Remarks by Resident Coordinator, Stephen O'Malley at Staff Townhall Meeting with the UN Secretary-General

Jul 2, 2015

UN Resident Coordinator, Stephen O'Malley (left) smiles as UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon shares with UN staff

Mr. Secretary-General
Senior Advisers and other members of the delegation
UN colleagues based in Barbados and the Caribbean
A special welcome to our UN OECS colleagues following us on livestream.

It is a great honour for me to welcome you to Barbados, and to our UN House.

We are extremely fortunate to work this beautiful building, which was custom-built for the UN by the Government of Barbados, and to have the PAHO office next door.  It gives us the opportunity to work together and to strive to Deliver as One.

From here, we serve the Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, and for some of us, the entire Caribbean.  We spend a lot of time on small planes travelling to support these small island developing states – and sometimes more time in airport departure gates waiting for those planes.

As you know, the countries of the subregion place a very high value on their relationship with the United Nations as a trusted partner, and on the support they receive from the UN agencies gathered here today.  That support includes policy advice and technical assistance that reflects our global reach.  It helps to address climate change, encourage healthier societies, combat gender-based violence and other violations of human rights and promote universal norms and values.  And fundamentally, it helps to give the governments and people the capacities they need to shape their own development.

Your visit comes at a critical time for the subregion.  The devastating effects of the 2008 economic downturn are only now beginning to be shaken off.  Vulnerability is only growing due to the effects of climate change.  And a new generation of youth are looking for their place in the economy and in society.  So how can the UN assist at this time?  How do we play our role in supporting the translation of the SAMOA Pathway and the Sustainable Development Goals into national and regional budgets and strategies?

To make sure that we can answer these questions and play the role the region expects of us, we are about to embark on the development of a new UN Multi-Country Sustainable Development Framework to support Barbados and the nine members of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, as well as Belize, Guyana , Jamaica, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. This is an ambitious effort to tie together six different UN Country Teams around a small number of strategic priorities for the next five years.  Your focus during this visit on the post-2015 agenda is immensely helpful in setting the stage for our consultations with governments and civil society.

I would again like to thank you and your delegation for your mission, and on behalf of the entire team, I express our hopes that it will be a success.

And now, I would like to invite our colleague, Ms. De-Jane Gibbons, the Assistance Representative of UNFPA, to deliver remarks on behalf of the staff.

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