MoU signed to enhance cooperation on the promotion of human rights in Samoa

PHOTO: (from left to right): Mr. Jaime de Aguinaga García (UNDP Deputy Resident Representative), Mr. Filifilia Iosefa (UN Coordination Specialist), Ms. Natalia Komorska (UNDP Programme Officer), Sala Georgina Bonin (UNDP Assistant Resident Representative), Ms. Lizbeth Cullity (UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative), Afioga Maiava Iulai Toma (Samoa Ombudsman), Ms. Tracey Mikaele (NHRI -Communications Officer), Mr. Kris Rummery (NHRI – Human Rights Officer). Photo credit: UNDP/Samoa 2015/F.Mondello

APIA, SAMOA: TUESDAY 17 NOVEMBER 2015: A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance cooperation on the promotion of human rights in Samoa has been signed between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Office of Ombudsman also known as the National Human Rights Institution (NHRI).

The purpose of the this partnership, officially launched at the signing ceremony that took place earlier yesterday at the UN Compound in Matautu-Uta, is to join efforts to raise awareness, improve knowledge and address misconceptions about human rights in Samoan communities.

According to the MoU, UNDP will provide WST$15,000 to support the NHRI’s education and outreach activities through the implementation of its communication work plan for 2015 and 2016.

The UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Ms.LizbethCullity, said: “I am proud to be here today to establish this new partnership. UNDP’s relationship with the NHRI started some time ago and is strongly linked with our core mission on human development. Now, with the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, we need to focus on improving the rights of the most vulnerable and make sure that no one is left behind.”

The Ombudsman, Afioga Maiava Iulai Toma, added: “I warmly welcome the technical as well as the financial support that UNDP is providing to take another step forward in the promotion of human rights. Educating people, improving the knowledge and understanding of communities and empowering them to take action to protect their human rights and respect the rights of others is the first block of a more harmonious and peaceful society.”

The Memorandum of Understanding has an initial term of two years and is expected to end on November 2017.