UNDP Regional Director returns from provincial visit
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific Mr. Haoliang Xu has returned to Port Moresby from a two-day visit to the Milne Bay province where he met with local and provincial leaders to discuss UNDP support for the region’s public finance management, achievement of Millennium Development Goals and promotion of human rights.
Mr Xu’s visit was welcomed by Hon. Titus Philemon, MP and Governor for Milne Bay Province and Mr. Gita Elliot, Mayor of Alotau. During discussions with the local leaders Mr Xu acknowledged the provincial government’s support for progressive change in the region.
“Papua New Guinea is a country on the move with the potential to achieve remarkable social and economic transformation,” said Haoliang Xu. “I was impressed with the commitment of Milne Bay province leaders to accelerating poverty eradication, improving the provision of public services and achieving other development objectives important for the people of the province.”
In his first trip to the region, Mr Xu visited a training lab under the Provincial Capacity Building Programme which provides technical support to 500 staff across 11 provinces. The programme is a joint initiative through UNDP, Government of Papua New Guinea (GoPNG), and Australian AID.
“The training lab is turning into a hub which significantly contributes to improving effectiveness, transparency and coordination of public finance management,” Mr Xu added. “The results of the lab’s training and research programmes can have a direct impact on speeding up efforts to toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals in Papua New Guinea,”.
During his visit Mr Xu met with community leaders from Sibilai Village to learn of their plans for the Community-Led Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Acceleration Project. The project is a pilot initiative by the UNDP and European Union, in partnership with the Government of PNG, to fast-track MDG achievement at the local level. The Sibilai Village is one of four groups in PNG selected to participate in the project and has a strong history of achieving change in the 400-person community.
“The people of Sibilai Village have successfully overcome challenges in accessing safe water and sanitation and now with the support of this acceleration project they are working toward food security, creating new jobs and improving public health,” Mr Xu said.
Mr Xu says major partners, the European Union and Australian Government, in conjunction with the Government of Papua New Guinea, are to be acknowledged for their contribution which helps facilitate improvements in social change.
On his final day in Milne Bay, Mr Xu met with provincial partners to discuss the work on addressing gender based violence through the Family Support Centre and the Kedu Seif Haus.
Mr Xu’s visit to Papua New Guinea concludes on Friday following further discussions on how the wealth of the extractive industries could support and advance human development in the country. He will also meet with the Speaker of the National Parliament as part of UNDP’s new programme of support to parliament.
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