UN75 and Beyond: UNDP in Papua New Guinea joins a global discussion
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Papua New Guinea, together with other UN agencies in the country, hosted a Forum Series of livestreamed panel discussions across the nation during the month of October - as part of the UN75 Dialogue.
These discussions celebrated the United Nations' 75th global anniversary and 45 years of the United Nations in Papua New Guinea - a lead up to the main event, the UN Day Partnership Dialogue cohosted by the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Hon. James Marape to be held in early November 2020.
The forums invited Papua New Guineans to a conversation on what has been achieved and, more importantly, what is still to be done to achieve a just and peaceful society for all. The forums were broadcast live to the world via social media on facebook: @UNinPNG.
Topics discussed by a range of panelists from academia to grassroots community-based organisations included real issues from peacebuilding, sustainable development and environmental conservation, rural agriculture and economic empowerment to good governance, gender equality, tackling gender-based violence, and the importance of strong partnerships.
UNDP hosted a lively discussion on the 'Realities of Sustainable Development in PNG.' This live panel forum was broadcast from the tropical gardens of Port Moresby Nature Park.
Panelists, leading local environmental and climate voices discussed the path forward for sustainable development in Papua New Guinea through conservation, climate change and renewable energies - and explored ways to best protect PNG's unique biodiversity. The discussion was moderated by UNDPs Ms Gretel Orake, Project manager for the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency project. Watch the video below:
If you missed the #UN75 live panel forums, held across Papua New Guinea - follow the links below to view the other livestreamed discussions, now available on Youtube:
UN opens offices in Hela and Southern Highlands provinces
United Nations Resident Coordinator, Gianluca Rampolla (5th from left), UN agencies representatives and provincial government officials raise the PNG and UN flags.
The United Nations Development Programme in Papua New Guinea is proud to be a part of the United Nations Family to witness the opening of two new UN offices in the PNG Highlands this month.
UNDP Resident Representative, Mr. Dirk Wagener and team accompanied the UN Resident Coordinator, Mr. Gianluca Rampolla, and other UN agencies, to reaffirm the United Nations' commitment to sustainable peace and development in the Highlands Region.
The new office in Mendi, in the Southern Highlands Province - the coordination office for the Highlands Joint Programme - was opened by Mr. Rampolla and senior provincial government officials. UNDP will be the coordinating agency of the Highlands Joint Programme and is providing common services to all participating agencies such as office facilities.
“This is the UN’s home base here in the Southern Highlands Province. It doesn’t matter from which agencies we come from, we all work here together as One UN,” said Mr Wagener, to the assembled UN and Southern Highlands provincial government staff.
In Hela Province, Governor Philip Undialu and Lord Mayor of Tari Town, Andaja Jali, joined the UN Family to open the new office in the provincial capital of Tari.
“The visible and continued presence of the UN on the ground, symbolized by this flag, provides for a wave of hope for the community of Hela, ” said Governor Udialu.
Handover of 20 life saving ventilators to the National Department of Health procured by UNDP
Minister for Health and HIV/AIDS Dr Puka Temu, China Ambassador H.E. Xue Bing, Prime Minister Hon. James Marape and UN Resident Coordinator Gianluca Rampolla.
Twenty lifesaving ventilators were handed over to the Government of Papua New Guinea to further strengthen the country’s health system at national and provincial levels. A total of 30 ventilators have now been delivered to the government with support of the United Nations.
In handing over the ventilators on behalf of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Resident Coordinator Gianluca Rampolla reaffirmed the organisation’s commitment to the government’s COVID response. “This is the latest of many handovers we have made since March and it is far from the last,” said Mr Rampolla.
“The UN continue to support the fight against COVID and help Papua New Guinea’s healthcare system become more resilient to future health crises.”
Delivering these ventilators at a total cost of more than US$ 600,000 (2.1 million PGK/ Papua New Guinean Kina) was made possible through the collaborative efforts of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the People’s Republic of China through its Embassy in Port Moresby. China has donated US$ 450,000 to the procurement of ventilators with the balance contributed by UNDP.
The ventilators will bolster the country’s investment in strengthening frontline health systems and its capacity to treat possible acute cases of COVID-19. This essential equipment will also enhance the support of intensive care treatment for other acute respiratory or life-threatening illnesses.
UNDP Resident Representative, Mr. Dirk Wagener said the need for ventilators as essential equipment in the country’s hospitals can help patients survive many critical illnesses, not just COVID-19.
“These ventilators are a life-saving tool. They will help many people now and into the future across the country. UNDP and the People’s Republic of China have been proud to lead this health procurement process in support of the Government of Papua New Guinea.”
The generosity of the Government of People’s Republic of China and H.E. Ambassador Xue Bing have financed 15 of the ventilators, and UNDP sponsored the remaining five ventilators. The People’s Republic of China has further supported the Papua New Guinea health response with clinical preparedness support to Port Moresby General Hospital.
Mr. Wagener said the National Department of Health’s swift and sustained efforts to address the country’s preparedness and response to COVID-19 from January, well before many countries in the world, had strengthened the health infrastructure in PNG.
UNDP’s continued full support for the Government of Papua New Guinea’s preparedness and response efforts, addresses both health and non-health impacts.
Mr. Rampolla and H.E. Ambassador Xue Bing were joined by the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, the Hon. James Marape – with Minister for Health Sir Puka Temu, and National Pandemic Controller, who thanked the People’s Republic of China and UNDP for their generous support.
Mr Marape said he is happy to see both the Chinese Government and UNDP step in to assist with the ventilators, adding that the PNG Government appreciates the gift.
“This small but symbolic occasion further strengthens the relationship with UN and the Chinese Government. Every help matters in this time. In instances where there’s acute respiratory symptoms, the ventilators will help during and beyond Covid-19,” the Prime Minister said.
World needs new view of prosperity moving forward
The coronavirus pandemic shows no signs of slowing with rising death toll while economic impact continues to threaten decades of human development growth, writes UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner.
New York, 29 September 2020 – The world has passed a grim milestone as the World Health Organization announced in September that 1 million people had died from the coronavirus. More than 33 million people had been infected with the virus since it began in late 2019, and those numbers expect to grow as more countries sound the alarm about second waves.
The pandemic has also taken a dramatic socio-economic toll on the world with governments pumping as much as US$11 trillion into economies to keep them afloat. Stopping the virus while protecting people from the economic devastation remains top priority, says United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Achim Steiner.
“The climbing death toll is staggering, and we must work together to slow the spread of this virus,” Achim Steiner says. “The world is at a breaking point. In almost every country and territory our socio-economic impact assessments have revealed economies slowing down and contracting.
The IMF forecasts a grim end of year with 172 countries expecting negative growth. Economists predict that GDP levels will not return to pre-Covid19 levels until 2023. Those low to medium development countries will be hit the hardest, not just economically, but also socially. The people living in those countries are on the brink.”
The impact from the coronavirus pandemic has put enormous strain on world economies and for the first time in 30 years has sent human development into reverse. In 2020, as many as 100 million more people could fall into extreme poverty (UNDP), while 270 million people are in danger of acute food insecurity (World Food Programme).
PNG's Socio-Economic Impact Assessment of Covid-19 report is available on the UNDP in Papua New Guinea website. Follow link to download a copy of the report: SEIA Report
Safeguards could prevent further shocks for people in low development countries who face further harm to education, health, and access to livelihoods. For example, countries can roll out a temporary basic income that would provide a social safety net against poverty while also stopping the spread of the virus.
However, safeguards are not enough, according to Steiner. Moving forward from the crisis requires a complete transformation on how the world views prosperity and progress, putting people and planet at the core of recovery rather than GDP metrics.
It also requires shifting toward tomorrow’s economies that include renewable energies and carbon pricing, and away from outdated economies built on fossil fuel reliance. Depending on GDP metrics to determine debt, credit and access to international markets will exacerbate the crisis.
“Today, it is 64 times cheaper for the richest economies of the world to access international credit than for a developing country on the African continent,” Steiner says.
“When countries are looking to bolster their economic landscape, we hear across continents and communities the call for a future that is green, fair and equitable. We cannot continue on this collision course with nature, and ultimately ourselves,” Steiner says.
For more information on the socio-economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, visit www.undp.org.
Bougainville women join Cabinet for first time
For first time, two women electees to Bougainville House of Representatives join Cabinet – including Minister for Education, and Minister for Primary Industries and Marine Resources.
The United Nations was honoured to join Prime Minister Hon. James Marape and diplomatic corps, in Buka, to witness swearing in of the 40 members of Bougainville House of Representatives, including four women electees.
Acting UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Mr. Dirk Wagener represented the United Nations at the inauguration of the 4th Bougainville House of Representatives, for the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.
President-elect of the Autonomous Bougainville Government Hon. Ishmael Toroama, together with Vice President Hon. Patrick Nisira, and Speaker of Bougainville House of Representatives Hon. Simon Pentanu - were joined by Deputy Speaker and Women’s Representative for South Bougainville Hon. Therese Kaetavara.
In addition to the election of the female deputy speaker, three other female Members of Parliament were appointed, with two entering the Toroama-Nisira Cabinet for the first time since the establishment of the Autonomous Bougainville Government, founded in 2005.
Joining Cabinet for the first time as women representatives, congratulations to Minister for Education Hon. Theonila Roka Matbob and Minister for Primary Industries and Marine Resources (also Member for Central Bougainville Women), Hon. Yolande Geraldine Paul. Congratulations also to Member for North Bougainville Women, Amanda Masono Getsi.
The contributions of women of Bougainville have been influential in the peace process up to the signing of the Bougainville Peace Agreement, and its implementation, which includes the successful Bougainville Referendum in November 2019.
The United Nations has been working in Bougainville since 1998 and remains committed to work with President Toroama, his government and members of the Bougainville House of Representatives, and in support of the implementation of the Bougainville Peace Agreement.