UN Resident Coordinator Lizbeth Cullity, remarks at opening of the One UN Building at Tuanaimato, Samoa

Nov 3, 2017

Honourable Prime Minister and Members of Cabinet

Your Honour the Chief Justice

Honorable Speaker of the House and Members of Parliament

Colleagues from the Diplomatic Corps

Reverends Leaupepe Kasiano and Dr Siaosi Salesulu

Friends, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Welcome to our new, BIG and BEAUTIFUL One UN House! 

Malo le soifua!

On behalf of the United Nations System I would like to thank the Government and People of Samoa for this exceptional gesture of support and commitment to the UN. 

In particular, I would like to express our deepest gratitude to Prime Minister Tuilaepa and his Cabinet.  Beyond the top leadership of the Government. I also wish to acknowledge CEOs, Ministry staff, CSOs, Private Sector and countless individuals who have contributed to making the work of the United Nations in Samoa worthy of this support.  Thank you!

The move to this One UN House is highly strategic and represents a concrete step towards assisting the UN fulfill a demand made by the Samoan Government since 2012, and which all SIDS request 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. 

I think everyone here knows the important role that the CEO of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ms. Noumea Simi, has played in guiding us through this process and that we all recognize we have further to go.  

Designing this One UN House in a way which encourages collaboration between agencies is what this is all about. Common services, common spaces-cafeteria, this open gallery, will facilitate knowledge sharing and rapport building, while saving costs.  

The UN in Samoa is a strong and capable team - yes one Team more than ever now - and together we are devoted to ensuring respect for human rights, which means inclusive development, and to strengthening Samoa’s resilience in the face of climate change.  The Agencies have grown in our capacity to formulate and implement Joint initiatives.  We have been working together to economically and politically empower women and youth and will continue to do so with the support of so many of you here tonight.  I am certain that there is more and better to come.  

While I will depart from Samoa at the end of the month to return to the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, this time in Mali, I am confident that this beautiful nation with its strong identity and traditional culture will continue to evolve.  Through protecting the best of your culture and the willingness to embrace where change is in your interest, Samoa can only reinforce its current position of influence among countries big and small.    

In closing, I would like once again to thank all of you for your partnerships and support and for coming to this reception. Though Samoa may be small in size, it is clearly very large with regard to its leadership, vision and persuasive powers. 

Soifua.  

 

-End.

 

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