Condolence message by UN RC Sanaka Samarasinha on the passing of Ambassador (Ret.d) Litia Gasagasa Mawi
20 July 2021
The United Nations wishes to convey our deepest condolences to the family of Ambassador (Ret.d) Litia Gasagasa Mawi.
The United Nations fondly recalls with much gratitude H.E Mawi’s efforts during the United Nations 75th Anniversary last year in her capacity as a senior advisor in my office. Her compassion, charisma and strong sense of empathy for people from all walks of life helped ensure a very inclusive global conversation with a unique Pacific tinge on “The future we want, the UN we need.”
Her efforts to help us hear voices from all segments of the population in our promise to “leave no one behind” was unrelenting as was her staunch commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals. She provided us all great insights through her own life on how to ensure that older people and young people can work together in a meaningful way to save our planet.
We regard her as a true champion of the United Nations in the Pacific. Her drive to bring attention to inter-generational dialogue, highlighting key issues and opportunities on climate change, gender and Pacific diplomacy will be missed. The sincerity, passion and wisdom that she brought, inspired and guided the team during those months and will continue be cherished by all of them.
We also wish to acknowledge her role as a United Nations Volunteer, which she took post-retirement. This clearly demonstrated her “forever ageless” attitude and her determination to continue serving the people of the Pacific.
H.E Mawi served for a year as an International Specialist with the planning and budget department of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development in the Government of Tuvalu, based in Funafuti through the UN. A passionate and committed volunteer, she never stopped serving as a UNV, championing the values of volunteerism in numerous capacities both at the national and regional level and provided advice on how volunteerism can be innovative within a South-South cooperation platform. She also supported UNV and partners shape up a consultation process in the research and design of Volunteering for the SDGs Accelerator Toolkit and helped to get submissions and gauge interest from the Pacific for the Global Technical Meeting 2020 on the theme “Reimagining Volunteerism for the 2030 Agenda”.
H.E Mawi was also part of the Technical Working Group for the Global Technical Meeting and the Regional Asia-Pacific Conference of the International Association for Volunteer Effort (IAVE) in Bangkok in 2019. She was compassionate and truly embraced the values of volunteering, often giving her time to assist where and when needed.
We recognize that her passing away will not only leave a void in the diplomatic community and the UN family, but she will be greatly missed by the many she touched beyond Fiji and the Pacific. H.E Mawi will always remain within our hearts, and we include her family sincerely in our thoughts and prayers as they try to overcome the sorrow of her loss.