2 May 2005

Micronesia officials play down prospect of UNDP office in north Pacific

12:29 pm on 2 May 2005

Officials in the Federated States of Micronesia say they're unwilling at the moment to help pay to set up the first United Nations development office in the northern Pacific.

The UNDP programme officer for the FSM, Patrick Tuimaliali'ifono, last month visited the country seeking the government's assent and financial help for a regional office.

But an official in the Foreign Affairs department says the FSM isn't willing to pay at this stage, and any contribution would have to be approved by congress.

However Mr Tuimaliali'ifono says the north Pacific has a lot to benefit from UN programmes administered from an office based there.

"The initiative we are in the process of developing is a partnership with the government and with the private sector, to develop an export strategy, and through that strategy we hope to start a wider approach of developing the private sector."

At the United Nations Development Programme offices in Fiji administers activities in Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Palau.

The other UNDP offices in the Pacific are in Samoa and Papua New Guinea.