A Solomon Islands Government delegation headed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Milner Tozaka has participated at a UNDP Asia-Pacific Regional Management Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand.
At the meeting, Minister Tozaka spoke on behalf of all Pacific Island Governments and other Small Islands Developing States on “Future Trends in Asia and the Pacific and how UNDP can be a valued partner”.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Laos spoke on behalf of all Asian countries.
The meeting was chaired by the Administrator of UNDP, Helen Clark, and the Director of the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, Haoliang Xiu.
Hon. Tozaka told the UNDP management that UNDP in Solomon Islands has and should continue to focus its attention on climate change mitigation and disaster reduction management; peace building; and fundamental reforms to strengthen the quality of governance in the country.
The Minister also recommended a model of assistance for UNDP’s consideration that will see the need for a joint development support facility.
Apart from attending the UNDP Asia and Pacific Regional Management Meeting, the Minister also had a bilateral meeting with UNDP’s Administrator – Helen Clark.
The Minister during his bilateral meeting with Helen Clark updated the Administrator on the socio-economic development in Solomon Islands and RAMSI related issues including RAMSI withdrawal by June this year.
In terms of accessing climate change fund, in particular, the Green Climate Fund, Helen Clark confirmed that given UNDP’s substantial experience in helping other countries, UNDP stands ready to support the Solomon Islands Government when an opportunity arises.
While Helen Clark highly acknowledged the good work that UNDP is currently doing in Solomon Islands in relation to climate change adaptation, she concurred with the Foreign Affairs Minister that there is a need to encompass a holistic approach towards climate change adaptation in Solomon Islands.
She also acknowledged and supported the proposal made by the Foreign Affairs Minister regarding the need for UNDP to move towards establishing a joint support development facility and for this proposal to be accelerated as soon as possible.
She also assured the Solomon Islands’ Delegation of UNDP’s continuous friendship and support for Solomon Islands’ development priorities and progress towards achieving the UN-initiated Sustainable Development Goals. She thanked the Solomon Islands Delegation for making such a long trip to participate in this year’s UNDP Management Meeting.
The Minister’s participation at this UNDP Management Meeting in Bangkok was supported by officials from the Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.