Sunday, December 11, 2022 – 18:45
The Kingdom of Tonga became the first Pacific Islands Country and Territories (PICTs) under the United Nations Fiji multi-country Office to officially sign the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework 2023-2027 on December 7, 2022 in Nuku’alofa.
This Framework was formally signed by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism, Hon. Fekitamoeloa Katoa Útoikamanu and Sanaka Samarasinha, the UN Resident Coordinator to Tonga, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
In a joint statement the parties said that this Framework lays the blueprint of the work of the UN in Tonga over the next five years.
The plan supports the key national development priorities of Tonga.
It also aligns with shared priorities in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
Hon. Utoikamanu said, “This framework is important because it has been developed to ensure that UN development activities in Tonga are aligned to our national priorities. It provides a clear guideline for implementing and planning the UN’s work at national level in support of our implementation of the 2030 Agenda.”
In the Pacific, the UN system, together with 14 PICTs, resolved to develop this overarching Framework in line with regional strategies, particularly the most recent 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent.
Mr Samarasinha said, “With multiple crises affecting Tonga and the the region, it is vital we ensure an integrated approach to humanitarian and development support from the UN: one that empowers people and builds resilience to ensure a peaceful, prosperous, and peaceful Pacific.”
This Framework was developed in close consultation with the key stakeholders including governments, civil society organisations, and development partners across these 14 PICTs.
Tonga successfully conducted a participatory technical consultation last week. The first ever Country Implementation Plan is anticipated to be finalized and approved by the Government by February 2023.
The previous day, 6 December, the UN Flag was flown for the first time at the Royal Palace in Nuku’alofa, as the UN Resident Coordinator presented his Credential to King Tupou VI. He was the first UN Staff to do so.
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