Video Statement to CARICOM

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

23-24 July 2019 
Georgetown, Guyana


Distinguished delegates, 

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is my privilege to deliver this message to the 10th General Meeting between the CARICOM and associated institutions and the UN system. The continued partnership between the Caribbean Community and the United Nations is most appreciated.The themes of your discussions over the coming two-days will serve as important contributions to how the United Nations can be a better partner in supporting the Caribbean region.
Allow me to highlight a few areas, where I believe my Office, OHRLLS, can strengthen cooperation with CARICOM. On the repositioning of the UN development system and in particular with regard to the reviews of the Multi-Country Offices, my Office will facilitate further consultations, as called for by ECOSOC in its recent resolution. The consultations will seek clarity on expectations of the MCO-covered countries and other key stakeholders. My office counts on your support to ensure that the review of the MCOs, yield the best outcome for the Caribbean region. 2019 is an important year for the small island developing states. In September, global focus will be on SIDS as the international community gathers for the mid-term review of the SAMOA Pathway.  
The negotiations on the political declaration are now at an advanced stage.  It addresses priority areas for SIDS including: climate change and resilience-building, finance, as well as social development including: health, gender equality and youth among others. I encourage Caribbean countries to be represented at the highest-level in this mid-term review which will be critical to its success. Indeed, the success of a meeting is measured by translation of commitments into actionable outcomes. My Office will spare no effort in mobilizing resources to support SIDS in furthering the implementation of the SAMOA Pathway over the next five years. 

OHRLLS is also increasing its support to SIDS to strengthen coordination and cooperation at the national, regional and global levels. For this purpose, the Office launched the SIDS National Focal Points Network in November 2018. This will be the key mechanism through which implementors of the SDGs and SAMOA Pathway at the national levels can share tools and best practices. There is a lot we can learn from each other and I hope the National Focal Points will contribute to accelerating progress on the ground. 
Indeed, I am currently in Cabo Verde, for the second SIDS National Focal Points meeting and pleased to have the participation of 12 Caribbean SIDS whose presence will add value and enrich the discussions. Additionally, the 2020 meeting of SIDS National Focal Points will be held in the Caribbean. I very much look forward to the outcomes of your meeting and I remain committed to ensuring that we take forward recommendations and solutions to our Leaders in September and beyond. The SIDS deserve no less.
Thank you very much.