United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Ms. Fekitamoela ‘Utoikamanu, Under Secretary General, UN-OHRLLS

Concluding Remarks
Ms. Fekitamoeloa Katoa ‘Utoikamanu, Under-Secretary-General and High-
Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing
Countries and Small Island Developing States
Caribbean Regional Preparatory Meeting for the Mid-term review of the
SAMOA Pathway,
San Pedro, Belize
9 August 2018
Honourable Wilfred P. Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Government of Belize,
H.E. Lois Young, Permanent Representative of Belize to the United Nations,
Distinguished delegates,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Let me, once again, thank the Government of Belize and its people for the warm
hospitality extended to us during our stay. I also wish to commend Belize for your
leadership as Chair of this Caribbean Regional Preparatory Meeting which, concludes
the three regional preparatory meetings for the Mid-term review of the SAMOA
I would like to acknowledge with much appreciation, H.E. Ms. Lois Young and H.E.
Ms. Janine Felson, for the close cooperation with OHRLLS and UNDESA in the
organisation of this important meeting.
And I thank all participants, panelists and moderators for your valuable and
substantive contributions to the thematic sessions and for articulating the priorities of
the Caribbean SIDS to be brought to the forefront of the discussions on the Mid-term
review of the SAMOA Pathway. We can all be proud of the Outcome document of
the Meeting which has just been adopted following the deliberations over the last
four days.
This Regional preparatory meeting has touched upon the important findings of the
JIU Review on the UN system support to Small Island Developing States. As you are
well aware, this review was conducted after the SIDS Conference in Samoa in 2014,
as requested by the Member States. In the report on its final findings, the JIU puts
forward important recommendations on how to bridge the existing gap, and enhance
the coordination of UN support provided to SIDS in meeting their aspirations for
sustainable development.
In line with these recommendations to strengthen coordination of activities between
the two SIDS units of DESA and OHRLLS, I would like to stress that the Secretariat,
for its part has taken concrete steps to institutionalise their collaboration. These
include regular lines of communication at the director’s level have been established
to ensure better coordination and planning of work in support of small island
developing States. An “alternate chairing” arrangement of the meetings of the Inter-
Agency Consultative Group or the IACG on Small Island Developing States,
composed of members from United Nations agencies, regional commissions and
entities, and non-governmental organizations.
In this regard, I also note the adoption of the Terms of Reference of the IACG to
enhance coherence and effective coordination between United Nations agencies and
relevant stakeholders and improve communication and consultation with Member
States which was taken note of by the General Assembly in its resolution 72/217 last
Clearly, more needs to be done. Here, I urge you to take opportunity of the processes
with the potential to enhance UN system’s support to SIDS including the MTR itself,
the repositioning of the UN development system and the Needs Assessment Report
which will be submitted to the General Assembly in September this year.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I would like to reiterate that the outcomes from the meeting, will provide a
comprehensive summary of the discussions. As with the Regional Preparatory
meetings of the AIMS and the Pacific, this includes three documents — firstly the
Caribbean regional report, to be finalized, following inputs from Member States by ...
Second, is a Report of the Meeting summarising the sessions which will be issued by
the Secretariat and the Outcome document which has just been adopted. All these
documents will be made available to Member States in time for the inter-regional
meeting in Samoa in late October.
The meeting has provided clear directions on the way forward. The meeting has been
clear on the actions to accelerate and further implementation of the SAMOA Pathway
over the next five years. I wish to commend you on the very substantive nature of
your outcome, and in particular, the priorities identified toward a programme of
implementation for the region.
The United Nations system is your system and is committed to support you.
We look forward to continuing this journey with you as you carry on the process of
accelerating progress toward making sustainable development of SIDS a reality for
your people.
I thank you for your attention.