Senior leaders from United Nations (UN) agencies and the Pacific Community (SPC) gathered in Suva, Fiji last week to discuss opportunities for deepening cooperation and strengthening coordination of their respective work aimed at helping countries of the Pacific to achieve the global Sustainable Development Goals. The meeting served to identify synergies between SPC’s priority areas and UN’s priority areas under the new United Nations Pacific Strategy (UNPS). These areas of synergies include Climate Change, Disaster Resilience and Environmental Protection; Gender Equality; Sustainable and Inclusive Economic Empowerment; Equitable Basic Services (covering Health, Education and Social Protection); Governance and Community Engagement; and Human Rights. Data for development, as a cross-cutting topic, is additionally of high priority and interest for both SPC and the UN.
During the half-day meeting, senior leaders discussed a wide range of development actions currently underway across the region and highlighted potential areas for increased collaboration. There was strong agreement that over the need for a coordinated and integrated approach that harnesses the expertise and comparative advantage of both UN and SPC for greater impact and cost-effectiveness.
SPC’s Deputy Director-General, Dr. Audrey Aumua, stressed the importance of collaboration and information exchange between SPC and the UN, saying: “We are working, first and foremost, to support the development priorities of Pacific nations and territories. Within this room are the skills and experience to help bring transformational and positive change. By working in a complimentary way, we can jointly accelerate that change.”
SPC and the UN agencies are committed to institutionalizing this strategic dialogue on an annual basis as well as following up to establish practical arrangements for regular information-sharing and elaboration of joint UN-SPC initiatives.
Recognizing the long-standing history of successful cooperation on a variety of activities, UN and SPC agreed that a more regular structured exchange as well as joint visibility efforts of the partnership would serve both organizations in projecting integration and coherence vis-à-vis countries, donors, and other development partners.
UN Resident Coordinator, Ms. Osnat Lubrani noted that this high-level consultation furthers an already genuine and durable partnership between the UN and SPC. She added: “This strategic review of the UN-SPC partnership is particularly timely as the UN prepares for launch of its new Pacific Strategy in 2018, ensuring that cooperation with SPC is strongly built in at the outset of its implementation”.
About the Pacific Community (SPC):
SPC is the principal scientific and technical regional organization in the Pacific region, proudly supporting development since 1947. Owned and governed by its 26 country and territory members, SPC takes multi-disciplinary approaches to Pacific development priorities by leveraging its scientific and technical expertise in Climate Change, Disaster Risk Resilience and Environmental Protection; Geo-resources and Energy; Maritime and Oceans; Coastal and Ocean Fisheries; Sustainable Forest Management and Climate-Smart Agriculture; Public Health; Human Rights and Gender Equality; Social Development; Education Standards and Assessment; and Statistics for Development.
About the United Nations (UN) in the Pacific:
The United Nations System has three sub-regional offices in the Pacific. The UN offices located in Fiji, Samoa and Papua New Guinea, are led by three UN Resident Coordinators who are representatives of the UN Secretary-General. The UN Resident Coordinator Office (UNRCO) in Fiji is based in Suva at the UNDP Pacific Office and functions as a coordination mechanism for United Nations Agencies in ten countries: Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. Under the leadership of the UN Resident Coordinators, the United Nations Country Team ensures that agencies are well coordinated in the planning, implementation as well as monitoring and evaluation of the programmes in support of the overarching development strategy for the United Nations in the Pacific.
For more information, please contact [email protected]