About the UN Country Team in Samoa
The UN Multi-Country Office in Samoa serves the Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa, and Tokelau.
Led by the Resident Coordinator, it convenes and coordinates 15 UN agencies that form the UN Country Team Samoa working collaboratively on joint development programmes aligned to complement and support national development priorities of the Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa, and Tokelau.
The UNCT Samoa within the past five years (2018-2022) delivered integrated, country-needs-based development support and interventions around six thematic areas - i.e., Climate Change; Disaster Resilience and Environment Protection; Gender Equality; Sustainable and Inclusive Economic Empowerment; Equitable Basic Services; Governance and Community Engagement; and Human Rights.
From 2023 to 2027, the UNCT Samoa development support will be guided by the newly endorsed UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework, outlining the vision, actions, and resources of the UNCT Samoa to contribute to a sustainable planet, where all the people of these four island states thrive prosperously and living in peace.
The implementation of UN programmes is led by government ministries; in partnership with international and regional organizations, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, faith-based organizations, and the media.
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Samoa as one of the four countries of the Pacific region supported under the global EU-UN Spotlight Initiative program, made significant contributions to ending domestic and intimate partner violence in Samoa at the close of its first phase in 2022.
Response and prevention services from the institutions under the Law and Justice Sector will be more effective and improved guided under the Law and Justice Sector Plan 2021-2025. The impact of DV/IPV on students, teachers, staff, and institutions in the Education Sector is more understood and efforts to respond to and address DV/IPV will be better designed from the findings of Research conducted by the Ministry of Education Sports and Culture. The health services for women and girls who are victims of violence are improved with trained nurses and gender-based violence facilities and resources available.
At the community level, Village Safety Committees consisting of village leaders and women are managing and addressing DV/IPV cases following the Village Safety Plans, and Village Bylaws developed with the support of the National Human Rights Institution/Ombudsman. The village leaders, women, and youth have stepped up and are taking the lead through village dialogue and means of cultural expressive arts to advocate and drive behavioral change toward the prevention of DV/IPV in the villages.
The Spotlight Initiative that started in 2020 and expected to end in 2023 is delivered jointly by the UN Women, UNDP, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNICEF with the relevant Government Ministries and Civil Society Organisations. The Spotlight Initiative contributes to Outcome 2 -Gender Equality- of the UN Pacific Strategy 2018 - 2022 and Goal 5 of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.
The Samoa Knowledge Society Initiative is a rights based initiative that acknowledges the right to access to information for all Samoans contributing towards an enabling environment for enhanced digital development.
The SKSI has made significant contributions to the development of inclusive knowledge societies such as the Samoa Digital Library platform developed and hosted by the National University of Samoa. The Ministry of Education Sports and Culture has opened the Lifelong Learning Lab which is an inclusive innovation hub for training and collaboration that draws and identifies talents, mentors youths, provides accessible learning opportunities to the disabled, and provides pathways and skills required to meet the contemporary and future challenges of Samoa within the globalised economy. In collaboration with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology the draft of the Freedom of Access to Information policy has been presented to the National Policy Coordination Committee and discussions to finalise the policy is in progress. Capacity development on knowledge and information management and systems continue for staff of the relevant ministries involved in this programme.
In 2019 the UN mobilised US$1 million from the India-UN Development Partnership Fund to initiate the Samoa Knowledge Society Initiative. The implementation started in 2020 and is expected to close in 2023. It is delivered jointly by the UNESCO and the UNDP and it contributes to the UN Pacific Strategy 2018 - 2022 Outcome 5 on Governance and Community Engagement and is aligned with Goal 16 -Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions- of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The Social Protection project for the Cook Islands, Niue Samoa, and Tokelau is a joint programme to support the four countries in all efforts to alleviate poverty and inequality through social protection systems that benefit all families.
This programme has also made significant contributions to review and strengthen social protection systems in the Cook Islands Niue Samoa and Tokelau. In Samoa, the formulation of the National Social Protection Policy enhanced policy integration and coherence across sectors and stakeholders such as health, education, employment, youth, children, women, the private sector,
CSOs and development partners. The Social Protection Policy has been presented to the National Policy Coordination Committee and further discussions are in progress.
This programme established a Disability Reference Group which contributed to the adoption of a new disability allowance in Samoa, among other reforms. In Samoa, Niue, Cook Islands and Tokelau, the programme supported the accessibility for persons with disabilities of mobile payment system of social benefits.
In 2019 the UN mobilised USD 3 million from the Joint SDG Fund to implement this programme in 2020 and is expected to close by end of 2022. It contributes to Outcome 3 -Inclusive and Sustainable Economic Empowerment- and Outcome 4 -Basic Services- of the UN Pacific Strategy 2018 - 2022 and is aligned with Goal 1 -No Poverty- of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
This programme is implemented by the UNDP, UNESCO, UNICEF, UNESCAP and ILO.
The UN Joint Programme Building Forward Better by Safeguarding Natural Capital and Ecosystem endorsed and implemented in 2022, supports the relevant ministries and institutions to develop policy and planning, collection of data and valuation of ecosystem services to support development of scenarios for future, reporting against SDGs 11-15, and build a case for investment in ecosystem services given their centrality to human wellbeing, which are critical for the realization of the SDGs 1 to 3.
The UNJP on Ecosystem Services will make a contribution to the:
• UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030), specifically, actions 6-92
• Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030), specifically, societal goals 5-63 and research and development goal 74.
These contributions would be made using participative and gender, age and disability transformative process that would bring together scientists, policy makers, administrators, and service users for the restoration of the terrestrial and ocean ecosystems of Samoa and its valuation, in particular, involving women and youth.
This programme is led by the UNESCO and the UNESCAP with the SPREP, the Ministry of Natural Resource and Environment and the Scientific Research Organisation of Samoa.