The ongoing challenges of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, climate change, and conflict are contributing to the slow progress by the small island developing States (SIDS) in the Pacific of the advancement of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
At the 2022 Forum Economic Ministers’ Meeting, the findings of the Second Quadrennial Pacific Regional Sustainable Development Report 2022 highlighted that none of the 21 targets of the SDGs that were to be achieved by 2020 had been realized. These findings are consistent with the 2022 ESCAP SDG Progress report which recognized the need for course correction.
The 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent, endorsed by Pacific Islands Forum Leaders in July 2022, provides a pathway to enhance regional coordination, and accelerate the SDGs' progress in the Pacific. The thematic areas of political leadership and regionalism, people-centered development, resource and economic development, climate change and disasters, ocean and natural environment, and technology and connectivity are at the heart of boosting socio-economic recovery and protecting the planet through advancing collective actions at all levels.
In view of this, the Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (PFSD), an annual Pacific regional flagship platform, provides an important opportunity to facilitate the exchange of ideas, share experiences, identify policy actions to accelerate the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and strengthen governance structures for SDG implementation in the Pacific, within the context of the 2050 Strategy. Policy solutions must be SIDS-specific to meet the unique regional, country, and community-specific needs to advance the 2030 Agenda and the SAMOA Pathway within the broader framework of Our Common Agenda.
The Sixth PFSD will focus on the following cluster of goals: SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitization), 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), 9 (Industry, Innovation, Infrastructure), 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), and 17 (Partnerships for the Goals).
The upcoming 10th Asia-Pacific Forum for Sustainable Development (APFSD) 2023, the Asia-Pacific regional forum for the HLPF and recognized as such by the Pacific Forum Leaders through their Pacific Roadmap for Sustainable Development, will also review these five SDGs under the theme “Accelerating the recovery from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at all levels”. They will in turn, also be reviewed by the 2023 High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF).
The PFSD aims to showcase success stories and lessons learned as the 2030 Agenda approaches the mid-term and shape the direction for a post-SAMOA Pathway framework.
As in previous years, the sixth PFSD will include opportunities for policymakers and stakeholders to interact and exchange solution-oriented approaches, and a capacity-building element for the implementation and review of the 2030 Agenda with a focus on follow-up actions highlighted through Voluntary National Reviews (VNR).
The PFSD will bring together key messages from the COP27 and 77th UNGA to steer Pacific-wide regional efforts and outcomes of sustainable development initiatives. It will enable the unpacking of the ongoing global debates on climate change and ocean and building resilience and identify their impact on achieving the 2030 Agenda and the 2050 Strategy, driving actions towards accelerating SDG implementation.