The Resident Coordinator Office

The Resident Coordinator Office (RCO) supports the work of the United Nations Resident Coordinator (RC) who heads the UN Multi-Country Office covering Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa, and Tokelau.  

The  RCO is an integral part of the Resident Coordinator system, to ensure effective coordination of all UN agencies dealing with operational activities for development at the country level, regardless of their presence, to deliver as a One UN.

These UN agencies form the UN Country Team, (UNCT) which is the main inter-agency mechanism in-country for inter-agency coordination, coherence, and decision-making.

The RC leads the UN Country Team of 15 UN agencies to ensure the coordination, harmonisation, and simplification of their support to achieve national development goals. The UNCT consults with the Governments to define and agree on the UN strategic responses to country development priorities.  

The RC leads the RCO to coordinate activities related to common programming including Agenda 2030, joint programmes and development activities.This is done in conformity with the objectives and priorities of the Governments, and the mandates and objectives of the United Nations agencies.

The RCO supports the UN Resident Coordinator in:

  • Strategic Planning ;
  • Economics ;
  • Partnership and Development Finance ;
  • Results Management and Reporting;
  • Communications and Advocacy.

In the next five years (2023 - 2027) the RCO will lead the coordination of the UN support towards the development priorities of the 4 countries through;

Joint Programmes

  • United Nations Sustainable Development 'Cooperation Framework 2023 - 2027' for Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa and Tokelau.
  • European Union and UN Spotlight Initiative to strengthen national efforts and commitments towards ending domestic violence and intimate partner violence.
  • India-UN Development Partnership Fund Samoa Knowledge Society Initiative.
  • Joint SDG Fund - Social Protection Systems
  • Joint SDG Fund - Food Systems Development Emergency Modality.
  • Joint SDG Fund - The Ecosystems Services Programme.
  • UNPS Fund/ UN - NZ Partnership - Women in Leadership, Markets for Change, Birth Registration and Programme on Anti Corruption.

New Initiatives and large-scale programmes

  • UN support to the Chairmanship of the Alliance of Small Islands Developing States (AOSIS)
  • Climate Action Pathways for Island Transport (CAP-IT): Accelerating the Decarbonisation of Samoa's Land Maritime Transport Sectors
  • Mercy Ship Organic Certification System project
  • Samoa Digital Transformation Strategy

Ongoing coordination support

  • UNCT Regional and MCO meetings
  • Joint Steering Committee meetings
  • Partners and stakeholder roundtables and consultations
  • Joint programme meetings
  • UN SDG advocacy campaigns and other events.

Meet the Team

The RCO team consists of:

  • Strategic Planning and Team Leader (a.i)- Ms LaToya Lee
  • Economist - Mr Travis Mitchell
  • Partnerships and Development Finance - Vacant
  • Results Management and Reporting - Ms LaToya Lee
  • Communications and Advocacy - Ms Aterina Samasoni
  • Executive Assistant - Ms. Morita Sapolu
  • Administrative Assistant - Samu Risatisone
  • Human Rights Adviser - Ms Momoko Nomura
  • Peace and Development Officer - Mr Romulus Ropati

The UN Resident Coordinator

As the UN Resident Coordinator heading a UN Multi-Country Office that serves the Cook Islands, Niue Samoa, and Tokelau, Ms Simona Marinescu leads a UN Country Team of 15 UN agencies, some with a physical presence in Samoa and others operating from MCO Fiji.

Ms Marinescu has over 20 years of experience in international development coordination, economic diversification, and green growth, humanitarian and sustainable human development. She has held various positions, including those of Chief Development Impact at UNDP Headquarters in New York; first Director of the UNDP International Centre for Private Sector in Development in Istanbul, Turkey; and Senior Economist, Programme Director for Economic Reforms in Baghdad, Iraq. 

She also held the position of UNDP Resident Representative to the Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa, and Tokelau before the delinking of the joint functions of the UNDP Resident Representative and the UN Resident Coordinator in 2019.

Simona Marinescu as the UN Resident Coordinator is also the Representative of the UN Secretary-General to the Cook Islands, Niue Samoa and Tokelau.



Simona Marinescu

Simona Marinescu

UN Resident Coordinator