UN official discusses multi-country office with Vice President George

FSM Information Services 

PALIKIR, Pohnpei—On March 18th, 2019 the Honorable Yosiwo P. George, Vice President of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), met with a United Nations (UN) mission to discuss government perceptions of how the UN is supporting FSM in achieving its sustainable development goals (SDGs). The mission is in response to the UN General Assembly resolution 72/279—adopted on May 31st, 2018—which requested the Secretary General to “conduct a review of the configuration, capacity, resource needs, role and development services of multi-country offices (MCOs), in full consultation with involved countries, to improve the contribution of the offices to country progress in achieving the 2030 Agenda.” Accompanying Mr. Sanaka Samarasinha—one of two UN Resident Coordinators heading one of the two MCOs for the Pacific region—were members of the MCO Review Team, engaged by the UN to gather data and provide an objective analysis to inform how the MCO operating model can be improved.

In response to the UN mission’s request for feedback on where the UN currently serves the FSM well and where it can be improved, Vice President George discussed the need for more technical assistance and reiterated a request made during the 19th Micronesian Presidents Summit in February 2019 for more UN presence in the FSM and the broader Micronesian region. “We are anticipating a lot of changes in 2023 that we’re not quite ready for. Our development isn’t at a level that we hope for… An MCO is something that can help, but what we would really like to see more of is more technical assistance from the UN.”

Mr. Gillian Doone, Assistant Director for the Office of Overseas Development Assistance, spoke in detail about how the UN had previously assisted the FSM with on-the-ground capacity-building and project implementation, e.g. UN Volunteers had at one point assisted Yap State with their strategic development plan.

“We have trouble with the lack of technical know-how in accessing funding, for example the Green Climate Fund and Climate Adaptation Fund,” said Vice President George. “On-the-ground assistance is something we need…. We have trouble with the lack of technical know-how in accessing funding, for example the Green Climate Fund and Climate Adaptation Fund.”

Vice President George and Mr. Samarasinha also discussed the possibility of UN staff, currently placed in Bangkok (Thailand) and Suva (Fiji) and who manage the aforementioned funds, potentially being placed in the FSM on detail assignments and/or FSM staff potentially being placed on temporary assignment abroad.

 In closing the meeting, Mr. Samarasinha discussed opportunities to continue conversations on how the UN can better support the FSM, including the UN Pacific Strategy review that is expected to occur on or around the week of April 22nd, 2019.

The FSM National Government is strengthening its partnership with the UN as one component of its ongoing commitment towards serving the needs of the citizens of the Nation. The FSM has been a member of the UN since September 17th, 1991.

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