The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade, Co-operatives, SME and Communications, Manoa Kamikamica, addressed the SDG Action Weekend in New York on Sunday, September 17, 2023, in New York, USA, under the theme Scaling up Gender- Lens Financing: A Catalytic Tool for Advancing all SDG’s.
During addressing the Sustainable Development Goal Action Weekend on Sunday, The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade, Co-operatives, SME and Communications, Manoa Kamikamica, remarked, “Fiji’s vision is clear on economic empowerment, and our women are part of our economic diversification plans.”, Co-operatives, SME and Communications.”
DPM Kamikamica shared Fiji’s unique experiences towards a more equitable and prosperous future for a “New Fiji”, a new Fiji that envisions a bold transformation to financing that is inclusive, diverse, and equitable, where our women and girls take control of their resources, enhance their economic participation and make their dreams a reality.
In sharing Fiji’s vision, the DPM Kamikamica communicated Fiji’s target to be the regional leader in sustainable financing in addressing intersectional issues like poverty, inequality, and climate change – issues of concern to Small Island Nations.
He also highlighted that empowering women economically uplifts entire families and communities out of poverty and that investing in sustainable and environmentally conscious businesses led by women contributes to economic development and climate resilience.
Through support from the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) and engagements with Fiji’s central bank, such as the Reserve Bank of Fiji and Fiji’s Investment Promotion Arm, Investment Fiji, efforts towards empowering women remain ongoing. More recently and notably, a gender perspective was integrated into Fiji’s National Financial Inclusion Strategy 2022-2030.
Fiji, however, is cognisant of the challenges in implementing Gender Lens Financing, given the many roadblocks faced by Small Island Nations such as Fiji. These include the availability of credible data on women entrepreneurship in the country, lack of market access and opportunities for women-based businesses.
Further, traditional social structures stand in the way of women progressing in business and pursuing their entrepreneurial goals. With the support of UNESCAP, a key partner, along with other public and private stakeholders, Fiji is making progress.
DPM Kamikamica shared the floor for this key event with Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, Executive Secretary of UN ESCAP, Yim Leat, Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Cambodia, Mr Woochong Um, Managing Director General ADB, Lori Kerr, CEO, FinDev, Canada.
The event featured senior representatives from across Asia and the Pacific sharing their vision for promoting gender equality through investment in their respective country contexts. High-level speakers from the development sector discussed the role of development banks in realising country-level visions and leveraging the momentum created by the private sector.
Leaders from the private sector, including experts in impact investment, capital mobilisation, and impact measurement and management, shared insights on the latest innovations, trends and opportunities in Gender-Lens Financing for the SDGs.
The event, which was held before the opening of the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, forms an essential part of the SDG Action Weekend by showcasing innovations and collaborations of different stakeholders in scaling up gender-lens financing, aiming to contribute substantially to all SDGs, the 2030 Agenda, the Paris Agreement, and the UN High Impact Initiatives.