New U.N. Resident Representative begins term in Samoa

Jorn Sorensen is the new Resident Representative (R.R.) for the United Nations’ Development Programme (U.N.D.P.) in Samoa's multi-country office.

The Denmark native presented his credentials to the Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, on Monday marking the official start of his term in Samoa.

Mr. Sorensen was with the U.N.D.P Sri Lanka office where he worked for five years prior to coming to Samoa, the organisation said. 

He has about 25 years of working experience with the U.N.

“I am very pleased to be here in Samoa and taking on this role at such a time as this. I intend to continue the great work already done in Samoa by previous Resident Representatives, and to reinforce U.N.D.P’s critical advisory role in driving the sustainable development agenda,” he said.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa warmly welcomed Mr Sorensen to Samoa and his new role. 

In the statement, Tuilaepa said he looks forward to working with U.N.D.P. on some key development projects particularly in the cross-cutting area of sports and youth.  

Tuilaepa also gave Mr. Sorenson a signed copy of his book, Palemia.

Professional background

Mr. Sorensen has served in different capacities within the U.N system. He was Country Director in Sri Lanka (2014-2018) and in India (2013-2014). 

From 2009-2013, he served as U.N.D.P. Deputy Country Director in Nepal. He also worked as Head of Strategic Planning and Partnerships, Recovery and Crisis Prevention Programme in U.N.D.P. Iraq (2006-2009). 

He was Programme Specialist with U.N.D.P. Iraq (2004-2005) and for the Regional Bureau for Arab States in New York (2000-2004). 

He also worked as an Advisor for W.F.P. in China (2000) and for U.N.D.P. China (1999-2000). Mr. Sorensen was Assistant Resident Representative (Programme) in U.N.D.P. D.P.R. Korea (1998-1999) and Reginal Programme Manager in U.N.D.P. New York (1997-1998). He also worked as Team Leader in U.N.D.P. Mongolia (1996-1997). Mr. Sorensen started his career with U.N.D.P. as J.P.O. in Mongolia (1994-1997).

He holds a Master's degree in International Development Studies from the Institute of Philosophy, Rhetoric and Pedagogic, University of Copenhagen. He also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Management from the Royal Copenhagen Business School. He speaks English and Spanish. 

The Resident Representative is the highest role in any U.N.D.P. office. 

Until December 2018, the role of United Nations Resident Coordinator (R.C.) has been combined with that of U.N.D.P’s Resident Representative.

But as part of the U.N. reform to delink the U.N R.C system, the role of R.R. for U.N.D.P. is now held separately from that of R.C. for the U.N.

Dr Simona Marinescu is the current U.N R.C.

The Samoa multi-country office services the needs of four island nations: Samoa, Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau.  

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