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Making the 2030 Agenda deliver for SIDS, building on the SAMOA Pathway
Thursday, 14 July 2016
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Trusteeship Chamber

Official meeting

Biographies (A-Z)
Building on the SAMOA Pathway, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development called for special attention to Small Island Developing States (SIDS), as they face unique vulnerabilities in their sustainable development. They are faced with various challenges due to their small size, remoteness, narrow resource and export base, and exposure to global environmental challenges and external economic shocks. SIDS are on the frontline experiencing the effects of climate change and they have limited financial resources and capacity to cope with these physical, social and economic impacts.

In the SAMOA Pathway, Member States recognized that “the adverse impacts of climate change compound existing challenges in small island developing States and have placed additional burdens on their national budgets and their efforts to achieve the sustainable development goals” . This was reaffirmed by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Oceans play a central role in the culture of SIDS, and at the same time is tightly linked to their economies. The devastating climate change impacts on oceans, such as sea-level rise, ocean acidification and the increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, make SIDS more vulnerable, as most island lives and livelihoods are built on oceans.

It is important to ensure the synergies between the SAMOA Pathway and the 2030 Agenda, focusing on strengthening the resilience of SIDS, in order to achieve their sustainable development and to eradicate poverty. Many SIDS are archipelagos with islands scattered within a country. It is therefore crucial to have a robust mechanism for coordination and strengthened means of implementation to ensure that no one is left behind. This session will identify synergies between the 2030 Agenda and the SAMOA Pathway and the best possible ways to overcome special challenges of SIDS in achieving their sustainable development.

Possible questions for discussion:
  1. What are the most important inter-linkages between the 2030 Agenda and the SAMOA Pathway?
  2. What are the major challenges and needs for SIDS in the implementation of both of the 2030 Agenda and SAMOA Pathway?
  3. How can national institutions and means of implementation be strengthened in SIDS to deliver the 2030 Agenda while ensuring that no one is left behind?

Chair:
  • H.E. Mr. Sven Jürgenson, Permanent Representative of Estonia to the UN and Vice President of ECOSOC

Moderator:
  • Ms. H. Elizabeth Thompson, Former UN Assistant Secretary General and Executive Coordinator for Rio+20 and former Minister for Energy and Environment of Barbados

Speakers:
  • Mr. Anote Tong, Former President of the Republic of Kiribati
  • Mr. David Smith, Coordinator at the University of Consortium for Small Island States, and the Institute for Sustainable Development, the University of the West Indies

Lead discussants:
  • Ms. Justina Langidrik, Chief Secretary of the Republic of the Marshall Islands
  • Ms. Kate Brown, Executive Director of the Global Island Partnership
Biographies (alphabetical order)
Mr. Anote Tong
Former President of the Republic of Kiribati
Mr. Anote Tong

Former President of the Republic of Kiribati

Mr. Tong served as the President of the Republic of Kiribati from 2003 to 2015. Since coming to office as Kiribati's 'Beretitenti' or 'President' Anote Tong - whilst also undertaking the cabinet role of his nation's foreign-minister - has defined a key responsibility of his leadership to be raising within all international fora the circumstances of climate change circumstances that confront his people, their culture and the peoples and cultures of other climate-vulnerable low-lying populations. His special concern has been to not allow the developed nations - whose the elevated levels of consumption have most contributed to anthropomorphic climate change - to escape their responsibility for the damage these green-house gas emissions continue to cause in places like Kiribati - where those who have least contributed to climate change are forced to pay the highest price for its impact.

Mr. David Smith
Coordinator at the University of Consortium for Small Island States
Mr. David Smith

Coordinator at the University of Consortium for Small Island States

Dr. Smith has 28 years’ post-doctoral experience in academia, civil society, the private sector and the United Nations; focussing on Conservation, Energy, Climate Change, Environmental Financing and Disaster Risk Reduction. He is the Coordinator of the Institute for Sustainable Development at The University of the West Indies which focuses on addressing Sustainable Development problems in Caribbean SIDS. He focuses on disaster risk reduction and the Green Economy. Before moving to the University, he was the Assistant Resident Representative in the Jamaica Office of UNDP responsible for the programme in Environment, Climate Change and Disaster Management. From 1994-2000, he was an IUCN Regional Councillor for North America and the Caribbean and the Chair of the Business Committee of IUCN’s Council. Dr Smith served on the Board of the Caribbean Conservation Association for five years and was President in 1995.

Ms. H. Elizabeth Thompson
Former UN Assistant Secretary General and Executive Coordinator for Rio+20 and former Minister for Energy and Environment of Barbados
Ms. H. Elizabeth Thompson

Former UN Assistant Secretary General and Executive Coordinator for Rio+20 and former Minister for Energy and Environment of Barbados

Ms. H. Elizabeth Thompson is a consultant. She is a former Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations, where she held responsibility as Executive Coordinator of the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development, 2012. In addition to her wider role in Rio+20 for the UN, she conceptualized and led the development of the Higher Education Sustainability Initiative which attracted the "membership" of over 300 universities from more than 50 countries and several UN agencies. Ms. Thompson was an elected parliamentarian and Minister of Government of Barbados from 1994 to 2008, during which she held several portfolios, including Energy and Environment. In that capacity, her development and leadership in 2007, of the first National Green Economy Policy in the Americas is regarded as ground breaking. Her work in climate change and sustainable development was recognized with the Champion of the Earth Award 2008. She currently works in the areas of energy, environment, SDGs, sustainable development and SIDS and speaks on development issues all over the world.

Ms. Justina Langidrik
Chief Secretary of the Republic of the Marshall Islands
Ms. Justina Langidrik

Chief Secretary of the Republic of the Marshall Islands

Mrs. Justina Langidrik, Chief Secretary and head of the public service in the Marshall Islands, has worked with the Government of the Marshall Islands public sector for over 30 years. She has 20 years of experience in Health Education where she served as Health Educator and later as Director of Health Education. She assumed the role of Assistant Secretary of Health for Primary Health Care (PHC). She worked progressively within the health sector and assumed leadership of the Ministry of Health as Secretary of Health for more than 10 years.
In 2014, Mrs. Langidrik was appointed as Interim Chief Secretary. As the head of the public service of the Marshall Islands, tasks include oversight of all sectors of the public service of the Marshall Islands, and currently serves as Chairperson for the Budget Coordinating Committee and the National Steering Committee on Public Finance Management (PFM).

The Office of the Chief Secretary leads coordination and implementation of the Joint National Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction Plan for the Marshall Islands, and will lead implementation of the SDGs in country in line with the National Strategic Plan (NSP) and sector plans.

Ms. Kate Brown
Executive Director, Global Island Partnership (GLISPA)
Ms. Kate Brown

Executive Director, Global Island Partnership (GLISPA)

Kate has led the Global Island Partnership since 2009 and is based in Washington, D.C. The main focus of Kate's work is to support the Partnership in promoting priority island issues globally, facilitating the sharing of experiences between island countries and countries with islands, catalyzing island leadership and commitment by facilitating both technical and financial resources to help islands meet their goals and to enable the Partnership's members to work together to build the resilience of island communities. Kate is originally from New Zealand and spent eight years working on island issues at the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) in Apia, Samoa. She also worked in the Western Australian Government on promoting sustainable farming systems in agriculture, and as an Australian Youth Ambassador in Fiji.

Statements
Statements
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Major Group: NGOs