Apia, Samoa – “As countries take part in Stockholm+50 national consultations, I wish to reaffirm the support of our government, and the resulting outcome through the leadership of our National Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Taskforce, chaired by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the support of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the Samoa Bureau of Statistics, Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries”.
This is according to the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Toeolesulusulu Cedric Schuster, during his virtual speech at the official, hybrid launch on Tuesday of Samoa’s national consultations under the Stockholm+50 initiative. He acknowledged Samoa’s recognition of the primacy of having a healthy environment as one of the pillars of its national development plans.
The launch marked an important step for Samoa in preparing towards the Stockholm+50 international meeting, to be held later this year on June 02nd and 3rd in Stockholm, Sweden. The meeting will commemorate 50 years since the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, under the theme, “Stockholm+50: a healthy planet for the prosperity of all – our responsibility, our opportunity”. It will be hosted by the governments of Sweden and Kenya.
Leading up to the meeting, countries will hold leadership dialogues or national consultations, bringing together different stakeholders from all facets of society. Yesterday’s launch marked the beginning of this process for Samoa.
The national consultations – which will be rolled out over the next couple of days – will be facilitated by the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, along with key partners such as the National SDG Taskforce, MNRE, the Secretariat of the Regional Environment Programme, SPREP, and other United Nations agencies.
“It is fitting that we come together to commemorate Stockholm and to learn from the journey since 1972, but it is even more important that we now rededicate ourselves to the task. We at SPREP are committed to working with you all in realizing our global environment vision first articulated at Stockholm 50 years ago, particularly for present and future generations of our Blue Pacific Continent,” said SPREP Director General, Sefanaia Nawadra.
“The motto, a healthy planet for the prosperity of all, articulates the vision for Stockholm+50. It is a message, as the Swedish Minister of Environment puts it, on what we need to act upon to protect our planet and to achieve sustainable development for the wellbeing of this and future generations. Indeed, it is about intergenerational equity, fairness, and justice that the Stockholm+50 conference draws on,” said the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Dr. Simona Marinescu.
The overarching focus of the national consultations will be on the implementation of tangible, value-added actions and deliverables toward a healthy planet, a sustainable and equitable recovery, and achieving the 2030 Agenda. Intended for governments and non-state actors, they will aim to reduce gender, income-based and other forms of inequalities and especially benefit poor and vulnerable groups.
“In Samoa, we expect Stockholm+50 to be an accelerator of commitments and actions. We hope for it to spark interesting dialogues, to address critical environment issues here in the Pacific to inspire a younger generation to tackle these challenges,” said UNDP Resident Representative, Jorn Sorensen.
The consultations are expected to establish the timeframe for ambition beyond the 2030 Agenda, and, through this lens, identify the most urgent actions to put the world on a pathway to realize longer-term ambitions. They will also aim to align Stockholm+50 and the Decade of Action with ongoing discussions to steward and address the health of the planet. Through its engagement, children and youth can provide a “contemporary” interpretation and commitment to these principles and, in turn, the outcomes of Stockholm+50 can be framed as a “promise” to future generations.
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