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Cook Islands Foreign Ministry officials met with UN Resident Coordinator Dr Simona Marinescu and FAO’s Sub-Regional Coordinator for the Pacific Eriko Hibi where the focus of discussions was on the positioning of the Cook Islands in the UN system and what that might be post 2020.
Both UN officials who are based in Samoa are in Rarotonga to attend the Climate Change Development and Resilience Roundtable.
“Given where we are with pending ODA graduation, we are recalibrating our relationship with the UN and will over the coming weeks look to operationalise a Joint Presence Office (JPO) in the Cook Islands in close consultation with the Ministry of Finance and the Office of the Prime Minister” said Foreign Secretary Tepaeru Herrmann.
“MFAI will look to involve lead technical agencies such as the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Agriculture, Internal Affairs and Education – all of whom have direct engagement with specialised UN agencies – in discussions regarding the JPO.”
“We greatly value being part of the UN family and will look to the JPO to strengthen coordination of UN programmes on the ground and deepen outward engagement” said Herrmann.
The Cook Islands has over the years worked closely with the UN in climate change, disaster resilience and environmental protection, gender equality, sustainable and inclusive economic empowerment, equitable basic services, and governance and community engagement.
“We have mutually benefited for example from arrangements via the Global Environment Facility and technical assistance that the Ministry of Health, Internal Affairs, Emergency Management Cook Islands and Parliament have more recently utilised,” she said.
SOURCE: COOK ISLANDS GOVT/PACNEWS
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