UNDP partners with the Government of Kiribati in the areas of climate change, disaster resilience and environmental protection, effective governance for service delivery, sustainable and inclusive economic development. (Photo: UNDP)

Suva, Fiji
– The UN Development Programme and the Government of Kiribati’s shared commitment to building resilience, including through climate action, and engaging closely as partners dominated discussions at the recent virtual high-level meeting between UNDP and the Government of Kiribati.

The meeting held on Tuesday 30 March, was the first Annual Programme Review, convened to discuss cooperation and strengthen ties between UNDP and the Government of Kiribati. While it did include coverage of 2020’s key results, detailed discussions focused on projects in the areas of governance, inclusive economic growth, and resilience and sustainable development that have continued into 2021.                                      

In his opening remarks, Mr. Levan Bouadze, the Resident Representative for UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji, expressed his gratitude to the Government of Kiribati and explained that the APR was designed to provide countries with an opportunity to register their overall assessment of the value and impact of UNDP’s work on the ground.  

“A big part of our work in Kiribati in 2021 is to build on strengths and success stories, so the APR exercise will review 2020 results and lessons learned as well as share our 2021 plan. Going forward, we need to apply lessons learnt, best practices while simultaneously managing risks and addressing gaps for us to better navigate these uncertain times. It is important to remain agile and innovate as we move forward,” he said.

Mr. Bouadze added “We remain committed to supporting the implementation of the Paris Agreement in the context of Kiribati such as through the Climate Promise where we are currently supporting the revision of your Nationally Determined Contributions.”

The Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Immigration, Mr. Michael Foon expressed his appreciation to UNDP for arranging the dialogue and provided his assurance that the Government had carefully prepared in order to provide an overarching assessment of UNDP’s activities.

(L-R) Kiribati High Commissioner to Fiji, H.E. David Teaabo, and UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji Deputy Resident Representative a.i., Kevin Petrini at the Annual Programme Review meeting. (Photo: UNDP/Setaita Tavanabola)
Representatives from the Government of Kiribati and the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji at the Annual Programme Review meeting (Photo: UNDP)
UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji - Resilience and Sustainable Development Programme Team Leader a.i. Winifereti Nainoca acknowledging the Government of Kiribati's partnership with UNDP in the areas of climate change, disaster resilience and environmental protection. (Photo: UNDP/Setaita Tavanabola)

According to Mr. Foon, “There is an increasing recognition that the partnership has great potential to bring together human and financial resources, expertise, technology, and knowledge from different actors with positive effects. I am confident that the partnership dialogues like this exemplify our government’s KV20 objectives to transform the lives of our people and our nation through strategic partnerships.”

“The Government remains committed to the longstanding partnership it has built with UNDP over the past 21 years to improve livelihoods, transform communities, and to create a resilient nation for the people of Kiribati, in particular, during these difficult times, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added.

Following remarks from both senior officials, and a presentation on key 2020 results from UNDP, officials from all implementing agencies in Kiribati provided statements on projects in which they are involved and offered suggestions.  Open and forthright discussions following these presentations enabled all participants to share their own insights and ideas for the implementation of programmes in 2021 and beyond.

While the consultations brought key stakeholders together in one virtual room, the discussions, which included statements of appreciation, suggestions for modifications, and ideas for new areas of collaboration, were the most valued component of the meeting.

In his closing remarks, Mr. Foon shared, “Thank you for the opportunity to discuss and convey Kiribati’s priorities. I extend my sincere appreciation to the UNDP team for the comprehensive information and updates.”

He indicated that the exchange of information would continue in the days and months ahead, as Kiribati has undertaken to closely consult with UNDP on the way forward.

The Annual Programme Review now becomes part of the calendar of engagement between UNDP and the Government of Kiribati, which the next high-level discussion planned for early 2022. In the meantime, the UN Development Programme and the Government of Kiribati remain committed to their collaboration, designed to support national development and the wellbeing of the people of Kiribati.

For media queries, please contact:

Emily Moli, Knowledge Communications Analyst, UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji. Email; emily.moli@undp.org or tel: +(679) 3227 504; mobile: +679 722 5301

Setaita Tavanabola, Communications Associate, UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji. Email: Setaita.tavanabola@undp.org or tel: +(679) 3227 523

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