The United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Miroslav Jenča, is in Samoa. He was warmly welcomed by the U.N. Resident Coordinator, Lizbeth Cullity, to address all U.N. personnel at the F.A.O. Conference Room yesterday.
In his address, he underscored several important messages and answered questions from the U.N. 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 said.
He highlighted the U.N. 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) (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, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi of which he was astounded by the P.M.’s offer of more adjacent buildings to the U.N. “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 U.N. personnel that despite funding cuts to the U.N. from some Member States, the cuts would unlikely be as severe as had been previously reported.
The A.S.G. 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.