The Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has welcomed UNDP’s new Country Manager, Ms Azusa Kubota who was just recently appointed as the head of the UN Joint Present for the Solomon Islands.
Ms Kubota previously served as UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Laos and Maldives and has previously worked in the UNDP Headquarters.
At the meeting the Prime Minister and UNDP Country Manager discussed the need for cooperation between Solomon Islands and the UN on achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Prime Minister Sogavare noted that the Democratic Coalition for Change Government is committed to realigning governance and domestic policies to support achieving the SDG targets.
This will ensure clear government programmes and action to facilitate localization and implementation of SDGs in the country.
Mr Sogavare noted that DCCG is committed to the SDG goals and has learned from previous challenges of achieving its predecessor- the Millennium Development Goals.
The Prime Minister said that “‘working closely with UNDP, shows that we are determined to achieve our development targets.”
In support of the Prime Minister’s view on the government’s priorities, Ms Kubota emphasised that this year 2016 is the year of rolling out of the full implementation of SDG and UNDP as the government partner is committed to advance human development agenda.
She further pledged that ‘UNDP will continue to work closely with the Solomon Islands government to ensure UN programmes and projects continue to be relevant and contribute to the national development agenda and reforms’.
“UNDP is a partner to the government and the people of the Solomon Islands,” Ms Kubota said.
The Prime Minister emphasized on consistency and the continuity of the government development approach.
“As a young nation after 38 years of independence, Solomon Islands need to work hard, support each other to work with the international community, ensuring political stability and a better politics that serve the people.
“We are working to ensure that provincial and state governments become instruments for effective service delivery.”
Hon Sogavare emphasized the DCCG’s priority to strengthen key institutions and seeking UNDP and broader UN support for his reform agenda. One of the priorities is the land reform, zoning specific areas and electoral system.
“Ensuring stability is the top priority of the Solomon Islands Government. Developmental issues are the root of the conflict that achieving sustainable peace need to address inequalities of development. We will prepare ourselves for RAMSI exit and will work on the rehabilitation of the people and the country.
“As the country, Solomon Islands has massive potential but we need to really maximize the use of these potential, we need more graduate with Phds that returns to rebuild the Solomon Islands. We need good government that serves the people.”
The UNDP Country Manager also shared with the Prime Minister UNDP’s global experiences and technical resources that it can offer in formulating effective national plans and budget processes.
‘UNDP has long term and international experience on planning and evidence based policy programming which we can gladly offer to the government of Solomon Islands if called for,’ Ms Kubota said.
The UNDP Country Manager was accompanied by Agus Wandi, UNDP Social Cohesion and Development Specialist, John Misitee, UNDP Governance Analyst and Ms Sara Nihopara, Coordination Analyst.
The Prime Minster presented Ms Kubota with a traditional shell money necklace as a welcoming gesture to the country.