United Nations Assistant Secretary-General, UNDP Assistant Administrator and UNDP Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, Ms. Kanni Wignaraja met with Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister James Marape.
On her first visit to Papua New Guinea, she took the opportunity to highlight the long-standing partnership between UNDP and Papua New Guinea.
Ms. Wignaraja said, “I am pleased to finally visit Papua New Guinea. It is a place of incredible opportunity. UNDP has enjoyed a strong partnership with Papua New Guinea for many years and we remain committed to strengthening this partnership further in coming years. The world is in uncertain times. UNDP’s commitment is to support Papua New Guinea find solutions that will accelerate progress toward fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals and transitioning to a green economy.”
A range of topics were discussed during this first meeting. These included the importance of Papua New Guinea pursuing a green economy transition, increasing efforts to empower women, and accelerating efforts to deliver on the 2030 Agenda.
During these discussions, Ms. Wignaraja drew attention to the continuing importance of maintaining global commitment to climate action.
Following COP 27, she reiterated that this included investment in a fundamental restructuring of economies towards renewable, low-carbon and sustainable technologies.
Ms. Wignaraja highlighted the importance of this particularly for Papua New Guinea where biodiversity and the scale of forest cover, made it a custodian of an irreplaceable international public good.
Ms. Wignaraja also took this opportunity to reaffirm the importance of further empowering women in Papua New Guinea.
Reflecting on the challenges that women continue to face, she highlighted the global experience which demonstrates that where women are able to fully participate in social, economic and political life, countries are more resilient, safer and more prosperous.
The recent release of the 2021 UNDP Human Development Report has shone a stoplight on growing global uncertainty showing declines in hard fought development gains among many countries as they pursue post-COVID recovery and navigate global economic uncertainty, been no exception to this.
Ms. Wignaraja reiterated the importance of addressing this decline, making up for lost ground on the 2030 Agenda.
Ms. Wignaraja will be in Papua New Guinea from 30 November to 4 December. She will call on senior political, government, civil society, and private sector leaders.