CROP agencies and UN strengthen collaboration

[Suva, FIJI] Heads of Council of Regional Organisations of the Pacific (CROP) agencies and United Nations missions in the Pacific met for the first time in a high level special session last week to strengthen collaboration and coordination at all levels.

The meeting held at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat in Suva sought a particular focus on improved collaboration and coordination with a specific focus on reducing the burden of disjointed multiple partner engagement at the national level.

Executives agreed that their efforts should focus on national-level actions and gains wherever practical.

Mr. Knut Ostby, United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Representative, thanked the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Tuiloma Neroni Slade, for taking the initiative to start inviting UN Representatives to meet with CROP Heads.

“This is a very useful opportunity to formalise and strengthen the UN CROP engagement moving forward,” said Mr Ostby.

“In particular, the ideas discussed at this meeting should form the basis for concrete steps forward in collaboration and for coordinated efforts towards the annual Joint Statement between the UN Secretary General and Pacific Islands Forum Leaders.”

Secretary General Slade also welcomed the collaboration, noting all agencies’ joint aspirations towards improving the lives of Pacific peoples as espoused in the Forum Leaders’ Vision and the Pacific Plan, as well as in mutual objectives of advancing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

UN and CROP heads agreed at the meeting this week to establish a working group to build on the expressed joint desire to strengthen collaboration amongst the UN and CROP architecture. The Terms of Reference for this group will be imminently developed for consideration by all parties.

CROP Agencies
CROP agencies include the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Fiji School of Medicine (FSMed), Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (PIFFA), Pacific Islands Development Programme (PIDP), Secretariat for the Pacific Community (SPC), Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO), University of the South Pacific (USP), Pacific Power Association (PPA) and Pacific Aviation Safety Office (PASO).

The Secretary General of the Forum Secretariat is permanent Chair of CROP.

CROP functions as a coordination mechanism between the heads of the regional organisations in the Pacific, and a high-level advisory body, to provide policy advice and may assist in facilitating policy formulation at national, regional and international level. CROP provides a forum to enable CROP heads to collectively review progress with their respective organisations’ contributions on the Pacific Plan.

UN in the Pacific
The UN system in the Pacific is composed of a wide range of UN organisations with a resident presence, including United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), World Health Organization (WHO), International Labour Organization (ILO), United Nations Women/Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), Joint United Nation AIDS Programme (UNAIDS), Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia Pacific (UNESCAP), Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), United Nations Strategy for International Disaster Reduction (UNISDR), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), World Meteorological Organization (WMO), United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), United Nations Volunteers (UNV), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), United Nations Agency for Human Settlements Program (UNHABITAT), International Monetary Fund and Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Centre (IMF/PFTAC), UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and International Agency for Migration (OIM).

Led by the UN Resident Coordinator’s the UN Office in Fiji covers 10 Pacific Island Countries (PICs), the Samoa Office covers four and Papua New Guinea has its own office. The UN Offices coordinate their work under the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), a multi-country framework embedded within national and regional development plans aimed at fostering the UN system’s commitment to development initiative.

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For further information please contact the Forum Secretariat’s Communications Officer, Mue Bentley Fisher, via mueb@forumsec.org.fj.

Captions:

Photos 1 & 2: Room shots of the high-level meeting at the Forum Secretariat in Suva last week

Photo 3 (l-r): Co-Chairs of the UN/CROP meeting, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Tuiloma Neroni Slade and United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Representative Mr. Knut Ostby.