Meeting Co-Chair Brendy Carl, Assistant Secretary for Foreign Affairs
Hon. Esmond B Moses, Vice-Speaker of the FSM Congress
Distinguished representatives of the Government of the Federated States of Micronesia
Welcome to the first Annual Programme Review between UNDP and the Federated States of Micronesia. I am honoured by the very high-level representation and confident that, with the key decision-makers we have here today, we will have a very strategic dialogue.
Before we start, please accept my belated congratulations on the 42nd FSM Constitution Day, marked on May 10th. Your values of peace, unity, and liberty, and strength in diversity are respected and applauded.
We are holding this Annual Programme Review because we would like to connect with you, face to face, and have a meaningful conversation on the effectiveness of our joint programme.
We wish that we could meet in person, but this type of meeting is the best that we can do during this pandemic. The “silver lining” of a meeting over Zoom is that we can maximize participation. If UNDP had travelled to FSM, we would not be present in such numbers.
Climate Change and Office for the North Pacific
President Panuelo spoke powerfully to the recent Nobel Prize Summit (26 April) about the existential threat of climate change to FSM, which is rated the third most at-risk country in the Pacific Islands by the Global Climate Risk Index.
We add our voice to yours internationally, and are determined to assist FSM to mitigate and manage disasters and climate change impacts. I assure you that UNDP stands by FSM in seeking to mobilize countries around the world to take decisive climate action.
The majority of our joint programme is focused on this. We work very closely with the Department of Environment and Emergency Management, and our strong partnership has produced very good results. We can work with you to upscale this, if you request it.
I am so pleased that we will soon be working with you from the UNDP Office for the North Pacific. Our physical presence, which we aim to have in place in the next few months, is a milestone for the partnership and a strong indication of our commitment to you.
Priorities, Partnerships, Gender, SDGs
The joint programme addresses the SAMOA Pathway priorities, including sustainable energy, disaster risk reduction, and climate change, and FSM’s other regional and international commitments.
We are aware that FSM has the support of other development partners in those areas, and are committed to ensuring that all partners leverage their strengths for efficient collaboration.
UNDP provides value to FSM in terms of its wide-ranging technical expertise, wealth of experience, and willingness to embrace innovation. If your development challenges lay outside our mandate, we will identify other UN agencies and donors better placed to provide support and work. We stand together with you.
I would like to highlight the gender expertise that we can make available. There are significant gender aspects to climate change, disasters and COVID-19; to paraphrase the UN Secretary-General in the 2019 Annual Report on Women, Peace and Security, climate change and environmental degradation exacerbate complex emergencies that disproportionately affect women and girls.
We are impressed with your determination to see progress made against the SDGs and believe that the achievement of the 2030 Agenda will build resilience and secure the future of humankind.
I trust that today’s consultations are an indication of our strong commitment to FSM. I look forward to hearing more about your development priorities for next year, and to discussing how we will work through the new UNDP Office for the North Pacific.
Thank you for your time today, your cooperation with all UNDP staff working to support your country, and for your commitment to strengthening the UNDP-FSM partnership.
 FSM President addresses Nobel Prize Summit about climate change - PNC News First (pncguam.com)