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Thematic review: Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world – taking forward the SAMOA Pathway

This session responds to operative paragraph 14 and 16 of UNGA Resolutions 70/202 and 71/225 respectively, noting that the HLPF shall devote adequate time at its 2017 meeting and at its future meetings to continue to address the sustainable development challenges facing small island developing States. Session 9 will start with a keynote speaker addressing 2030 Agenda and SAMOA Pathway in general. Rest of the discussions will focus on Goals 1, 2 and 3. In addition to a general assessment of the state of implementation of the SAMOA Pathway, this session, featuring a panel of experts on challenges facing SIDS, will hear and discuss updates on progress made in addressing non-communicable diseases in SIDS. The burden and threat of communicable and non-communicable diseases remains a serious global concern and constitute one of the major challenges for SIDS in the twenty-first century. Equally vital is the continued need to support the right of everyone, including SIDS to have access to safe, sufficient and nutritious food, the eradication of hunger and the provision of livelihoods for all at all ages. This session will also hear and discuss an update on progress made in the development of the Global Action Programme on food and nutrition security in SIDS.

Proposed Guiding Questions

  • How do we ensure that the three dimensions of sustainable development are synergized in our national development processes? (National development plan; institutional framework for SDGs/SAMOA; national budgeting, etc.) And what are the critical challenges to implementing an integrated development process and how can they be tackled?
  • How can the GAP be mainstreamed and resources best be mobilized for implementation of the GAP, What challenges or risks are envisaged with effective implementation of the GAP
  • How can we best strengthen health systems to address NCDs focusing in particular on primary health care and universal health coverage and how can SIDS best improve coverage, access and quality of care for NCD management?

Presiding Officer:

  • H.E. Mr. Cristián Barros Melet, Permanent Representative of Chile to the United Nations, Vice-president of Economic and Social Council

Moderator:

  • H.E. Ms. Penelope Beckles, Permanent Representative of Trinidad & Tobago to the United Nations

Panellist:

  • H.E. Shahine Robinson, Minister of Labour and Social Security, Jamaica
  • H.E. Dr. Tuitama Leao Talalelei Tuitama, Minister of Health, Samoa
  • Ms. Maria Helena Semedo, Deputy-Director General, Food and Agriculture Organization

Lead discussant:

  • Dr. Paula Vivili, Director, Public Health Division, the Pacific Community (SPC)

Interactive discussion

Biographies
Dr. Paula Vivili
Director, Public Health Division, the Pacific Community (SPC)
Dr. Paula Vivili

Director, Public Health Division, the Pacific Community (SPC)

Dr Vivili is the Director of Public Health for the Pacific Community (SPC) based in Noumea, New Caledonia.
SPC is the principal scientific and technical organisation in the Pacific region, proudly supporting development since 1947. It is an international development organisation owned and governed by its 26 country and territory members.
Prior to joining SPC, Dr Vivili had worked for the Ministry of Health in the Kingdom of Tonga. His area of primary expertise is non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and he has been involved in numerous national and regional initiatives to address NCDs.
Dr Vivili also provides counsel for various regional research and advisory groups, currently serving on the Pacific Health Research Committee, the Centre for the Prevention of Obesity and Non-Communicable Diseases Reference Group, the Pacific Reference Group as well as the Commonwealth Advisory Committee on Health.

H.E. Dr. Tuitama Leao Talalelei Tuitama
Minister of Health, Samoa
H.E. Dr. Tuitama Leao Talalelei Tuitama

Minister of Health, Samoa

Hon Tuitama Dr. Leao Talalelei Tuitama is the Minister of Health for Samoa and is a Medical Physician by Profession.
During the 1990s, prior to entering politics, Hon. Dr. Tuitama was the Head of Medical Unit of the Samoa National Referral Hospital in Apia and on leaving the public service practiced for many years as a Private Medical Practitioner in Samoa.

Hon. Dr Tuitama has represented Samoa at numerous regional and international meetings over the last decade.

He is a passionate advocator against the importation of junk food with little nutrition value and has been a very vocal supporter in advocating at many national, regional and international forums against the risks to health of alcohol abuse and tobacco use and the dangers to health associated with poor nutrition, obesity and lack of physical activity.

More recently:

Hon. Dr. Tuitama represented Samoa at the first Global Ministerial Conference on Healthy Lifestyles and Non-Communicable Disease Control, organised by the World Health Organization and the Russian Federation in April 2011.

He also represented Samoa at the High-Level Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases in New York (2011) and addressed the UN Assembly on the devastating impact of NCDs in Samoa and the importance of putting the Social Determinates of Health and, human health and well being, firmly at the centre of all trade and economic development policies.

H.E. Ms. Penelope Beckles
Permanent Representative of Trinidad & Tobago to the United Nations
H.E. Ms. Penelope Beckles

Permanent Representative of Trinidad & Tobago to the United Nations

A practising attorney since 1988, Ambassador Pennelope Beckles has held a number of ministerial portfolios in Trinidad and Tobago, including Minister for Public Utilities and the Environment, from 2003 to 2007, and Minister for Culture and Tourism from 2002 to 2003.  From 2001 to 2002, she was concurrently Minister for Social Development, Minister for Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs and Minister for Health.
Having first entered Parliament in 1995 as an Opposition Senator, she served as Leader of Opposition Business in Trinidad and Tobago’s Senate from 2010 to 2013 and its first female Deputy Speaker of the Parliament from 2007 to 2010.
A past student of St Joseph’s Convent, San Fernando, Ambassador Beckles attended the University of the West Indies, at both the St. Augustine, Trinidad and Cave Hill, Barbados, campuses where she graduated with honours. She then graduated from the Hugh Wooding Law School.
As a resident of her local hometown of Arima, Ambassador Beckles is deeply involved in a number of community and national organizations, including the Arima Foundation for the Advancement of Women and Children and the Rape Crisis Centre of Trinidad and Tobago, where she served as President. Ambassador Beckles is also a member of the UNICEF Board in Trinidad, as well as the Commonwealth Institute for Women in Leadership.
On 22 August 2016, she presented her credentials to then UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon as the Permanent Representative of Trinidad and Tobago to the United Nations.
Special interests include issue relating to women and children, health, and the environment.
Born on 12 September 1961, she is married and has four step-children.

H.E. Shahine Robinson
Minister of Labour and Social Security, Jamaica
H.E. Shahine Robinson

Minister of Labour and Social Security, Jamaica

Shahine Robinson is Member of Parliament for North East St. Ann, Jamaica; she has served the people of that constituency since 2001.

Currently, she is the Minister of Labour and Social Security appointed in March, 2016. Prior appointments have included, Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister 2007, with the responsibility for Local Government added in July 2011; Minister of Transport and Works 2011.

Mrs. Robinson, who hails from Claremont St. Ann, is a past student of The Immaculate Conception High School and the Miami Dade College where she earned an associate’s degree and a diploma in Marketing and Public Relations respectively.

Ms. Maria Helena Semedo
Deputy-Director General, Food and Agriculture Organization
Ms. Maria Helena Semedo

Deputy-Director General, Food and Agriculture Organization

Maria Helena Semedo, a leading expert in global development issues, has worked in public service for over thirty years.
Currently serving as Deputy Director-General for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Ms Semedo is an economist and politician from Cape Verde.
A strong advocate on the importance of food security, nutrition and sustainable agriculture as the key to tackling the root causes of hunger and poverty, Ms Semedo helps give voice to the most vulnerable people and communities around the world, especially the rural poor and women.
Before taking up her current duties in 2013, Maria Helena gained valuable experience and insight in Africa, first as FAO Representative in Niger, then as Deputy Regional Representative for Africa and Subregional Coordinator for West Africa.
Ms Semedo started her career in 1984 as an economist for the Cape Verde Ministry of Planning and Cooperation and later at the Bank of Cape Verde. Two years after becoming Secretary of State for Fisheries, in 1993 she was appointed Minister for Fisheries, Agriculture and Rural Affairs – the first ever women Minister in Cape Verde. After serving as Minister for Tourism, Transportation and Marine Affairs from 1995-1998, she became Member of Parliament, a position she held until 2003. During this time she also represented her country in many international organizations.

Statements
Statements
Dr. Paula Vivili, Director, Public Health Division, Pacific Community (SPC)
H.E. Dr. Tuitama Leao Talalelei Tuitama, Minister of Health, Samoa
H.E. Shahine Robinson, Minister of Labour and Social Security, Jamaica
Ms. Maria Helena Semedo, Food and Agriculture Organization
Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS)