UN Joint Mission to the Cook Islands delivers UN National coordinator

Cook Islands delivers UN National coordinator

A joint delegation from the United Nations (UN) Country Team based in Samoa, led by the UN Resident Coordinator for the Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa and Tokelau, Mr Themba Kalua, arrived to our shores earlier this week.

Their engagements in the Cook Islands started with the presentation of credentials to the Hon. Prime Minister, Mark Brown, by the Heads of the following UN Agencies: UNICEF, UNDP, and World Food Programme. By accepting their respective credentials, the Hon. Prime Minister recognized these specific UN agencies authority to promote and conduct their activities in the Cook Islands as aligned with the Cook Islands national sustainable development goals.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration (MFAI) continues to advocate with the UNRC Office and counterpart UN agencies for a coordinated approach and engagement between the multiple UN agencies and Cook Islands stakeholders to ensure the partnerships deliver targeted results that will benefit Cook Islands people in different critical areas. Mr Kalua and his team have a program of meetings this week with respective heads of Ministry’s who are engaged with UN programs and activities.

Two significant UN supported projects will be advanced this year. First the resourcing and appointment of a UN national coordinator to support the Cook Islands in coordinating and engaging further with the UN wider regional structure. The second is the formulation of the next UN-Cook Islands Country Implementation Plan, as the current one is due to end in 2024 (CIP). The CIP, shaped by UN consultations with Cook Islands government, private sector, and civil society, is firmly aligned to the Cook Islands national priorities and serves as a roadmap to achieving the different milestones required to reach the 2030 Agenda.

“This is the second visit to the Cook Islands by UNRC Kalua and I’m pleased resourcing for a UN national coordinator has been advanced as such a role is critical to coordinating the various UN agencies that seek to partner with the Cook Islands,” said MFAI Secretary Tepaeru Herrmann. “From MFAI’s perspective, it is imperative such a person is locally recruited as they’d have local knowledge and domestic stakeholder relationships which should expedite the implementation of UN supported initiatives in the Cook Islands.”

The Cook Islands is a member of several specialized United Nations agencies and benefits from a wide range of initiatives in terms of technical assistance, capacity building opportunities, representation, and resourcing. MFAI, through its division for Treaties, Multilateral and Oceans, continues to work closely, through cooperation and diplomacy, with the United Nations and its specialized agencies to access support for the Cook Islands in advancing its development priorities.

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