One UN House strengthens UN collaboration and mission


The main gate to the One UN House at Tuana’imato

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, SAMOA – TUEDAY 07 NOVEMBER 2017:  Bringing together the United Nations agencies under one building is one way to strengthen the collaboration and cooperation amongst the UN agencies working in Samoa.

Last Friday, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi opened the One UN House complex at Tuana’imato where the UN agencies started working from this week.

“Of course, that comes with a message we have continually promoted for the United Nations – to Deliver as One,” said Tuilaepa.

The UN House is the largest of the buildings first dedicated for the 2007 South Pacific Games and later used for the 3rd International Conference for the Small Islands Developing States in 2014.

“The fact that you have moved in despite yet to be completed renovations, shows me that you are indeed happy to be here,” said Tuilaepa.

The opening was one of the last duties for the outgoing UNDP’s Resident Coordinator, Lizbeth Cullity whose new posting is in Mali, Africa. Cullity has served in Samoa for five years.

“You touched the ground running in 2014 in the midst of our preparations for the SIDS Conference and you have never stopped running for Samoa,” said Tuilaepa.

“We have delivered on our commitment for this One UN House and we will continue to strongly advocate for the continuation of the Resident Coordinator position in Samoa amidst the UN reforms.

He said the Blue Pacific ‘continent’ deserves to uphold the three multi-country, Resident Coordinator – led offices.

“I would venture further on this occasion to also extend an invitation to any UN agency not represented in Samoa to join the One UN House.

“To the UN Country Team staff, I do hope you will enjoy working in your new premises and finally thank you Lizbeth for your services to Samoa and we wish you every success in your sojourn in Africa,” said Tuilaepa.

Cullity acknowledged the Government of Samoa’s support and commitment by making available the One UN place at Tuana’imato.

She said the move to the One UN House is highly strategic and represents a common step in assisting the United Nations.

“The design of a One UN House depicts collaboration and cooperation between the agencies to work together in fulfilling the UN’s mission through facilitating knowledge and sharing,” said Cullity.

The outgoing UNDP Resident representative Lizbeth Cullity speaking at the opening of the One UN House at Tuana’imato.

The UN agencies currently working in Samoa include the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Food Agriculture Organisation (FAO), World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), United Nations International Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF), International Labour Organisation (ILO) and UN Women.