REMARKS: ASG Esala Nayasi at the signing of the MOU between UNDP and PIFS

Remarks and Speeches
26 April 2024

Remarks by PIF Acting Secretary General, Esala Nayasi at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat the United Nations Development Programme

Friday 26 April 2024, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat

UNDP Pacific Office, Resident Representative, Ms Munkhtuya Altangerel and officials from the UNDP Pacific Office,

Senior Management and Advisers from the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.

Ni Sa Bula and warm Pacific greetings.

It is an honour to host you and your team here at the Secretariat for the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between our two organisations.

This MOU is important as it will enable us to enhance our cooperation in mutual strategic areas of interest on sustainable development and support existing regional frameworks that contribute to the Pacific region’s vision as articulated in the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent and the 2050 Strategy Implementation Plan 2023-2030.

As the Pacific Islands Forum, we wish to reaffirm, the 2050 Strategy and its Implementation Plan now frame the partnerships we seek and engage as a collective. The value and strength of our partnerships will be measured against commitments and support for the priorities outlined in the 2050 Implementation Plan. Partnerships will be central to the achievement of these priorities and outcomes.

Excellency, the signing of the CROP-UNCT Pacific Principles for Dialogue and Engagement on 18 April was the first step in setting a course for the future, reaffirming our shared commitment as CROP and UN agencies to the prosperity and wellbeing of our region. To our Leaders vision for a Pacific region of peace, harmony, security, social inclusion and prosperity that ensures all Pacific peoples can lead free, healthy and productive lives.

Through the signing of this MOU today, UNDP and the Forum Secretariat have an opportunity to advance regional priorities and to elaborate stronger partnerships in the areas of political leadership, governance and regionalism; peace and security; climate change and disasters; ocean and environment; resources and economic development; technology and connectivity and people centred development.

The successful delivery of the 2050 Strategy requires effective resource mobilisation and policy alignment driven by strategic partnerships, improved capabilities, and strengthening systems at regional and national levels.

Collaborative efforts like the partnership between the Pacific Islands Forum and UNDP play a vital role in turning ambitious goals into concrete results. It is through working together that we can guarantee the initiatives and aid offered to the Pacific not only align with but actively advance our vision for 2050.

Promoting inter-regional cooperation is key to ensuring that these priorities are recognised as globally important.

As we delve deeper and identify specific areas of collaboration under this MOU, let us approach them with a spirit of collaboration and a commitment to actionable change. We recognise that there is work to be done but also recognise that there is already progressive action underway in our region, which we should be proud of, and continue to work with our partners to build and strengthen.

On that note, I wish to acknowledge UNDP’s support towards two particular initiatives:

(1)    Firstly, the financial and technical support provided by UNDP towards the development of the Pacific Roadmap to Economic Development (PRED) which will be presented to Forum Economic Ministers at their meeting in July for their consideration to support the implementation of the 2050 Strategy. We would encourage continued collaboration to support the implementation of PRED through longer-term joint programming.

(2)    Secondly, supporting two positions at PIFS through Governance for Resilient Development in the Pacific (Gov4Res) Project. Through this project we have been providing technical assistance on integrating resilient approaches into regional approaches and supporting Forum Island Countries implement resilient development by enhancing coordination, facilitating high level political advocacy and providing programming advise. We also acknowledge Gov4Res Project for consultant support in developing PIFS Strategic Plan 2024 – 2028. Finally, I acknowledge and congratulate UNDP on the approval of Phase II of the project – Gov4Res 2.0 which will enable continued collaboration with PIFS on applied research, technical advice and capacity on public financial management (PFM) and resilient financing issues and support work of the PFM and Climate Finance Technical Working Group. This project will also collaborate with other CROP agencies to facilitate and encourage multi-stakeholder engagement to accelerate progress on the 2030 Agenda and the delivery of the 2050 Strategy at the country level.

Thank you once again and I look forward to continuing to work together to make our shared vision for the Pacific a reality.