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Gov’t thanks UN agencies

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THE Government yesterday thanked United Nations agencies working here for their support to development efforts in the country.

Supervising Minister for Development Planning and Aid Coordination Peter Tom expressed this during a high level meeting between the government and the agencies.

The meeting was held to review the partnership between the two parties.

 “I wish to convey sincere gratitude from the Government and people of Solomon Islands to the UN agencies for your continuous support in addressing the development aspirations of our country,” Mr Tom said.

“Being a Least Developed Country, a Small Island Developing State and a post-conflict country, Solomon Islands faces an array of development challenges and the UN’s assistance and support to addressing these challenges and progress human development is welcomed and greatly acknowledged by the government.”

Mr Tom said there has been much progress made in a lot of areas. 

“There have been improvements in peace and security, good governance and in the delivery of vital health and education services just to name a few key areas.

“With UNDP assistance, we have also progressed commitments for improved aid effectiveness, strengthen development cooperation, including the principles of country ownership and alignment, and improve monitoring and accountability for reinforcing of development results.

“These are important areas that will contribute towards creating an enabling and more conducive environment for other economic and development activities to occur,” he said.  

However, Mr Tom said there are challenges that still remain such as that of Climate change and environmental degradation that pose serious threats to sustainable development and remain high on the agenda for Solomon Islands.

This includes the rise of Non-Communicable diseases, which is a serious challenge, so as to addressing gender equality issues, the minister added.

 “We are at a pivotal point. And though we have progressed a lot on certain fronts, much more still remains to be done.

“It is therefore imperative that we take a close look at the situation on the ground and make careful analysis to inform our joint interventions, so that resources and actions can be focused and targeted at where they will make the most impact to alleviate poverty and effect change and improvements in the lives of Solomon Islanders.

“Thus, I hope this review gives us an opportunity to take stock of progress and achievements and to reflect on past experiences, to help us improve and do things better in 2013 and beyond.

“More so, I would like to take this opportunity to seek continued support from the UN system organisations to the Solomon Islands Government, to progress human development and accelerate the development process, with a view to building better lives, taking better care, improving livelihoods of the people, and creating and maintaining an enabling environment in the country.”

By Bradford Theonomi