Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Trade, Tourism, Commerce, Industry, Cooperatives and Ni-Vanuatu Business (MTTCICNVB), Jotham Napat announced to some 46 Least Developed Countries (LDCs) that Vanuatu is going to graduate from the LDC Category on December 4, 2020, and his delegation would like to see that this graduation must be with momentum, to ensure the continuation of the sustainable development process beyond the actual graduation.

Deputy Prime Minister Napat delivered this statement at the 8th Ministerial Conference of the Least Developed Countries taking place in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates from November 1st to 2nd November, 2019.

“Vanuatu would strongly recommend that UNIDO Comprehensive Programme of Action from 2021-2030 should take into account the interest and specificities of countries earmark for graduation like Vanuatu.

“My delegation is looking forward for the comprehensive programme of Action for LDCs from 2021-2030 as we are embarking towards LDC5 in 2021.

The next Programme of Action should be action oriented instead of only adoption more recommendations but their implementation is not benefitting the LDCs structural and economic development, including industrialization.

“UNIDO’s Comprehensive Programme of Action for LDC must captured the challenges faced by the LDCs in terms of their industrial experiences as well as looking forward to see UNIDO’s full engagement in the December 2019 in New York High Level Midterm review on the implementation of the Istanbul Programme of Action.

“My delegation would like to encourage also UNIDO to fully participate and engage in the preparation of the LDC5 that will be held in Qatar 2021,” he emphasized.

Mr Napat said the Government of Vanuatu reiterates its commitment to UNIDO and commends the Director General for undertaking several reforms in the Organisation to ensure UNIDO remains central and relevant to its members.

“Vanuatu is a recipient of a Country Programme with UNIDO and has just completed its mid- term review and we are looking forward to explore the transition towards the Programme for Country Partnership (PCP), which will provide a strong and institutional platform to enhance and further reinforce both our relations but more so to effectively increase the role and visibility of UNIDO not only in Vanuatu but the rest of the Pacific region; as presently the latter's presence in our part of the world is not clear,” he added.

He highlighted that Vanuatu would like to closely and systematically engage with UNIDO as a follow up of a Vanuatu Council of Ministers Decision 251 on mobilising resources to develop and establish a Private Sector Infrastructure Financing Facility instrument under a Public Private Partnership PPP model.  

“The Government of Vanuatu in closer collaboration with the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry is committed to work with UNIDO in the identification of selected financial institutions and partners globally with a view to secure a USD150 million in the next few years to support and finance key PPP projects in Vanuatu.

“I am expected to meet bilaterally with the UNIDO Chief Mr Li YONG and will flag and raise this particular issue with him and his Senior Management Team,” he said.

The Deputy Prime Minister briefed the meeting that the Government of Vanuatu has recently launched its Sino - Vanuatu Fisheries Plant - a project jointly owned by both the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of Vanuatu on a 49% and 51% shares holding with the sole objectives of exporting our high-quality tuna resources to both the Japanese, European and even the US Market requiring high quality tuna resources.

“We look forward to UNIDO with a successful long track record on supporting Fisheries value chain to step up its effort and assist Vanuatu in developing a short to medium term Fish Export Strategy as soon as possible,” he said.

He placed on record the Government's deep appreciation to Mr. Prakash Mishra, the UNIDO Senior Programme Officer who was commissioned to Vanuatu in June this year and provided briefs to both the Prime Minister and himself on engaging more pro- actively with UNIDO, sharing our vision and insights into a relatively new concept the Economic Development Zone /EDZ undoubtedly helped to push the concept forward. 

“Plans to roll out this EDZ are scheduled for early 2020 and I look forward to benefitting from future UNIDO's technical and financial assistance and intervention in the implementation of this project as well as coordination with other agencies such as UNCTAD.

“My delegation would like to request UNIDO’s ongoing support on our industrial policies, including the quality standard infrastructure, since the Pacific Region is undergoing its regional Quality Infrastructure which the support from UNIDO is welcomed,” he said.

He added that Vanuatu and the rest of the Pacific Islands selected UNIDO members appealed on UNIDO through this General Conference to step up its visibility and presence in our part of the world. 

“Finally, a few years ago, my delegation made a proposal to the UNIDO Director General that my Government as part of our Pacific Islands/ SIDS commitment to request UNIDO to establish a Pacific UNIDO Regional Office and I simply wish to re iterate my Government's stance and willingness to host that facility in Port Vila,” he reiterated.

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