Niue national consultations develop new UN Pacific StrategyOct 10, 2016
The One UN team and the Government of Niue completed 2-days (05-06 October) of national multi-stakeholder consultations and reached an understanding on potential areas of UN support strongly linked to the Niue National Strategic Plan. The consultations engaged government and key stakeholders from various sectors in a participatory process to develop the new UN Pacific Strategy 2018-2022. The discussions also placed significant importance on the comparative advantage and mandate of the UN in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Global Agenda.
Mr. Richard Hipa, first Secretary to Government led the national team acknowledging the participation of the One UN team in efforts to incorporate Niue’s unique priorities in regional development assistance with due consideration on its relative isolation, limited human resources, a declining population, and projected impacts of climate change. The government is putting in place policies and infrastructure to improve the private sector and create a conducive economic environment to encourage Niuens to return home and contribute to economic growth.
UN agencies represented on this mission led by the UN Resident Coordinator, Ms. Lizbeth Cullity include UNICEF, UNESCO, UN Women, and UNDP.
The UN Resident Coordinator, Ms. Lizbeth Cullity, emphasized the role of the national consultations to reinforce and enhance the UN’s commitment to the S.A.M.O.A. Pathway for SIDs and provide comprehensive support to the achievement of the SDGs in a consultative and participatory manner.
“In-country consultation is an indispensable component of the UN Pacific Strategy development process. A successful consultation will ensure that the new UNPS strategy is responsive to key regional and national development challenges, to be jointly addressed in partnerships with the government, private sector, civil society and other partners. The consultation is expected to foster national ownership and strengthen mutual understanding between the UN and its partners.”
The forum succeeded in bringing to the fore joint key recommendations on how the UN can partner with government, civil society and the private sector in achieving national development priorities towards the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
Some challenges identified include recognizing local capacity in physical and human resources for the successful management of large vertical funded projects, and thus the need to involve civil society and private sector in project planning and implementation.
Key issues identified in group discussions include improved linkages to the UN system to access assistance for economic growth; improved planning in the growing tourism sector; capacity training of workers in multiple skill sets; local communities and businesses to have equal access small grants outside of the normal government donor frameworks; sustainable management of water, agriculture and food security; increase availability of educational resources; addressing renewable energy roadmap; lifting the profile of Niue culture, performance arts and traditional knowledge to revive aspects of Niue culture that are dying out such as language and canoe making skills; improving skills of women in value added production and access to markets.
At the end of consultations, the UN also introduced Ms. Jay Gataua as the UN Coordination Officer based in Niue, who will help further strengthen the partnership between the UN and Niue.
Niue is the 11th country to hold UNPS consultations. Following the week in Niue, the UN Team will travel directly to conduct consultations in the Cook Islands.