Group photo of UN personnel in Samoa together with the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Miroslav Jenča. Photo credit: UNDP/N.Vaa/2017.
APIA, SAMOA – THRSDAY 07 AUGUST 2017: The United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Miroslav Jenča was warmly welcomed by the UN Resident Coordinator, Lizbeth Cullity, to address all UN personnel at the FAO Conference Room yesterday.
In his address, he underscored several important messages and answered questions from the UN personnel.
In particular, he emphasized the growing importance of the Pacific Sub-Region.
“The Pacific becomes more and more relevant as highlighted in the SAMOA Pathway with commitments to the 2030 Agenda and in the context of Pacific regionalism.”
He highlighted the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres’ priorities of (i) prevention in terms of building resilience (preparedness viz a viz natural disaster, climate change, NCDs, and so on) and (ii) conflict prevention (e.g. in Solomon Islands and PNG).
At present the SG is focused primarily on three schemes of which reform of the peace and security architecture in the UN (with emphasis on prevention and early warning), being one of them.
He has already met with the Prime Minister of Samoa, Hon. Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi of which he was astounded by the honourable Prime Minister’s offer of more adjacent buildings to the UN “if the building offered was not big enough”.
He regarded this as a significant show of confidence the Samoa Government has in the United Nations in Samoa and stands out as a positive note.
He also reassured UN personnel that despite funding cuts to the UN from some Member States, the cuts would unlikely be as severe as had been previously reported.
The ASG is currently in the country for the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders meeting held this week in Apia and will depart at the end of the week.