'Solarisation of Head of State Residences in PIDF member countries' Project Board Meeting

December 7, 2022

H.E. Dr. Eselealofa Apinelu (Ms), High Commissioner of Tuvalu (Chair),

Mr. Terry Keju, First Secretary, Embassy of the Republic of Marshall Islands,

Mr Solomone Momoivalu, Counsellor, Roving Ambassadors Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Fiji,

Mr. Saifullah Khan, Second Secretary / Head of Chancery, High Commission of India,

Project Partners and colleagues,

Bula vinaka, talofa, iakwe and warm greetings. Welcome to the fifth project board meeting for the Solarisation of Head of State Residences in Pacific Island Development Forum (PIDF) Member Countries Project. 
It is an honour to participate in this board meeting. At the outset, I would like to acknowledge the continued and valued support of the project board, and the commendable leadership of PIDF, which is entrusted with executing this regional project. 

There are three messages, which I would like to raise.

First, is a reflection on status. This board meeting is timely. As of Dec 6th, the SHOS project recorded a financial delivery of USD 344,093.05 out of a total award of USD 1,100,000 (cash). 

I am aware that PIDF has facilitated the first and second phase of procurement for equipment. And logistical arrangements are already underway to ensure its transported to all participating countries. With the no cost extension, the Project life operationally closes at the end of December 2023. Six months prior to closure is when we begin the terminal evaluation process. Distinguished guests, I must emphasise the importance of successfully achieving project objectives prior to project closure. And kindly note all extensions come at a cost.

Second, is timely delivery and visibility. It is also in our collective interests that all funds are provided to the beneficiaries and are not returned to the donor. In this regard, I would like to encourage the Project Implementation Unit to reach out to partners should they need any assistance in expediting delivery. Communications is critical to project success for project visibility. I ask the Project Team to continue to share results to targeted audience as well as to UNDP Communications team to further disseminate. This would also support sharing of best practices across the Pacific.

Thirdly, the gender lens. I must also acknowledge the work of the Project Team in ensuring that this project is gender inclusive, noting the solar equipment for Tonga will be installed on the Tonga National Centre for Women, and that 20 women have been trained for the Operations and Management, post installation.

In closing, I reassure you of UNDP’s commitment to this important project and we look forward to a productive deliberation during this board meeting.  

Vinaka vakalevu, fakafetai and kommol tata.