Three high-level UN meetings in Vanuatu put spotlight on development in the Pacific. Helen Clark of UNDP and Noeleen Heyzer of ESCAP join Pacific leaders to map out strategies
(Port Vila, Vanuatu) – Three high-level United Nations meetings will take place in Vanuatu next week, bringing together top UN officials and leaders from the Pacific to assess the challenges faced by the region and to map out strategies to spur development amid the current global economic crisis.
Helen Clark, Administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and chairperson of the UN Development Group, and Noeleen Heyzer, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), will be keynote speakers.
“I am delighted to be coming to the Pacific to discuss development advances and challenges in the region,” said Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator. "Prior to coming to UNDP, I was closely involved with Pacific leaders and development issues. I am privileged to be able to contribute to development in the Pacific in my new capacity.”
The busy week kicks off on Monday and Tuesday, 8-9 February, with a High Level Dialogue to review the implementation of the Mauritius Strategy – the United Nations Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) 2005-2015. Ministers and senior officials from the 14 Pacific SIDS will take part in the two-day meeting, which is expected to be opened by Prime Minister Edward Natapei of Vanuatu. President Anote Tong of Kiribati is scheduled to address the closing session.
“The Mauritius Strategy, adopted by 129 countries in 2005, is the only global blueprint that addresses the unique development challenges of SIDS associated with their vulnerabilities. Outcomes from this meeting will feed directly into the discussions at the Pacific Conference on the Human Face of the Global Economic Crisis,” said Dr Heyzer of ESCAP.
The three-day Conference on The Human Face of the Global Economic Crisis, starting on Wednesday 10 February, will gather over 200 delegates from Pacific island countries to discuss the impact of the crisis and how they have responded to it. Delegates – from government ministries, parliaments, development partners, UN agencies, youth and women’s groups, and civil society organizations – will also look at ways to mitigate future crises.
Taking place in parallel with the Mauritius Strategy meeting on Monday and Tuesday will be the Decent Work for Sustainable Development in the Pacific - Tripartite High Level Meeting organized by the International Labour Organization (ILO). The meeting will concentrate on the issues and challenges Pacific Island countries face tackling the jobs crisis and look for solutions through the promotion of economic growth and an increased commitment to decent, productive and sustainable work for all women and men in the Pacific. Outcomes from this meeting will also be discussed at the global economic crisis conference.
The Pacific conference on the Human Face of the Global Economic Crisis is organized by the Government of Vanuatu with support from the United Nations, Asian Development Bank, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Secretariat of the Pacific Community and the University of the South Pacific.