Mr Iosefa Maiava, Head of UNESCAP Sub-Regional Office for the Pacific, delievers his address during the Meet the Leaders Forum.
The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Graduate School of Business held its Meet the Leaders Forum on 11 March 2019. This was officiated by Mr Iosefa Maiava, Head of United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) Sub-Regional Office for the Pacific who spoke on the topic “Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Pacific’s Leadership in taking local issues to global level”.
The Forum is held every trimester where students undertaking Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme relate classroom learning to the realities and challenges of work situations.
In addition, the forum explores the possibilities and opportunities at the workplace as seen from the perspective of a Leader as well as providing an opportunity for students to meet and interact with exemplary leaders from various industries and international agencies.
Mr Maiava introduced the topic by stating that it was with the motto of ‘leave no one behind’, that the 2030 Agenda and its seventeen (17) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), was launched in September 2015.
“It is with the same motto or theme, the leadership role of the Pacific Small Islands Developing States (PSIDS) ensured that they as island nations are not left behind either,” Mr Maiava pointed out the leadership role of PSIDS was clearly demonstrated and acknowledged globally in the Climate Change (SDG13) and Oceans (SDG14), which, without the leadership of the PSIDS may not have become the discrete goal it is; or receive the attention it has received globally.
He further highlighted that to ensure that no one is left behind, Pacific leadership embarked on transformation of societies towards more collaborative and inclusive structures and processes especially through meaningful multi-stakeholder engagement between governments, non-government organisations, faith-based organisations, private sector and communities, especially those that are marginalised.
The Meet the Leaders Forum is organised for MBA students at GSB.
Explaining that beyond finance, SDGs are backed-up by a much more expanded means of implementation, Mr Maiava also talked about the SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway, Framework for Pacific Regionalism as well as the role of UN and CROP agencies and its alignment with SDGs and the national priorities of Pacific Island Countries.
Furthermore, Mr Maiava shared UNESCAP’s response to the SAMOA Pathway which include:
Assisting Pacific Island members and associate members, upon request, enhance national capacities and institutions;
Enhancement of Pacific voice and representation in regional and global processes; and
Ensuring realisation of transformation strategy for sustainable development of SIDS by strengthening the role of the Commission in monitoring the follow-up to the SAMOA Pathway and the SDGs.
Mr Maiava also referred to Pacific Island Forum Leaders’ Pacific Roadmap for Sustainable Development which was launched in 2017 to “guide regional responses” to the 2030 Agenda in line with national plans and priorities, SAMOA Pathway, and the Framework for Pacific Regionalism.
On the current status of SDGs implementation in the Pacific, Mr Maiava stated that the processes are in place and aligned well-enough to ensure success in leaving no one behind, adding that, “The Pacific should be commended for the leadership not only in getting the SDGs embedded in its own process and architecture but also ensuring that they are not left behind in the integration of SDGs at all levels- national, regional and global.”
Mr Maiava concluded by stating that Pacific leadership is based on “our regional value of effective, open and honest relationships, enduring partnerships based on mutual accountability and respect, with each other, within our region and sub-regions, and beyond has been critical in ensuring that we minimise misunderstanding and competition or even rivalry in the way we conduct our dialogue, diplomacy and negotiations, It is these values and principles that the region has been able to take local issues to the global level.”
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