The new United Nations Joint Presence Office (UN JPO) space has been officially launched in the Solomon Islands capital Honiara this morning on Wednesday 21 September.
The Acting Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, Honourable Manasseh Maelangah was the Chief guest to officially open the UN JPO, located at the ANZ Building in Ranadi, together with Ms. Osnat Lubrani, UN Resident Coordinator responsible for the Pacific nations including Solomon Islands.
Funafuti, Tuvalu: Seventeen women from a diverse range of backgrounds gathered on this week for the start of Tuvalu’s second “Women’s Practice Parliament”.
Deputy Prime Minister, H.E. Maatia Toafa, in his opening remarks spoke on the importance of carving out a space for women in politics. He confirmed the government of Tuvalu’s commitment to gender equality, noting that, while great improvements had been made in sensitizing Tuvalu’s laws and policies, more must be done to get women into decision-making positions.
On the 14 September the Regional Representative for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Dr Chitra Massey traveled to Canberra at the beginning of her mission to Australia.
During her visit to the Capital UNIC Canberra arranged a diplomatic briefing during which Dr Massey spoke about human rights challenges across the Pacific.
She spoke about a recent visit to the Nauru detention centre in mid-August, describing the negative effects of incarceration on the detainees, particularly on children. Asked to elaborate further, she said her office had noted cases of rape, robbing and brutality in the centre and the systemic self- harming practices including by children as young as six.
Bangkok, 30 August 2016 – Countries at risk from a rise in global temperatures met last week in Mumbai, India for a training workshop that has helped increase their readiness to access finance through the Adaptation Fund set up under the United Nations climate convention to help vulnerable communities adapt to climate change.
The 23-25 August 2016 Access to Adaptation Finance Seminar brought together 21 aspiring and Adaptation Fund accredited National Implementing Entities from Asia-Pacific and East European countries to share best practices and lessons learned on accreditation and project development.
The training, co-hosted by the Fund, United Nations Environment Regional Office for Asia and Pacific, the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development of India and Climate Action Network South Asia, aimed to increase the number of accredited entities in the region, providing more Asia-Pacific countries the opportunity to build climate resilience and adaptive capacity through the Fund’s pioneering Direct Access modality. This allows developing countries to access climate finance, strengthen local adaptation capacity and build on national expertise directly through accredited National Implementing Entities.
The Asia Pacific region is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Increasing frequency and severity of weather events – floods, droughts, cyclones and tropical storms – as well as sea level rise threaten food, water and energy security and are undermining hard gained progress. While per capita emissions remain low, the region produces nearly half of global greenhouse gas emissions due partly to energy systems that remain reliant on fossil fuels and inefficiencies in the transport, buildings, agricultural and other sectors. In short, failure to address the challenge of climate change will have serious economic, social and environmental consequences for the region. Extreme weather events, which have increased in frequency and intensity in the region, account for hundreds of billions of dollars in loss and damages. It is expected that by 2050, the number of people vulnerable to the effects of climate change will reach two billion with countries on the frontline of climate change, particularly coastal and Small Island Developing nations paying a heavy price. Adaptation to climate change is critical for these countries and countries in the region to survive and thrive.
The Asia Pacific Adaptation Forum is a biennial forum of the Asia Pacific Adaptation Network and the largest gathering of adaptation practitioners in the Asia Pacific region. It will bring some 800 participants, including policymakers, experts, scientists, donors, youth, and civil society representatives from over 50 countries to showcase solutions and innovative ideas and practices to adapt to climate change. It will also cover topics such as tools to reduce vulnerability, ways to integrate climate adaptation into national planning and budgeting, innovative financial mechanisms and climate-smart technologies and application. A field trip is also planned.
To raise awareness about adaptation and actions taken in the region, UNEP is sponsoring a limited number of journalists to join this Forum. Selected media will get an opportunity to meet with officials, adaptation experts and practitioners and hear first-hand experiences and solutions from countries and organizations in the region. Travel and daily subsistence allowing according to UN rules will provided by UNEP.
Bangkok (ESCAP News) — Asia-Pacific policymakers and statisticians convened at a United Nations conference in Bangkok this week to improve statistics for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the region.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development requires governments to develop statistics that can support integrated planning and analysis across economic, social and environmental development pillars. Meeting this new challenge requires transformative change in national statistical systems – the region’s traditional producers of official statistics.
In response, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), in partnership with the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) organized a three-day conference from 24 to 26 August, to outline the region’s aspirations in a collective vision and framework for action aimed at advancing official statistics for the 2030 Agenda.
(L-R): Outgoing UNICEF Pacific Representative Dr Karen Allen with newly appointed Representative Mr Sheldon Yett in Suva. (Photo credit: UNICEF Pacific/2016/Hing)
SUVA, FIJI. 26 August 2016 – UNICEF is pleased to announce the arrival of Mr. Sheldon Yett as the new UNICEF Pacific Representative, replacing Dr. Karen Allen.
Mr. Yett, is the new accredited Representative of the United Nations Children’s Fund to the Pacific island countries of the Cook Islands, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
Mr. Yett presented his credentials this morning to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary, Ambassador Ravindran Nair. In the coming months, Mr. Yett will be travelling to other countries in the Pacific region to present his credentials and meet staff and partners.
Funafuti, Tuvalu: Coastal fishery stocks have sustained island communities for generations in Tuvalu but is under increasing pressure due to the impacts of climate change and unsustainable fishing practices.
An assessment conducted by the Pacific Community (SPC) and the Tuvalu Department of Fishery in 2013, found that important fish species and sea cucumbers in Funafuti waters had decreased. About 83% of respondents claimed they felt their catches had decreased compared to five years ago and 67% of respondents claimed sizes of fish had decrease compared to five years ago.
Semese Alefaio, a fisherman of over 30 years said, “There’s been a distinctive reduction in the availability of fish, turtles and clams over the years. Nowadays, we have to go further out to sea and spend more time to fetch a decent catch.” Continue reading →
Koror, Palau: The Government of Palau and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) signed a milestone agreement today, in order to strengthen the capacity of local legislators and governance systems at local state levels in Palau.
The signed Government Co-Financing Agreement will see the Government of Palau invest US$450,000 toward financing the Palau Local Governance Strengthening Project. The Project has an implementation timeframe of three years and UNDP is contributing a further US$100,000 towards this initiative.
Palau’s Minister of Finance, Mr. Elbuchel Sadang said, “We are pleased to work with UNDP on this important project to support state governments’ in their efforts to operate effective, accountable and transparent state administrations. This project will help strengthen the management of public funds in these states and ensure these states effectively deliver services to their communities.”
Lautoka, Fiji – Twenty legal, trade and health department representatives from across the Pacific are in Fiji this week to examine the Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) burden in the region and the role of the law in preventing and controlling NCDs, particularly in the context of developing coherence between health, trade and investment laws, policies and sectors.
The Law, NCD, Trade and Sustainable Development workshop, a first for the region, is jointly organized by the McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pacific Office in Fiji, World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Pacific Community (SPC) with support from the Government of Australia.
Heart disease, cancers, lung disease and diabetes are the leading causes of death in the Pacific region with most Pacific Islands countries losing their productive citizens to NCDs.