New Resident Coordinator for UN System's Operational Activities visits Palikir
Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services): June 25, 2009 - On Friday, June 19th, 2009, President Mori received Mr. Knut Ostby, the new Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and United Nations Resident Coordinator for the Pacific based in Suva, Fiji. Mr. Ostby presented his letter of credence to President Mori as UNDP Resident Representative and then proceeded with discussion on issues of mutual interest.
President Mori congratulated Mr. Ostby on his presentation of credentials and thanked the United Nations for opening the Joint Presence Office in Pohnpei. President Mori further discussed with Mr. Ostby on the need to strengthen and upgrade the office in Pohnpei, hopefully to better serve the North Pacific region. He conveyed the need for the Office to be able to make decisions here, versus the current arrangement where decisions are made in Suva, Fiji. He also encouraged Mr. Ostby to visit the other FSM states to see the different issues and challenges that the FSM faces.
Mr. Ostby acknowledged the need to strengthen the presence of the UN in the FSM and other Pacific countries. He said that this is currently being looked at by the UNDP Administrator at Headquarters in New York in response to requests by Pacific Ambassadors at the United Nations. He said they are looking for innovative ways to do strengthen in-country office given the funding restrictions the UN has from their donors for increasing administrative costs. He also said the UN was trying to increase the number of UN agencies that participate in integrated missions and bring decision making in-country, where it belong.
On the issue of climate change, President Mori stated that this was a main focus of his administration. Mr. Ostby said that in preparation for the COP15 meeting on climate change scheduled for December of 2009 rapidly approaching, the UN is looking for opportunities to help countries prepare for this meeting and that the UN agencies will make this a priority.
Mr. Ostby has been working for the UN for 19 years and he is originally from Norway. Before his position in Fiji, he has also spent time in Asia, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Maldives. He is on his first official trip through the North Pacific and has recently finished his visit to RMI. After spending a few days in Pohnpei, he and his delegation will travel on to Palau for their next stop.
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