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Do more with less, and keep to multilateralism, Dame Meg tells international organisations
05:26 am GMT+12, 24/11/2020, Fiji

The Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General Dame Meg Taylor has called on international organisatons to work better and do more with less, at a special global meeting convened in New York after midnight Fiji Time.
 
Dame Meg and other Pacific development heads joined a global session of 24 heads of regional and international organisations in a virtual meeting on 24 November, with the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.  
 
Speaking to observations on power and politics affecting global development, Taylor confirmed, “geo-strategic positioning is also evident in our region and in the various response and recovery plans being pursued. Indeed, a stronger and coordinated multilateral approach earlier would have resulted in better preparatory planning and support for our Pacific States. It is clear that the solution to this pandemic is a global one and we as regional organisations must work in close coordination with the multilateral agencies such as the United Nations to continue to emphasise this very point in our respective regions.”
 
“We do not know what the post-COVID world will look like, however, one thing is certain, since World War 2, multilateralism has delivered greater peace and security across the world. I believe that we as heads of regional and multilateral organisations will need to resolve to do more with less and demonstrate its continued strategic value. This will lead to greater peace, security and prosperity for all our peoples”, she told the meeting.  
 
The Forum Secretary General, who is expected to end her tenure at the helm of the Forum early next year, said the Forum noted and "fully support the UN Secretary General’s call for a global ceasefire on 23 March 2020, and reaffirm the need for this to enable the continued delivery of medical and humanitarian assistance."
 
“Now is the opportune time to reinforce the cessation of armed conflict for enduring global peace and security,” she said.  
 
At the High-Level Interactive Dialogue, UNSG Guterres acknowledged the strong advocacy efforts of the Pacific Islands Forum Member States on Climate Action and reaffirmed his full support and advocacy at the international level.
 
Speaking earlier on the on-set of COVID-19, the PIFS SG noted the "Blue Pacific faces the trifecta of threats – a direct threat to our health, overwhelming economic shocks and loss of livelihoods and the enduring threat of climate change and its associated impacts."
 
“COVID-19 has set our Blue Pacific region back and made us even more dependent on donors and relatedly has impacted debt levels for island economies. Allow me to align my comments with that of CARICOM at this point in calling for a vulnerability index to apply to the availability of and drawdown of financing support at this time. To this end, may I offer CARICOM the Pacific’s support to work together on the development of a vulnerability index that can be applied to financing support and the distribution of the vaccines.”
 
Pacific Island Countries are projecting a substantial contraction in their economies for 2020, with related social impacts increasing, she said. "Emerging issues are evident amongst women, youth, children, the elderly and persons living with disabilities. Anecdotal evidence suggests that gender and family violence has increased as well as mental health issues, including amongst men who have lost employment."
 
She said while armed conflict is absent from our region, the impacts of the pandemic for Pacific human security “are significant. Indeed, now more than ever, we are more aware of the value of multilateralism in ensuring strong collaboration and coordination,” emphasising that “at times such as this international and regional agencies must align work programmes to avoid duplication.”
 
Speaking of the Pacific Humanitarian Pathway on COVID-19 which Pacific leaders convened after activating the Biketawa Declaration, the PIFS Secretary General said, “COVID-19 has resulted in significant challenges in the movement of technical health personnel and essential medical and humanitarian supplies. The Pacific Humanitarian Pathway on COVID-19... is a demonstration of the value of regional and international agencies working together”.

SOURCE: PACNEWS


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