Government of Samoa’s exceptional gesture to the United Nations system in SamoaNov 4, 2017
The United Nations system in Samoa hosted a soft opening for its new premises at Tuana’imato, referred to as the One-UN House on Friday, 3 November 2017. The building previously housed the UN Secretariat to the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States held in 2014 in Samoa.
The opening came after months of consultations, planning and preparations between the UN system and the Government of Samoa. UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF and UN Women - have moved in and ILO will join in the next few weeks. FAO, UN Environment, UNESCO and WHO will set up offices when renovations are completed in 2018. The opening was attended by Prime Minister of Samoa, the Honourable Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi and members of his Government, the diplomatic corps, as well as various representatives of CSOs, private sector and communities in Samoa.
Addressing the event on Friday evening, the Prime Minister noted the significant occasion of the One UN House housewarming, and the opportunity to welcome the UN Country Team to its new premises.
“I am happy to join you all on this significant occasion of the One UN House housewarming. This also presents me with the opportunity to officially welcome the United Nations Country Team to these premises courtesy of the Government of Samoa. Of course, that comes with a message we have continually promoted for the United Nations to Deliver as One,” said the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister also warmly acknowledged the services of the Resident Coordinator in Samoa, Ms. Lizbeth Cullity, saying “You touched the ground running in 2014 in the midst of our urgent preparations for the SIDS Conference; you have never stopped running for Samoa.”
“We have delivered on our commitment for this One UN House and we will continue to strongly advocate for the continuation of the Resident Coordinator position in Samoa amidst the UN reforms for rationalization. The Blue Pacific ‘continent’ deserves to uphold the three multi-country, Resident Coordinator - led offices. I would venture further on this occasion to also extend an invitation to any UN agency not represented in Samoa to join the One UN House,” added the Prime Minister
Expressing the gratitude of the United Nations to the Government and people of Samoa for their exceptional gesture of support and commitment to the UN, Resident Coordinator Lizbeth Cullity noted that the move to the One UN House was highly strategic and represented a concrete step towards assisting the UN fulfil a demand made by the Samoan Government since 2012, and which all SIDS requested through the Samoa Pathway.
“This demand is for the UN and its Member States to Deliver Better Together, the aim is to have more significant and sustainable results through more cost effective and less burdensome bureaucratic processes. Through the Samoa Pathway, Member States agreed to establish more genuine and durable partnerships which innovate the way we work in Small Island settings,” said Ms. Cullity.
The new premises in Samoa will offer a further opportunity for the United Nations to strengthen its response to the countries and people that it serves from Samoa, including the development of joint programmes for targeted sectors. It will also allow the UN to jointly host various events with the Government of Samoa, civil society and the private sector in support of the Sustainable Development Goals, the SAMOA Pathway, the new UN Pacific Strategy 2018-2022 and other key national, regional and global commitments.
Samoa joined the United Nations 41 years ago, and shortly thereafter, the UNDP Multi Country Office was established officially in Samoa. The relationship between Samoa and the UN has continued to develop and strengthen since then, reinforced by the presence of Samoa in the UN through the Permanent Mission of Samoa to the United Nations based in New York, and the UN system in Apia led by a Resident Coordinator based in Apia.
Ms Cullity concludes her assignment as the UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative in the UNDP Multi-Country Office in Samoa towards the end of November. She will travel to Bamako, Mali to assume the position of Chief of Staff with the Department of Peacekeeping’s Multidimensional Stabilization Mission to Mali (MINUSMA).
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