The UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji met virtually with representatives of the Vanuatu Government Wednesday to pursue “a new normal” partnership.
The inaugural meeting focused on the reviewing progress of UNDP’s development agenda in Vanuatu. This was acknowledged by both teams as vital for maintaining the excellent partnership and ensuring business as usual in a changing world.
In his opening remarks, Levan Bouadze, Resident Representative of the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji said, “The reason for our coming here today is clear. We have a mutual role in development partnership, and we want to deliver on this to enhance understanding, awareness and responsibility in shaping a future that is prosperous and sustainable for all.”
“Despite the unprecedented challenges of 2020, our partnership with your good Government has continued to grow from strength to strength, resulting in positive outcomes for the country and the people of Vanuatu”, Bouadze stressed.
He was referring to the Pacific Office’s ongoing country-based programme of support to inclusive and sustainable growth, climate change and early warning systems, health education and awareness, women and gender-based violence, resilience and markets for change, among others. Bouadze adds that a review process is vital to ensure ongoing strategic engagement and programmatic discussions.
“This Annual Programme Review is designed to assess the attainment of intended and achieved results as well as UNDP contributions to national development strategies, including COVID-19 response,” he says. “We are committed through this review exercise, to ensuring strategic programmatic discussions to take stock of results, risks and mitigation measures and lessons learned,” he adds.
UNDP acknowledged the Vanuatu Government’s efforts to improve service delivery, accountability, transparency and responsiveness and UNDP is committed to working with Vanuatu to explore options for strengthening the machinery of government.
The Director General for Foreign Affairs, Yvon Basil, welcomed this commitment from UNDP and echoed efforts to improve review mechanisms. He shared his confidence that the meeting would strengthen cooperation between UNDP and the Government of Vanuatu moving forward, especially with ensuring programmes are aligned to national and regional development plans such as the SAMOA pathway and the global 2030 Agenda.
Basil expressed his gratitude for UNDP’s strong support over the years, “I expect that the meeting will reach a consensus and roadmap to frame our mutual cooperation into action plans through your programmes and projects to meet the developments needs of the people of Vanuatu.”
The APR session offered the opportunity to the Vanuatu Government through the Department of Strategic Planning & Policy provide an overview of its priorities for 2021 -2023. The Director, Lapi articulated seven priority areas where the Government is expecting bilateral, multilateral donor support to assist the government on for the next three years.
The meeting is a milestone in strengthening engagement and dialogue between the Government of Vanuatu and UNDP. The deliberations will no doubt pave the way for enhanced development partnership for the Government of Vanuatu and the Ni-Vanuatu people at large.
UNDP holds high regard to development in the Pacific and has worked in Vanuatu since 1985. For over 36 years, it has mobilised support to key initiatives in governance, environment and disaster risk reduction and is committed to increase alignment of its programmatic support to Government of Vanuatu’s National Strategic Development Plan.