UNDP Samoa MCO Resident Representative, Mr. Jorn Sorensen with the Premier of Niue, Sir. Toke Talagi. Photo credit: UNDP/2019

The new Resident Representative (RR) for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Samoa Multi-Country Office (MCO) today presented his credentials to Niue’s Premier, signaling the beginning of his official duties in Niue.

This is Mr Jorn Sorensen’s first visit to the Rock, and his first meeting with Sir Toke Talagi, Premier of Niue.

Mr Sorensen started his term at the Samoa MCO in August after presenting his credentials to the Prime Minister of Samoa.

The Samoa MCO services the needs of the Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa and Tokelau.

Mr Sorensen comes to the Samoa MCO from the UNDP Sri Lanka office where he worked for five years. He has about 25 years of working experience in the United Nations system, primarily for UNDP.

“I am very delighted to be here to present my credentials.  I am happy to see the beautiful country and initiatives for protecting the environment. I am also pleased to see how UNDP is contributing to Niue’s development through various projects and programmes,” said Mr Sorensen.  

Sir Talagi warmly welcomed Mr. Sorensen to Niue and to his new role.  He looks forward to continuing the partnership between Niue and UNDP, to strengthen existing programmes in environment, biodiversity and renewable energy and explore potential opportunities in the area of Governance specifically for youth, ICT and gender equality.

He emphasized potential programmes in ICT and digital platforms, specifically with the use of drones in agriculture and the creation of employment opportunities for the people of Niue.

AREAN Project

Mr Sorensen is also in Niue for the AREAN Inception workshop held this week.

AREAN is the Accelerating Renewable Energy Applications in Niue Project which focuses on climate change mitigation. It aims to enable the achievement of low carbon energy access, sustainable energy and green growth targets of Niue as stated in its Sustainable Energy Road Map.

UNDP RR

The Resident Representative is the highest role in any UNDP office.

Until December 2018, the role of United Nations Resident Coordinator (RC) was combined with that of UNDP’s Resident Representative.

But as part of the UN reform to delink the UN RC system, the role of RR for UNDP is now held separately from that of RC for the UN.

Dr Simona Marinescu is the current UN RC for Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa and Tokelau, while Mr Sorenson is now the new UNDP RR for the same countries.

Professional background

Mr Sorensen, a native of Denmark, has served in different capacities within the UN system. He was Country Director in Sri Lanka (2014-2018) and in India (2013-2014). From 2009-2013, he served as UNDP Deputy Country Director in Nepal. He also worked as Head of Strategic Planning and Partnerships, Recovery and Crisis Prevention Programme in UNDP Iraq (2006-2009). He was Programme Specialist with UNDP Iraq (2004-2005) and for the Regional Bureau for Arab States in New York (2000-2004).

He also worked as an Advisor for WFP in China (2000) and for UNDP China (1999-2000). Mr Sorensen was Assistant Resident Representative (Programme) in UNDP DPR Korea (1998-1999) and Reginal Programme Manager in UNDP New York (1997-1998). He also worked as Team Leader in UNDP Mongolia (1996-1997). Mr Sorensen started his career with UNDP as a JPO in Mongolia (1994-1997).

He holds a Master's degree in International Development Studies from the Institute of Philosophy, Rhetoric and Pedagogic, University of Copenhagen. He also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Management from the Royal Copenhagen Business School. He speaks English and Spanish.

The work of UNDP

UNDP is the UN’s largest development agency. Headquartered in New York, USA, UNDP works to eradicate poverty while protecting the planet. It helps countries develop strong policies, skills, partnerships and institutions so they can sustain their progress.

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For additional information, please contact Laufaleaina Lesa at laufaleaina.lesa@undp.org or (685) 23670 ext 12.

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