A significant achievement has been made by the Fijian Government to progressively enhance its collaborations with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through the official signing of the UNDP Standard Basic Assistance Agreement (SBAA).
The agreement was formally signed yesterday between the UNDP Resident Representative a.i. Bakhodir Burkhanov and the Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs Major General (Ret’d) Ioane Naivalurua, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs headquarters in Suva. The Ministry also took the opportunity to welcome the new incoming UNDP Resident Representative a.i. Vineet Bhatia and also acknowledged his predecessor Burkhanov for his achievements and service.
Speaking at the signing, Burkhanov said it represents a milestone achievement in strengthening the partnership to strengthen Fiji’s leadership role as the hub for socioeconomic development in the Pacific region. He said the agreement will also support the work of UNDP in 10 pacific island countries and he acknowledged the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for its diligent actions to bring the signing to fruition.
“We are very pleased to finally sign this agreement which creates the foundation for the work of UNDP in Fiji, as well as the work of some other agencies and UN entities that depend on this standard basic agreement to work with UNDP. This important framework provides the legal foundation for our work.
“We thank the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for its leadership, particularly to the Permanent Secretary for providing a great support to UN system ever since he took up his office, and we look forward to many years of this very productive collaboration here in Fiji,” Mr Burkhanov elaborated.
In response, PS Naivalurua reaffirmed the Ministry’s commitment to forge stronger working relations with the UNDP to advance Fiji’s aspirations in promoting sustainable prosperity and improvement in the lives of ordinary Fijians. He also commended UNDP for its vision to reachout to improve the lives of Fiji communities and the tremendous support it continues to provide towards Fiji’s development.
“UNDP plays an important role in the region as such this agreement provides the solid foundation to sustainably improve the lives of people within Fiji and the Pacific region. Looking forward you can be rest assured of our commitment to make sure that this agreement is fully implemented and that it brings out the best in terms of increased development opportunities,” Mr Naivalurua said.