason Momoa, Actor
UN Secretary-General António Guterres
Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, Fiji
Vinzealhar Ainjo Kwangin Nen, Youth Speaker, Papua New Guinea
Prime Minister Mia Mottley, Barbados, speaking on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS)
SAMOA Pathway Mid-Term Review: Progress, Gaps, and Challenges
A 'fireside chat' was held to discuss progress, gaps, and challenges in implementing the SAMOA Pathway.
President Danny Faure, Seychelles
Axel van Trotsenburg, World Bank Group
Prime Minister Gaston Browne, Antigua and Barbuda
Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Disaster Risk Reduction
Session moderators Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, Samoa, and Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Norway
Prime Minister Allen Chastanet, Saint Lucia
President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, Maldives
Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General, UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
Antonio Rivas Palacios, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Paraguay
SAMOA Pathway Mid-Term Review: Priorities, Solutions, and the Way Forward
Prime Minister Eugene Rhuggenaath, Curaçao, and Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Singapore, moderated the session.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya
Achim Steiner, Administrator, UN Development Programme (UNDP)
Prime Minister Andrew Holness, Jamaica
Antha Williams, Bloomberg Philanthropies
Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, Palestine, speaking on behalf of the G-77/China
Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, Uganda, speaking on behalf of the African States
Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary, UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC)
Patrick Paul Walsh, University College Dublin, and Civil Society Representative
Paul Herbert Oquist Kelley, Nicaragua
Julian King, European Commission
View of the dais during the closing session.
Fekitamoeloa Katoa 'Utoikamanu, Under-Secretary-General, High Representative for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries, and SIDS
Liu Zhenmin, Under-Secretary-General, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA)
The Mid-Term Review of the SAMOA Pathway High-level Political Declaration is adopted by acclamation.
Around the Venue
President Michael Higgins, Ireland; UN Secretary-General António Guterres; and Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, President, UN General Assembly
Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, Fiji, with UN Secretary-General António Guterres
Amina J. Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary-General
Peter Thomson, UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for the Ocean
Ariel Rojas, Transdiaspora Network
Sharon Ikeazor, Minister of Environment, Nigeria
Inger Andersen, Executive Director, UN Environment Programme (UNEP)
Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Norway
Lois Young, Belize
Ian Fry, Tuvalu
The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) team covering the UN High-Level Summits: Anju Sharma, India/UK; Cleo Verkuijl, the Netherlands/Zimbabwe; Laura Bullon, Switzerland/Spain; Natalie Jones, New Zealand; Faye Leone, US; and Kiara Worth, South Africa.
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