Dr Marinescu is the newest resident coordinator and resident representative of UN and UNDP, respectively, covering the Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau and Samoa. Her office is in Samoa.
General discussions with government included UN reforms on the re-positioning of the UN development system, which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in May 2018, in alignment with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
As a result of this UNGA resolution, the “UN is redefining its presence in the Pacific”, said Marinescu.
She said that by January, 2019 the resident coordinator’s office will have elevated diplomatic status, greater oversight in the delivery of UN agency programmes, and will be “the only authority to negotiate on your behalf with any UN agency”.
Key discussions have been focused on what the Cook Islands development framework may look like following Official Development Assistance (ODA) graduation.
Dr Marinescu said the UN has changed its development focus to engaging youth through the establishment of “public governance labs”.
Digitisation, e-governance and having access to digital libraries could have a positive impact on public and commercial services, said Marinescu, adding this was something that could make migration less attractive for Cook Islands youth.
PM Puna welcomed the appointment and said he was confident the Cook Islands would be able to configure a partnership with the UN that was meaningful and could deliver on the country’s aspirations towards the 2030 Agenda.