Posts filed under SIDS 2014

Institute Volunteer Henrietta McNeill Appointed as Policy Advisor to Samoa Association of Manufacturers and Exporters

We are excited to share that our International Programme volunteer Henrietta McNeill has been appointed as a policy advisor to the Samoa Association of Manufacturers and Exporters.

Henrietta plays a significant role in running our Programme, and also led our delegation to the Small Island Developing States Conference in Apia in 2014.

Henrietta McNeill: Passion and Success

I had a friend the other day ask me: “How do I find my niche to make the world a better place?”. While this is somewhat of an existential question, it got me thinking to how to I got where I am, and I found the simple answer - I do what I love.

Claire Pettigrew : Considering Animals in Disaster Risk Reduction

Prior to attending the UN Small Island Developing States conference in Samoa, I had not put much thought into what happens to animals in disasters. Like many of us in New Zealand, I keep cat food in my emergency survival kit, but had never considered the effects of disasters on animals other than the family pet. However, in vulnerable communities disasters can cause widespread loss of animals, which then devastates the communities and their livelihoods.

SIDS Delegate Henrietta McNeill Published on Oxfam New Zealand Blog

Our SIDS 2014 Head Delegate Henrietta McNeill has written a guest post for Oxfam New Zealand about her experience of the launch of the Samoan solar photovoltaic array this week, and her thoughts on sustainable energy in the Pacific.  Read it in full here!

Henrietta McNeill: The economic impact of an international conference

I haven't looked at the official figures, but I can imagine the economic benefit for Samoa of the SIDS conference will be significant for the country. Not only in the infrastructure spending creating employment and flow of money, and the revenue generated by all the foreign delegations coming to Samoa and needing accommodation, food, taxis and possibly a souvenir or two, but it is also generating a lot of advertising for the country as a friendly and beautiful tourist destination for delegates to return to. I have already heard people talking about returning for a holiday in the near future, or people they have talked to about being in Samoa are now interested in coming. This is great for a small island developing state that has recently graduated from the Least Developed Countries group.

Posted on September 3, 2014 and filed under SIDS 2014.

Claire Pettigrew: Mobilizing Youth Volunteerism for Disaster Risk Reduction Workshop

The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) and the UN Volunteers (UNV) ran a fullday workshop for myself and a dozen other young people involved in disaster management on Mobilizing Youth Volunteerism for Disaster Risk Reduction. This workshop was designed to bring together interested youth to explore new and strengthen existing partnership between young people and stakeholders, discuss increasing acknowledgment of young volunteers in DRR, and provide a space to create innovative ideas.

Sam Fellows: Pre SIDS Views

Kia ora, or should I say Talofa,

I am writing this as I am flying to Samoa for what I am sure will be an amazing couple of weeks. With the sun setting beautifully to my left I am getting very excited for what is in store. As you ate probably aware if you are reading this, I am fortunate enough to have been given the opportunity to travel to Samoa with an amazing delegation of inspiring young people to participate in the UN SIDS conference.

For anyone reading this who has not read my profile my name is Sam and I am currently a Solicitor at Simpson Grierson in Auckland, previously having completed my law degree and a Master of Sport and Leisure Studies at Waikato University. The main reason I was interested in coming to the SIDS conference was because I believe it offered an excellent opportunity to get a feeling for the real issues facing individuals in our own backyard. I believe it will also be a wonderful opportunity to see what is already happening and be involved in the discussions for what can be done moving forward.

My big passion in the area of development is education and specifically harnessing it to improve the lives of individuals. Additionally as I have studied and participated in a lot of physical activity and physical education I am always interested in ways we can use sport, play, games and physical activity coupled with education to improve overall wellbeing. I strongly believe that education is the best way we can help individual’s lead happy and fulfilling lives. By doing this we do not just help the individual but their families and communities too.

Having never attended a UN conference before I am looking to soak up all the information I can. I am already in awe of my amazing fellow delegates and feel a bit out of my depth, a feeling I am sure I will feel even more when I meet some more of the attendees. But I am looking forward to the challenge. Plus Samoa seems like a pretty awesome place to learn what I can to help make the world a better place.

Keep an eye out for future posts as our trip progresses.

Tofa for now,


All posts by Institute delegates reflect their own thoughts, opinions and experiences, and do not reflect those of the Institute.

For official Institute updates, take a look here.

Posted on August 28, 2014 and filed under SIDS 2014.