Mobilizing international solidarity, accelerating action and embarking on new pathways to realize the 2030 Agenda and the Samoa Pathway: Small Island Developing States
Wednesday, 8 July 2020
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Virtually (held New York time)

Official meeting

Documentation
Biographies

COVID-19 has exacerbated the existing challenges confronting Small Island Developing States (SIDS) resulting in a new array of challenges which could potentially inhibit the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and SAMOA Pathway.

The COVID-19 pandemic is first a health crisis. With their relatively weaker healthcare services and systems, SIDS require support in order to respond to this crisis. COVID-19 also can have cascading and scarring effects on economies and societal systems, and its economic impact is already hard felt in many countries. Policy responses need to be implemented with great urgency to address immediate challenges, with the ultimate objective to build back better so as to be resilient to future crises and to embark on accelerated progress towards sustainable development.

Significant financial and other support will be necessary to bolster SIDS’ efforts to respond to COVID-19 and boost economic and other resilience. New and innovative financial instruments that incentivizes ex-ante resilience building are required. In this regard, the support of the international multilateral financial community and other multilateral and bilateral partners are necessary to realize the magnitude of resources required at this time.

In addition, there is emphasis on the need for immediate solutions and effective commitments for long-term debt relief for SIDS. Whilst there has been some support for the suspension of debt repayments for IDA eligible countries, most SIDS do not fall into this category. There is a need to address debt relief and restructuring in all SIDS, with greater flexibility in the assessment of developing countries' fiscal situations, and extended credit facilities.

This session will feature resource persons and country representatives from across the three SIDS regions, who will share their challenges, strategies and approaches in response to COVID-19 and for realizing the transformational change necessary for building resilience in these economies. It will also explore the channels of support currently available, identify where gaps exist, and how the required resources can be leveraged from the international community.

Proposed guiding questions:

  • What kinds of policy reforms are required to ensure that SIDS build back better in the aftermath of COVD-19 and remain on track with the implementation of the SAMOA Pathway and the 2030 Agenda?
  • What are the channels of support currently available for such efforts? How can the required resources be leveraged to effectively assist SIDS?
  • What innovative and other financial approaches, including support for debt restructuring and debt relief, are needed to complement international development assistance?
  • How can SIDS’ efforts be best supported to ensure effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda and SAMOA Pathway at national and regional levels?

Chair:

  • H.E. Ambassador Munir Akram, Pakistan, Vice President of ECOSOC

Moderator:

  • Ms. Fekitamoeloa ʻUtoikamanu, High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States

Keynote Speaker:

  • H.E. Mr. Aiyaz Sayed- Khaiyum, Attorney-General, Minister for Economy and Minister responsible for climate change, Fiji

Resource persons:

  • H.E. Mr. Abdulla Shahid, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Maldives
  • Ms. Alicia Barcena, Executive Secretary of ECLAC
  • Ms. Terri Toyota, Head, Sustainable Markets Group, World Economic Forum

Lead discussant:

  • Ms. Karol Alejandra Arambula Carrillo, Executive Director and Founder, MY World Mexico (NGO Major Group)

Followed by interactive discussion

Respondent:

  • H.E. Ms. Marsha Caddle, Minister, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Investment, Barbados
Biographies
H.E. Mr. Abdulla Shahid
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Maldives
H.E. Mr. Abdulla Shahid

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Maldives

The Honourable Abdulla Shahid started his career as a Foreign Service officer in the Maldives Foreign Ministry in 1983. He rose rapidly through the lower and middle management levels to the senior management level, becoming the Director of the International Organizations and Conferences Department.

Impressed by his many skills, talents and administrative capabilities, he was appointed the Executive Secretary to the President of the Maldives (Chief of Staff) in 1995.That he held the post for over 10 years reflects the degree of distinction and diligence of his service. His rise gained further momentum in mid-2005 when he was appointed the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and, just two years later, the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The appointment occurred at a time of sweeping political change in the country following the introduction of a new democratic constitution.

He streamlined the work of the Foreign Ministry and widened the diplomatic reach of the Maldives by opening up new resident diplomatic missions. Praised by many at home and abroad, his efforts enhanced the image of the country despite formidable challenges and a hostile external environment. He vigorously advocates human rights, rights of the Parliamentarians, and measures to halt global warming and climate change. He attended numerous meetings of the UN, the Commonwealth, and the Organization for Islamic Cooperation, the SAARC and the Non-aligned Movement at times as a member and often as the head of the Maldives delegation.

His entry into politics dates back to his appointment as a Member of the President to the Constitutional Assembly in 1994 and to the People’s Majlis the following year. He was elected MP for the Vaavu Atoll constituency in 2000 which seat he retained in the 2005 parliamentary elections. Subsequently, he contested in the first multi-party parliamentary elections in 2009 and secured the seat for Keyodhoo constituency. In the parliamentary elections in 2014, he succeeded in winning a seat from Male’, the capital of the Maldives. In recognition of his skills in leadership, oratory, diplomacy and sagacity, he was elected Speaker of the People’s Majlis on 29 May 2009, creating history as the first ever elected Speaker. He earned the admiration of MPs by skillfully steering the work of the Majlis amid vigorous and not seldom rancorous debates while protecting and promoting the rights and privileges of MPs and the legislature. Hon. Shahid’s association with the Inter-Parliamentary Union began with his parliamentary career. He has attended numerous IPU meetings and events and remains keen to continue his relationship with the IPU.

Having rendered invaluable services to his country for more than 30 years, The Honourable Abdulla Shahid is now seeking the opportunity to work for and transfer his experience and expertise to the Presidency of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. He holds a Masters degree in international relations from the famous Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, Boston, USA. He completed his undergraduate degree in politics and economics at the Canberra College of Advanced Education, Canberra, Australia. He is currently the President of the Association of SAARC Speakers and Parliamentarians Conference. In addition, he holds membership in the Executive Committee of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. Earlier he also held the membership of the Standing Committee of Commonwealth Speakers and Presiding officers Conference.

Born in Male’ in May 1962, he is married with 3 children, 2 sons and a daughter.

H.E. Mr. Aiyaz Sayed- Khaiyum
Attorney-General, Minister for Economy and Minister responsible for climate change, Fiji
H.E. Mr. Aiyaz Sayed- Khaiyum

Attorney-General, Minister for Economy and Minister responsible for climate change, Fiji

Hon. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum is the Fijian Attorney-General, Minister for Economy and Minister responsible for climate change.

He has spearheaded Fiji’s push to allow nations to access adequate levels of funding – on the basis of vulnerability – to adapt their economies to climate impacts. His driving philosophy, that development finance equates to climate finance, has placed Fiji at the forefront of developing partnerships with the private sector to develop finance solutions, including insurance, to build climate resilience. He has also advocated for coordinated multilateral action in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as emergency measures to inject crisis funding into highly vulnerable economies.

He led Fiji’s delegation to the COP23 negotiations, where Fiji served as COP23 President. He serves as a Commissioner on the Global Commission on Adaptation where he is co-chair of the “expand climate-resilient fiscal tools” initiative. He is also the current Chair of the World Bank Group’s Small States Forum and a panelist of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute Environment of Peace 2022.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum oversaw the creation of the climate change division in the Ministry of Economy to mainstream the critical issue in national planning; public financing and policy decisions. He also led the Fijian effort, with assistance from the International Finance Corporation, to launch Fiji’s Green Bond, the first sovereign Green Bond by an emerging market.

H.E. Ms. Marsha Caddle
Minister, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Investment, Barbados
H.E. Ms. Marsha Caddle

Minister, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Investment, Barbados

Ms. Marsha Caddle is an economist, Member of Parliament and Minister in the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Investment in Barbados. Her background in Economics has focused on financing for development, macro-fiscal governance, and inequality and labour. Prior to joining the Cabinet of Barbados, Ms. Caddle worked as Governance Specialist with the Caribbean Development Bank, where she managed the Bank’s Governance and Institutional Development programme, including global and regional financial cooperation, public financial management and statistical systems.

Minister Caddle has written and spoken extensively on issues of economic justice, providing advice to governments and international organisations on inclusive growth and equality.

Ms. Alicia Bárcena
Executive Secretary of ECLAC and coordinator of the Regional Commissions
Ms. Alicia Bárcena

Executive Secretary of ECLAC and coordinator of the Regional Commissions

On 13 May 2008, the United Nations Secretary-General announced the appointment of Alicia Bárcena Ibarra of Mexico as Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). Ms. Bárcena Ibarra, who assumed her new position on 1 July 2008, replaced Mr. José Luis Machinea of Argentina.

Ms. Bárcena Ibarra served as the Chef de Cabinet to the former Secretary-General before serving as the Under-Secretary-General for Management.

Earlier in her career, Ms. Bárcena Ibarra served as Deputy Executive Secretary of ECLAC, and in this capacity she contributed substantively and increased interagency collaboration to provide a regional perspective on the Millennium Development Goals and on Financing for Sustainable Development, connecting issues of inequality, poverty, economic development and sustainability with the required fiscal policies needed to address extreme poverty.

As Chief of the Environment and Human Settlements Division of ECLAC, she heightened the profile of the Regional Commission in the areas of climate change, sustainable energy, fiscal policies and environment. She previously served as Coordinator of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), as well as Adviser to the Latin American and Caribbean Sustainable Development Programme in the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

She was part of the Secretariat that was in charge of preparing the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992. She was Principal Officer in charge of various topics related to Agenda 21 and was also the Founding Director of the Earth Council in Costa Rica.

Previously, she served in the Government of Mexico as the first Vice-Minister of Ecology and as Director-General of the National Institute of Fisheries.

In the academic arena, Ms. Bárcena Ibarra was the Director of the South-East Regional Centre of the Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones sobre Recursos Bióticos in the State of Yucatán, working closely with the Mayan communities. She has taught and researched on natural sciences, mostly on botany, ethnobotany and ecology. She has published a number of articles on sustainable development, namely on financing, public policies, environment and public participation.

Ms. Bárcena Ibarra holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University.

Ms. Bárcena Ibarra was born in 1952.

Ms. Fekitamoeloa Katoa 'Utoikamanu
High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States
Ms. Fekitamoeloa Katoa 'Utoikamanu

High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States

Ms. Fekitamoeloa Katoa ‘Utoikamanu is the Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States. She assumed her role in May 2017.

Ms. ‘Utoikamanu is responsible for monitoring and following up on the implementation of all three Programmes of Action under the purview of UN-OHRLLS. She is also called on to advocate for the issues and concerns of these vulnerable countries as well as to ensure their integration into and coherence with global processes, including those related to the 2030 Agenda and other global development frameworks. Ms. ‘Utoikamanu also coordinates advocacy work related to the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in forums and platforms outside the United Nations.

Prior to joining the United Nations, Ms. ‘Utoikamanu was Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Tourism, Tonga; Acting Pro-Chancellor and Chair of the Council of the University of the South Pacific (2015); Deputy Pro-Chancellor and Deputy Chair of the Council of the University of the South Pacific (2009-2016); Deputy Director General and Director of Education, Training and Human Development of the Secretariat of Pacific Community (2009-2015); Permanent Representative and Ambassador of the Government of Tonga to the United Nations, United States of America, Cuba and Venezuela and High Commissioner to Canada (2005-2009); and Secretary for Foreign Affairs and European Commission’s National Authorizing Officer for Tonga (2002-2005).

A Tongan national, Ms. ‘Utoikamanu speaks Tongan and English. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Economics (1980) and a Masters in Commerce in Economics (1983) from the University of Auckland in New Zealand.

Ms. Karol Alejandra Arambula Carrillo
Executive Director and Founder, MY World Mexico (NGO Major Group)
Ms. Karol Alejandra Arambula Carrillo

Executive Director and Founder, MY World Mexico (NGO Major Group)

In 2014 Karol founded MY World Mexico, a national volunteer and citizen-driven initiative aimed to engage stakeholders and individuals in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs throughout the country. The initiative, inspired on the UN Global Survey For A Better World MY World, has impacted upon two million people across Mexico thanks to more than 100,000 volunteer actions, 3,000 organizations from across sectors as well as the involvement of 20,000 volunteers. During the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2015 her team was awarded with the People’s Voices Challenge Award for Best Multistakeholder Collaboration for leading a consultation of nearly half a million participants in the definition of the SDGs though UN SDG Action Campaign’s MY World 2015. On behalf of the team, she has served as Judge of the UN’s SDG Action Awards to recognize people’s efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development across the globe, as well as being recognized as Youth Leader in the UN’s efforts for the Decade of Action to accelerate commitments to achieve the SDGs with the support of the UN’s Deputy Secretary-General.

Karol has also served as Civil Society Representative to the UN and as expert consultant for intergovernmental, non-governmental organizations and the private sector in Mexico and overseas focusing on partnerships for Sustainable Development; Financing for Development; Development Education; Human Rights, Peace, Governance and Democratic Processes; International Organizations and International Cooperation. She has worked in numerous projects and programs led by the UN, the OAS and the EU in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Germany, Peru, Uganda, the United States, South Korea, Switzerland, among others. She has represented civil society and other stakeholders to the UN in nearly 100 high-level events and advocacy processes such as the UN Youth Assembly; the ECOSOC Youth Forum; the ECOSOC Committee on NGOs; the II High- Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development; the UN High-Level Event on Youth; the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development; the Commission on Social Development; the Commission on the Status of Women; ECOSOC Integration Segment and others.

Karol has written collaborations with UN agencies and funds such as the ANCUS; UNITAR; UNDP; UN Women and UNV, as well as other academic publications in Australia, Iraq, Hong Kong, the United States, etc. She has a volunteering experience of 15 years and dozens of public appearances including the UN General Assembly’s, the UN Global Festival of Action for Sustainable Development, the SDG Action Zone, as well as many other conferences and lectures focused on SDG advocacy. She has also participated as part of nearly a dozen Stakeholder Selection Committees of the UN Liaison Non-Governmental Liaison Service to engage civil society with the UN System, and was selected by UNV as a nominee for the 2016 UN Online Volunteering Award for achieving one of the largest online consultations in the globe in favor of gender equality to define the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Karol is originally from Jalisco, Mexico. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations and a Master’s Degree in Human Rights and Peace Studies from ITESO University. She is specialized in International Human Rights Law; International Security; Public Policy; Sustainable Development; Non-Profit Management; International Affairs; Regional Studies and Migration by academic institutions such as the University of Guadalajara, La Trobe University, the University of British Columbia, Harvard University, Tecnológico de Monterrey, University of San Martin de Porres, among others. A part from running MY World Mexico completely ad honorem in her native country, Karol currently serves as Verification Field Officer in the UN Verification Mission in Colombia (UNVMC) which has the responsibility for the verification of the sections 3.2 and 3.4 of the Final Agreement between the Government and FARC-EP on the Bilateral and Definitive Ceasefire and Cessation of Hostilities and Laying down of Arms (Ceasefire Agreement), directly working on the implementation of SDG 16 Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions by the UN.

Ms. Terri Toyota
Head, Sustainable Markets Group, World Economic Forum
Ms. Terri Toyota

Head, Sustainable Markets Group, World Economic Forum

As a Member of the Executive Committee at the World Economic Forum, Terri is responsible for the Forum’s sustainable development portfolio - managing major public-private cooperation initiatives in market development and financing.

Terri launched the Forum’s Sustainable Development Impact Summit in 2017 which will continue as one of the Forum’s premier annual events to advance progress on the Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Climate agreement through multistakeholder cooperation and the Fourth Industrial Revolution. She has also led strategic initiatives as demonstrated through her work to catalyze a “Blended Finance” market to attract private capital flows to emerging and frontier markets.

With over 30 years of professional international development experience, Terri has held senior positions within the UN World Food Programme and has spent several years heading up humanitarian operations such as in Afghanistan and Indonesia, during the 2004 Tsunami. Prior to joining the UN, Terri was a management consultant to clients within the Canadian Government such as the Canadian International Development Agency, Privy Council's Office, and Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Statements
Presentations
Presentation Alicia Barcena - Executive Secretary of ECLAC
United Nations