SAMOA Pathway preparatory meeting underway in Mauritius

Balaclava, Mauritius (PANA) -  Mauritian Foreign Affairs Minister Vishnu Lutchmeenaraidoo has said that Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) should not despair but take their future in their hands, use their visions and know-how to develop themselves, depend on themselves despite their remoteness.
“We should know what we want and if we can find a common consensus and a roadmap we can become auto dependent in 20 years’ time,” he said at the opening of the preparatory meeting of senior officials for the mid-term review of the SAMOA Pathway for SIDS countries in Africa, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean, and South China Sea at Balaclava, northern Mauritius.

The SAMOA Pathway stands for Small Island Developing States Accelerated Modalities of Action (S.A.M.O.A) and is the dedicated programme of action for SIDS.

According to Mr. Lutchmeenaraidoo, SIDS as small countries have two options either to flow with the common flow and accept their vulnerability and remoteness or affirm that they can succeed and develop.  

“SIDS countries have to face several challenges such as lack of sufficient financing given that they have important needs with regard to infrastructure and protecting the ecosystem”, he said.

Speaking of accomplishments, Mr Lutchmeenaraidoo cited the example of Singapore, an island city which has been successful, and, despite being small in size yet is powerful.

“As regards Mauritius, it is in fact an Ocean State which controls 2.3 million square kilometres of sea and that is why the way other countries views the country has changed in a positive manner.  Mauritius is also respected because the country performs well and dares to adopt new strategies”, he emphasised.

Mr. Lutchmeenaraidoo indicated that the strategy of Mauritius as an Ocean State is based on the ocean economy with sustainable use of the ocean by abiding to 2030 Agenda for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and using the ocean to improve the living conditions of the population.

“It is also a  maritime hub as Mauritius is strategically located in the Indian Ocean and can be transformed in a maritime hub with its fishing port that can offer all services similar to those provided by Singapore; and, Africa – since the country is part of the continent and it would be impossible to envisage long-term development without being fully integrated to Africa," he said.

The minister called for SIDS countries to respect each other, use their respective strength to progress, collaborate, share and learn and be organised to make voices heard as SIDS.

“We have a bright future and we have to be action-oriented, constantly reinvent ourselves, and envision the future by being innovative”, he said.

Mr Lutchmeenaraidoo recalled that the current meeting is converged towards finding lasting solutions on the long-term for SIDS countries’ economies such as Mauritius, Tonga, Seychelles, Reunion, Comoros and Belize.

“The subject matter is difficult as there are several organisations racing towards financial resources and there is need of colossal investment to protect the ocean and SIDS are not only small but their voices are not well heard,” he added.

For her part, the UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing, Ms Fekitamoeloa Katoa Utoikamanu, indicated that the mid-term review is scheduled to take place in the margins of the high-level meeting in the United Nations in September 2019.

According to her,  these consultative meetings will highlight what has been achieved in the implementation of the SAMOA Pathway, the gaps and what needs to be done so that the priorities of the Pathway are implemented in light of the recent global frameworks adopted namely: the 2030 Agenda for the Sustainable Development Goals, Paris Agreement and the Sendai framework.

The three-day event, which kicked off on Wednesday, has been organised by the United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS) and the Government of Mauritius.
-0- PANA NA/AR 24May2018

24 may 2018 15:44:37

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