Samoa embraces the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) unanimously adopted by 193 Member States of the United Nations yesterday.
The adoption of this global agenda to end poverty by 2030 was agreed upon at the start of a three-day summit at the UN headquarters in New York, attended by Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi.
Acting Prime Minister Fonotoe Pierre Lauofo voiced Samoa’s support of the SDGs at the launching of the event for Samoa at UN House, Matautu yesterday morning.
The new agenda has been titled: “Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”.
Resident Coordinator of the United Nations, Ms. Lizbeth Cullity said the new development agenda is bold and transformational and includes seventeen goals.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and include new areas of intervention such as the protection of the environment, the creation of decent jobs and the promotion of just and peaceful societies.
In his keynote address, Fonotoe said the Samoan Government will continue to hold to its commitment and support the positive and transformative vision of the Sustainable Development Goals with consistent, prompt and long term action, particularly on climate change.
“In the dawn of the new century Samoa embraced the Millennium Development Goals, and harboured no hesitation in pursuing and achieving them within the stipulated time. We are happy to see that our collective efforts produced the results that are there for everyone to see” said the Acting Prime Minister.
“The most remarkable is that last year, as you all know, Samoa graduated from the status of Least Developed Country to Middle Income Country with great implications in the role that our country plays in the international community.”
But Fonotoe said despite many successes and tremendous progress around the globe, it is evident from the UN Secretary General’s final report on MDGs that the results have been somewhat mixed and uneven.
“While there is much to celebrate about the end results, there are also some key challenges and grey areas that still need to be highlighted,” he said.
Fonotoe said these are the rise of terrorism, violent extremism and armed conflicts pose some of the greatest risks to international peace and development. It is imperative for the international community to defeat the setrends before they compromise all our achievements.
“Inequalities due to geography, gender or disability need to be addressed in order to ensure that no one is left behind in our shared development pursuits. We need to preserve and build on the awareness created by the MDGs to eliminate all forms of disparities.
“The threats of Climate change are too real for the world to remain in denial. Much of our hard-earned development gains are likely to be washed away unless we are able to save our planet through some concrete measures to be put in to effect now or never.”
The Acting Prime Minister also reaffirmed Samoa’s commitment towards the SDGs.
“The agreed outcome of the International Conference on SIDS last year, the SAMOA Pathway, categorically affirmed the commitment of our nation to sustainable development,” he said.
“Hence, is a privilege to be here today to reaffirm this commitment and political will in promoting the vision of the SDGs and moving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development forward.“
He said with the 17 Goals and 169 targets, numbers can be daunting.
“But the good news is that the SDGs build on the gains and lessons we have accrued from the MDGs. And the Millennium Development Goals have shown us how the world can come together around shared aims. It now remains on us to draw inspiration from what we have achieved, and continue to forge ahead to realize the grand blueprint we have laid out to building a more peaceful, inclusive and just world.”
Fonotoe said he wants to see a more resilient country, where every man, woman and child in Samoa enjoys a prosperous life by 2030.
“If we each step up, we can achieve it,” he said.
“So let future generations look back and say that they inherited a better world because – at this critical moment – we did not shrink from our responsibilities.”