A high level dialogue between officials from the Marshall Islands and the United Nations happened in Majuro in mid-October, foreshadowing a major change in UN operations in the north Pacific.The dialogue was attended by members of Cabinet, Heads of Departments (HoD), and Heads and representatives of seven UN agencies.
The dialogue opened with a prayer then remarks from President Hilda Heine and UN Resident Coordinator Sanaka Samarasinha.The dialogue was an opportunity to reflect on the current progress on the UN Pacific Strategy and identify ways to advance these goals while staying in line with the needs and priorities of the RMI, said President Heine.
She supported the plan for a Multi-Country UN Office for the North Pacific, to be hosted by the Federated States of Micronesia, to enhance coordination and effective delivery of services.
“Coordination and good data are key, and it is imperative that efforts to strengthen and support development in any area are closely aligned with already established coordination structures,” she said.
The meeting was the first annual review of the UN Pacific Strategy, a five-year strategic framework that outlines the support of the United Nations to the RMI and 13 other Pacific Island countries to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
UN presence and support is expected to increase. In 2018 the UN presence expanded with 13 UN personnel based in the Marshall Islands. In 2020 it is anticipated that RMI will have over 30 UN personnel. The UN Program in 2018 was approximately $3.3 million. It is projected to rise to over $12 million next year.
Read more about this in the November 8, 2019 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.