UN to expand support and assistance to the Government and people of Solomon Islands
This week, the United Nations Resident Coordinator (UN RC), Sanaka Samarasinha, led a team of UN agencies to the Solomon Islands for the first time since COVID-19 forced its borders closed in 2020. The team engaged in discussion with key Government counterparts, including Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare, government ministers, the Speaker of Parliament and development partners.
During discussions with Government, the UN Team discussed key priorities of the Solomon Islands and highlighted potential support by the UN, including in the areas of sustaining peace in Solomon Islands, achievement of the sustainable development goals (SDGs), governance reform, better coordination, a scale-up of the UN presence and assistance in the Solomon Islands, a statement
Other issues discussed were Least Developed Country (LDC) graduation, job creation, service delivery, especially in the provinces, as well as disaster preparedness and COVID-19 response.
During the discussion with Hon. Prime Minister, the UN reiterated its commitment to support key national priorities and discussed the strategic position of the UN as the multilateral entity supporting Solomon Islands in the short, medium, and long term.
The UN recognizes the importance of ensuring peace and stability as a prerequisite for development and SDG progress, and the UN will continue to work with national and provincial stakeholders on this important agenda.
The RC met with High Commissioners from Australia, New Zealand and UK, and Ambassadors from China and Japan, and a representative from the US and thanked them for their robust partnership with the UN.
Discussions also highlighted the need to focus on young people, ensuring development assistance supports and provides them with opportunities, including sustainable and decent jobs.
The UN will continue to ensure its work is aligned to and supports the Solomon Islands national development plan and the UN has committed to facilitating a UN Country Implementation Plan that will fully align with the national priorities.
The UN continues its support to the Solomon Islands to strengthen its vaccination rollout campaigns, given the Solomon Islands is currently lagging on vaccination rates globally. The Solomon Islands currently sits at 52% vaccination – almost 20% under its target of 70% vaccination rate by July 2022. There is concern that slow vaccination uptake will result in child vaccination rates also falling behind.
The UN offered to support the Solomon Islands to accurately measure and report on its Voluntary National Review (VNR) of the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
There was unanimous call from the government and partners to expand the UN’s presence and role in the country.
The UN is one of Solomon Islands’ long- standing development partners, supporting in areas such as climate action, strategic restructuring of economic sectors, health and education, social protection, gender equality, childhood protection, digital and blue economy development, food security, humanitarian aid and recovery, democratic governance, agriculture and fisheries, infrastructure, macroeconomic management, relocation of communities at risk.
UN’s contribution to Solomon Islands in 2022 is projected to be US$23.1m – a 5% increase from the 2021 provisions.
These contributions will support the Solomon Islands in equitable basic services, climate change, disaster resilience and environmental protection, governance and community engagement, gender equality, and Economic empowerment and Human rights.
The UN stands ready to accompany Solomon Islands in the next phase of its development journey.