UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Executive Board's first mission to Samoa

26 Apr 2014

Apia, Samoa – Eleven members of the joint Executive Board of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and the UN Office for Project Services from the Permanent Mission of UN Member States based in New York will be visiting Samoa for the first time, from 27-29 April 2014.

The purpose of the Executive Board’s field visit is to enhance their understanding of the extent and ways in which UN organizations, in particular UNDP and UNFPA, position their engagement with the Pacific Island Countries and Territories, in this case a Small Island Developing State (SIDS) such as Samoa.

The visit is timely given the upcoming Third UN International Conference on SIDS, scheduled to be held in Apia, Samoa from 1-4 September 2014.  The conference is considered an historic opportunity for Pacific SIDS to shape a common development agenda tailored to their unique development challenges as small island nations with a vast ocean with untapped resources that are being noticed by bigger nations.  The Conference also presents an opportunity for the Pacific to contribute to global forward-thinking on the sustainable development agenda beyond 2015, the target year for achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

During their visit to Samoa, the Board members will be able to see directly some of the challenges and opportunities for UNDP and UNFPA.  They will interact with key Government and non-Government stakeholders as well as UN partners and will be briefed on UNDP’s support to youth and gender empowerment.  The delegation is also expected to meet with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme’s top management who is partnering with UNDP, the UN Environment Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organization under the Global Environment Facility on an integrated approach to Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management.

Site visits will include UNDP initiatives on Ecosystem based adaptation and community resilience as well as Community nurseries for agroforestry and Climate resilient crops, implemented by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

Through discussions at the national level, Board members will learn how UNFPA and other related UN system programmes with the Ministry of Health are integrated into a range of activities on adolescent sex and reproductive health in supporting national efforts to reduce maternal mortality.  The visit will include UNFPA programmes on Gender Based Violence and empowerment of women with the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development.  

Apart from an appointment with Samoa’s Prime Minister, Honourable Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, a reception will also be hosted by the UN Resident Coordinator, Ms Lizbeth Cullity, at the Sails Restaurant on Monday, of which one Breakthrough Initiatives group will conduct a Q&A on UNDP’s Gender Transformational Leadership for Development Programme. 

The make-up of the high level delegation from the Asia-Pacific region, African, Eastern European, Latin America and Western European states includes their Excellencies Mr. Peter Thomson, Mr  Tuvako Nathaniel Manongi, Mr. Milorad Scepanovic, and Mr. Aman Hassen Bame.   Also included as well are Ms. Sewa Lamsal Adhikari, Mr. Sergey Vasiliev, Maria Jose Del Aguila Castillo, Mr. Vincent Herlihy and Mr. Peter Versegi.  

They will be accompanied to Samoa by Ms Rekha Thapa of UNDP, secretary to the Executive Board and Dr Josephine Ojiambo of UNFPA, Chief for External Relations and Executive Board Branch.  

The mission will depart Samoa on the evening of Tuesday 29 April.