Mr. Jeem Lippwe,
Deputy Permanent Representative
Federated States of Micronesia
on behalf of the
Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS)
High Level Dialogue on Financing for Development
The link between financing for development and achieving the Millennium Development Goals: the road to the 2010 high-level event
New York, 24 March 2010
Check Against Delivery
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Pacific Small Island Developing States represented at the United Nations, namely, Fiji, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and my own country, the Federated States of Micronesia.
I would like to thank the President of the General Assembly for convening this important meeting. There are three matters relating to the link between financing for development and achieving the MDGs that we wish to highlight as being priority issues for the PSIDS in this review year.
First, there is a disconnect between the statistics needed to assess MDG progress in our region, the statistics available, and the statistics held by UN agencies. The Pacific Islands Forum has recently initiated a strategy to address this issue, which includes expanding and strengthening the statistics programmes in the Secretariat of the Pacific Community and the Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Centre. In order to ensure the success of our regional work, we welcome funding assistance from our development partners. To accelerate progress towards achieving the MDGs, we need accurate information to ensure that policy approaches and projects are targeted appropriately, and it is critical that sufficient financing is committed to achieve this.
Secondly, we want to work with our development partners this year to address the specific obstacles Pacific Island countries face in accessing funding for development. The small size of the populations of most of the PSIDS and the small scale of the projects specifically exclude PSIDS from the eligibility criteria of many financing opportunities. Burdensome application and monitoring requirements further restrict the ability of the PSIDS to access financing as our countries do not have the human capacity to comply with the obligations.
To respond to this challenge we seek the cooperation of the UN and other donors in our development of a "Pacific Template"- a set of project financing guidelines endorsed by relevant stakeholders, that would help streamline access to development funding for Pacific Island communities. We consider that a commitment to the establishment of a Pacific template by our development partners would be an important concrete outcome from the September high level reviews that will help progress in our region towards achieving the MDGs and further implement the Mauritius Strategy.
Our close cooperation with Italy has proven the value of such an approach. Italy has made an effort to accommodate the unique constraints of the PSIDS and our partnership has resulted in concrete projects that are providing tangible benefits for our people. We are grateful for Italy's support and hope this relationship can serve as a model for other bilateral donors.
Finally, the last issue I wish to highlight is official development assistance remains painfully short of the agreed target of 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income. This is clearly an impediment to achieving the MDGs. Further, the failure of the international community to fulfill existing ODA pledges, raises serious concerns in relation to new pledges for much needed financing for climate change adaptation and mitigation. We seek accountability for ensuring that existing ODA commitments are not repackaged in the guise of fast start funding pledged for climate change, but that funding for climate change adaptation and mitigation is new and additional to existing ODA.
I thank you.