UN Samoa welcomes youth mission from New Zealand

Jul 30, 2014

A practical learning session for the visitors. Photo credit: Jasmine Subasat.

A ten-member UN Youth New Zealand mission led by Philip Greatrex, Director of the UN Youth New Zealand Pacific Project 2014, visited the UN Samoa offices on 15th July 2014. The mission provided the young delegates with opportunities to increase both their skills and their knowledge around international development. Students from various high schools across New Zealand, sharing a keen interest in current global development issues and an ambition to pursue a career in that field, joined others in the mission.

UN Youth is the youth arm of the United Nations Association of New Zealand. It seeks to educate young New Zealanders about international issues and the role of the UN, inspiring and empowering them as well as facilitating youth involvement with key UN Resident Coordinator welcomes the mission members’ organisations. One of the main objectives of the visit to UN Samoa was for the delegates to explore and better understand the development challenges facing the Pacific area, as well as the strategic roles that the UN, NGOs and the New Zealand government play in the region. UN staff members briefed the participants in a series of comprehensive presentations, reinforced with activities such as quizzes.

Lizbeth Cullity, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative to Samoa, welcomed the delegation to UN Samoa.

“The UN system in Samoa works with the Government alongside other development partners, providing them with evidence-based national and regional programs and priorities for sustainable human development and resilience with a particular focus on climate change and environmental degradation,” she said.

Philip Greatrex highlighted the importance of the opportunity for New Zealand students to learn in person about the work of the UN in the Pacific.

”As young New Zealanders with a passion for global affairs, this visit has been an invaluable experience for us all,” he said.

“We were honoured and privileged to receive such a generous welcome from the United Nations in Samoa.”

“It was an amazing opportunity from the various UN agencies in Samoa to give us an insight into the work of the UN system. It really inspired me to realise my future ambitions of working within the UN body,” added Keeran Shiva Kumar, a member of the mission.

For over five decades, the UN system in Samoa has been working with not only the Samoan government alongside the nation’s other development allies and partners, but also with governments of countries that it serves namely Niue, Cook Islands and Tokelau.  Its service includes providing countries with technical, normative and analytical expertise, funds and organisational and coordination support to assist Samoans and in efforts to attain their development aspirations and achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

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