Samoa’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade CEO, Peseta Noumea Simi

A three-day technical workshop is underway in Apia, Samoa from 11 – 13 March in preparation for the Fourth International Conference on Small Islands Developing States (SIDS4).

The conference is scheduled to take place in Antigua and Barbuda from 27 – 30 May, 2024, with the overarching theme of ‘Charting the Course Toward Resilient Prosperity’.

The Chief Executive Officer of Samoa’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Peseta Noumea Simi in her opening remarks at the workshop, reflected on the challenges and lessons that were presented throughout the implementation of the SAMOA Pathway in the last decade and which the SIDS can build better on, including gaps in the monitoring of the successes and limitations of the SAMOA Pathway.

She emphasised the significance of this workshop as the first step in guaranteeing that a comprehensive Monitoring and Evaluation Framework (M& E Framework) supports the successor plan to the SAMOA Pathway.

This framework will measure the progress and success of all development efforts to enhance small island nations’ prosperity.

“Over the next three days, you will begin the conversation on an extremely important issue that is central to the success of the SIDS’s next Programme of Action to replace the Samoa Pathway – a monitoring and evaluation framework,” said Peseta.

Reflecting on the past decade, she noted both successes and ongoing challenges.

“As we reflect on the interim years, we can agree that although we have had some success, too many fissures remain. We have withstood extreme events, slow onset ones, a pandemic and dwindling global growth.”
Emphasising the need for action, she highlighted the critical juncture of 2024.

“2024 presents itself as an important point of departure for our future development. This is where we right our sails. This is where we collectively get it right.”

Peseta stressed the importance of learning from past mistakes and ensuring effective monitoring and evaluation.

“We know for instance that the monitoring of the successes and limitations of the Samoa Pathway came too late. SIDS have emphasised that this would not happen again.”

Acknowledging the uphill battle faced by SIDS, she underscored the significance of the workshop’s outcomes.

“SIDS are facing an uphill battle. Our new ten-year plan offers the international community the opportunity to recommit to SIDS and our development, to ensure that we do not lose further ground, and to safeguard our resilience. Your deliberations are key to all this.”

She also expressed gratitude to the participants for their essential contributions.

“Those of you who have joined us over the next few days are essential for the reflection needed and the recommendations required. Your specific experiences across our three regions will undoubtedly present a robust, SIDS-devised, and SIDS-led approach,” said Peseta.

The United Nations Resident Coordinator Themba Kalua also reiterated the importance of an M&E framework, adding that it cannot be ‘business as usual.’

“While the SAMOA Pathway has undoubtedly driven progress and helped mobilise resources for SIDS in many priority areas, the lack of a timely M& E framework that is well understood and used by SIDS means we have been unable to measure its impact truly.”

Without an M&E framework, the sustainability of the articulated SIDS priorities will always be questioned.

The technical workshop engages over 40 individuals, including key government officials from select SIDS countries, specialising in National Planning and the monitoring and evaluating National Development or Strategic Plans.

The workshop facilitates sharing expertise and insights drawn from monitoring the implementation of international agreements. It also seeks to identify opportunities for capacity development to enhance data collection and utilisation within SIDS. Additionally, discussions will revolve around defining parameters and guiding principles for creating an M&E Framework for the new SIDS programme of action and exploring potential targets and indicators for this framework.

The recommendations from this workshop on developing the M& E framework will be presented for AOSIS endorsement at a follow-up meeting in New York and then delivered to all Member States at the Second Preparatory Committee on 01- 05 April 2024.

The workshop is coordinated jointly by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS).