LORD FAKAFANUA represented Tonga as co-host, alongside the Governments of Ghana, Uganda and Nigeria, of the Accelerator Actions and Innovative Financing to deliver on the SDGs by the year 2030, taking place in New York on 19 September. The event was held in collaboration with the Copenhagen Consensus Center, Hilton Foundation, IRC and the Ghana UN Country Team.

In his remarks, the Speaker of the Tonga Parliament stated – “There are insurmountable challenges that no single country can address and/or redress alone. Developed countries that had the benefit of economic growth from burning coal in the first industrial revolution, burning gas oil in the second industrial revolution and saw unprecedented development post the third industrial revolution have a moral obligation to do more for those at the climate change frontline such as vulnerable island states.” Most at risk countries include Tonga, which ranks as the 3rd most vulnerable nation to crisis and disaster, according to the World Risk Report 2021. He noted that the SGDs were adopted eight years ago, and today each member state are at important crossroads with only 7 years remaining until the year 2030. Events such as the present are positive steps to call for simple changes through options already available today, such as simple policy change; more value for money. He concluded that “we have no shortage of ambition, especially in the developing South. Sometimes the solutions are just common sense, but we only need to take time to realize and bring them into action.”

Lord Fakafanua is instrumental in working with the Copenhagen Consensus Center in conducting a cost benefit study in Tonga – the first in the South Pacific to assess government interventions that yield best value for money resulting in the best outcomes for our people. It is a step towards stretching our limited resources to achieve the SDGs by being smarter.

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