Launch of the 2020-2021 Pacific Development Results Report

December 5, 2022

My dear friends and colleagues from the diplomatic circle,

Representatives from Civil Society and NGOs,

Colleagues and invited guests,

Bula vinaka and good afternoon to you all.

Ladies and gentlemen, its occasions like this that bring us together to mark a special event or point in our journey. Today, it gives me great pleasure to have you all here as we prepare to launch our Pacific Development Results Report for 2020 and 2021 and may I emphasize the word “our” here because it is our results that you have supported and funded. You have made an intrinsic contribution to this work, you have been an integral part of our team and our journey – and for this, we celebrate this launch together, and learn firsthand the results, what has been achieved - and as we look to the new year, and what more can be done.

The 2020 – 2021 Pacific Development Results Report highlights demonstrable results for both the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji and the UNDP Multi-Country Office in Samoa, and how these results have impacted the lives of Pacific Island people. The report is evidence-based and substantiated by progress made. It shows how that work has gone underway and presents the past two years’ key results across the 14 Pacific Island Countries and Territories. The report explains UNDP’s value as a partner in the region, which is strategically positioned to assist Pacific Island governments manage extreme challenges and capitalize on their equally dramatic potential for growth and prosperity. 

We live in changing times and the 80-page Report highlights the critical role UNDP plays in helping countries in the region build back better after COVID-19, climate change impacts and a myriad of pressing challenges the world is currently grappling with. Some of the results in this report were achieved during the most challenging circumstances. It emphasises UNDP’s added value and specific contribution to the success of programme and project activities, including the organization’s work with partners. The results reflect programme or project activities, both completed and ongoing and how it has managed the unpredictable trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic and political upheavals.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Pacific Island nations are most vulnerable to natural disasters and climate change. With support from our partners in Australia, EU, and Japan, UNDP has supported FSM, Fiji, Palau, Samoa, Tonga, and Vanuatu to establish disaster recovery and preparedness mechanisms, helping to reduce the economic costs associated with disasters. 

Climate change presents a clear and present threat to the Pacific Islands, with fluctuating weather patterns, sea-level rise, and flooding. For UNDP, adaptation to climate change is a key area of work in the Pacific.  

UNDP’s forward-looking strategy is to accelerate climate action in the Pacific by building the coalitions necessary for transformative change at national, regional, and global levels, by leveraging private sector finance, building public-private partnerships, catalyzing new approaches, embracing new technologies and innovations, and by continuing to directly assist the countries in taking climate action, including in accessing various sources of climate finance. GEF and GCF have been our primary donors in the area, currently financing 30 projects in 12 countries in the Pacific.

As the UN’s development arm, improving governance and accountability in the Pacific countries is primary for UNDP’s ambitions to achieve the SDGs in the Pacific. With support from Australia, New Zealand, and Japan, UNDP’s governance effort efforts are bringing women to the forefront and embracing new participatory approaches to local and national governance. 

Distinguished guests, I wish to take this opportunity to thank you - our partners and donors – without your support, we would not be here today. We thank each and everyone of you and the solid and meaningful partnership build over the years and I am optimistic we will continue this partnership and journey into the future. We appreciate you and we thank you.

Dear friends, in our bid to protect the environment, we had to reduce our printing outputs, hence the few hard copies of the report available for sharing today – we encourage however access to the digital copy of the report as shared in the link on our website. Please find time to download your copy for reading in your own time. 

Esteemed guests, friends and colleagues – thank you once again for coming today to witness this special occasion. We are every so grateful for the continued trust and friendship that we have build with you all. With these few words, vinaka once again and I now pass the floor to my colleague Jorn Sorensen at the UNDP Samoa Multi Country Office to make a few remarks.

Vinaka vakalevu and tagio tumas.