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United Nations strengthens operations in Tuvalu - More support for meeting MDG targets

United Nations strengthens operations in Tuvalu - More support for meeting MDG targets

FUNAFUTI, 8 May 2009– The Joint Presence of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UNFPA – United Nations Population Fund and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) was today launched in Tuvalu by the Prime Minister Honourable Apisai Ielemia.

Heralding the start of closer relations between the UN, the Government and the people of Tuvalu, the Joint Presence launch took place at the Vaiaku Lagi Hotel in Funafuti. Attending the event was the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Knut Ostby, other UN officials, senior Government officials, Diplomats and civil society representatives.

In his opening statement, the Prime Minister, Honourable Apisai Ielemia emphasized the need for partnership in development to bring about the necessary results for the people of the Tuvalu.

This strengthened presence comes after extensive national consultations beginning in 2006 in response to clearly articulated operational needs by the Government of Tuvalu. This is the seventh such initiative of the UN in efforts to have greater presence in the Pacific countries fostering closer relations with partners through harmonized delivery of the UN’s programmes.

UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP RR Knut Ostby said, the Joint Presence in Tuvalu represents a unique collaboration among UN agencies towards the achievement of national development objectives and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. “The Joint Presence agreed too with Government, will be more efficient and effective in achieving real results and real change for families and communities.  These programmes build on our strengths and experience in working at the national and provincial levels and respond very directly to the development priorities of the people of Tuvalu,” Mr Ostby added.

Dr Annette Sachs Robertson, UNFPA Representative and Director Pacific Sub-Regional Office a.i, said the Joint Presence provides an opportunity to work more closely with other UN agencies to support Tuvalu implement its development priorities as explicitly outlined in the Te Kakeega II. “By supporting a presence in Tuvalu, UNFPA has strengthened its commitment to providing results based on technical and programme assistance in the areas of population and development, reproductive health and gender,” she said.
UNICEF Deputy Representative, Tim Sutton said “UNICEF as the UN lead agency for children will work with other partners to support the Government of Tuvalu in three strategic areas: formulating effective policies and systems; expanding quality services to scale; and realizing measurable impact for children, families and communities.”
He added, “Tuvalu already faces the effects of climate change with the rising sea level and at this time, there is a double burden for the people of Tuvalu with the financial and economic crises. UNICEF’s contribution through the “UN Delivering as One Initiative” will compliment the efforts of our sister agencies in making data available as well as producing results, especially for children at various levels, as they are our greatest resource.”

The new office in Funafuti will be headed by the Country Development Manager, Ms Etita Morikao who will be actively engaged in making sure that at the country level, UNDP, UNICEF and UNFPA will collaborate more and focus on the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals with close alignment to the Te Kakeega II.

UNDP, UNFPA and UNICEF have established Joint Presences in the Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Vanuatu, Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, and Palau. The Joint Presence in Nauru will be launched later this year.

Guiding the work of the Joint Presence is a common, multi-country United Nations Development Framework (UNDAF) which was produced in consultation with our regional and national partners. This will guide UN development activities in 14 Pacific countries during 2008-2012.



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