SOLOMON ISLANDS GETS UN OFFICE

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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (September 25, 2002 – Radio Australia)---The United Nations Development Program has established its first Pacific sub-office -- in the Solomon Islands.

Until now, all United Nations development projects for the Pacific have been administered from the UNDP Suva office in Fiji.

The Solomon Islands has experienced many years of economic and social hardship and rebel factions in the country are contributing to lawlessness.

The coordinator of the new office, Richard Ponzio, said the office has been established to cater to special requirements in the Solomon Islands.

"The development situation in the Solomon Islands requires an increased level of involvement and expertise that is not normally given in a more stable situation," Mr. Ponzio said.

In more stable countries, he said, governments can lead projects the UN helps establish. In the Solomon Islands the UN will have a direct role working in partnership with various members of government, Mr. Ponzio noted.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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