27th April, 2012: At yesterday’s meeting of the Economic and Social Commission (ECOSOC) of the United Nations in New York, Fiji and the Solomon Islands were elected to important UN Boards. Solomon Islands was elected to the Executive Board of UN Women, and Fiji to the Executive Boards of UNDP and UNFPA.
The election of the two Pacific Island countries to these boards was worked through PSIDS, the group of eleven Pacific Island countries with resident missions at the United Nations in New York. PSIDS is committed to increasing the level of representation of the Pacific Islands countries within the UN system, and was instrumental in backing Fiji and the Solomon Islands for the two board positions.
On the ground in 177 countries, UNDP is the United Nations’ global development network. It advocates for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. UNFPA is the international development agency that promotes the right of every woman, man and child to enjoy a life of health and equal opportunity. UNFPA goals include achieving universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reduction of maternal mortality.
Fiji’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Peter Thomson, said that Fiji would be bringing a Pacific Island perspective to its membership of both UNDP and UNFPA. “The Millennium Goals have yet to be fully achieved in the Pacific, so we will be using our board membership to meet the remaining challenges.”
UN Women was created in July 2010 to accelerate the UN’s goals on gender equality and the empowerment of women. Ambassador Collin Beck, the Permanent Representative of the Solomon Islands to the UN, said he looked forward to advancing the Pacific’s gender issues on the Executive Board of UN Women. He said he expected to be able to coordinate well with the women’s machinery of the Pacific region. Ambassador Beck noted, “This is the first time that the Pacific Islands have being represented on the board of UN Women, so we hope to make a positive difference through our membership.”
(Caption: Ambassador Collin Beck of the Solomon Islands and Ambassador Peter Thomson of Fiji in New York yesterday.)
Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation P. O. Box 2220 Government Buildings Suva, Fiji