Samoa NGOs Selected To Participate In UN SIDS Forum

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3 local groups to join international ones for ‘Major Groups Forum’

By Jason Brown

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, June 2, 2014) – Three Samoan groups have won a place at the table for "major groups" meeting leading up to member governments at the Small Island Developing States meeting.

The three relatively small Samoan bodies are among 25 non-governmental organisations approved to appear at the September conference are the: Adventist Development & Relief Agency (ADRA) Samoa Loto Taumafai Society for People with Disabilities Incorporated National University of Samoa Approval for their participation was released last week in documents loaded to the conference website.

SIDS organizers said they were "NGOs recommended for accreditation to the third International Conference on Small Island Developing States."

A note reads that their approval was, "Based on a review of the applications received, the secretariat of the Conference finds that the following NGOs demonstrate work that is relevant to the subject of the International Conference, on the basis of their background and involvement in sustainable development issues, in particular in the process of followup to the Barbados Programme of Action and the Mauritius Strategy for Implementation, and in accordance with the provisions contained in part VII of ECOSOC resolution 1996/31."

Samoa also has representation on the Major Groups and other Stakeholders Steering Committee in the form of Nele Leilua, representing SUNGO.

Not everyone who applied was approved to attend the major groups meeting.

Five were rejected outright. A Spanish language organisation, Agenda Ciudadana por el Desarrollo y la Corresponsabilidad Social (Citizens Agenda for Development and Social Stewardship) were not approved, along with Changemakers-Sierra Leone, Sudanese Nation Development Organization, the USA Refugees & Immigrants, and Verdant Health Services.

Their rejection was explained as being, "Based on a review of the applications received, the secretariat of the Conference finds that the following NGOs either do not demonstrate work that is relevant to the subject of the International Conference, on the basis of their background and involvement in sustainable development issues, in particular in the process of follow-up to the Barbados Programme of Action and the Mauritius Strategy for Implementation; or are not established in accordance with the provisions contained in part VII of ECOSOC resolution 1996/31."

A further 12 organisations were not considered by the SIDS secretariat for various reasons, including their being government organisations, not non-governmental organisation.

These were the Asabe Shehu Yar Adua Foundation, Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication, Barinu Institute For Economic Development, ECCO2 Corp, Ethiopia Change and Development Association, Freann Financial Services Limited, La Brique, Liberian United Youth for Community Safety and Development, Policy Research, Provincia di Potenza, Soluciona, and the World Welfare Association.

The secretariat of the Conference did not evaluate the submissions because "they were received from either: (a) government entities; (b) NGOs already in consultative status with ECOSOC, or those that were accredited to previous conferences on the sustainable development of the Small Island Developing States, held in Barbados and Mauritius; or (c) entities that are not eligible for accreditation with the United Nations."

At least three of the applicants not considered were from Africa, which is neither small, nor an island.

The Major Groups Forum is one of four events happening the in the lead up to SIDS.

Dates for the four events are:

Meanwhile, just two nongovernmental organisations will take part in what the SIDS secretariat is describing as "side events" to the main conference.

That became apparent yesterday with the release of a Preliminary Programme Of Side Events, a day after the expiry of a 31 May 2014 for the side events.

The two groups are the Initiative for an International Renewable Energy Agency, and Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, an organisation uniting French speaking countries.

As well as major groups and side events, there will also be events held parallel to the main conference.

Requests for these events are to be received by 30 June this month.

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