Wagener’s appointment as the UNDP Resident Representative to PNG follows a United Nations Reform agenda to separate the functions of the Resident Coordinator (RC) from UNDP. In the past, the UN Resident Coordinator also performed the role of head of UNDP. The RC represents the Secretary General and has the overall responsibility to lead the UN development work in Papua New Guinea and UNDP has its own Resident Representaive.
Upon entry into the country on Monday 13th May, Wagener presented his credentials to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Rimbink Pato.
During the presentation, Wagener reiterated UNDP’s commitment in supporting National Government priorities around good governance, environment protection, climate change and peace building.
Wagener is not new to UNDP or the country, having served in PNG with UNDP from 2002-2007 in various functions.
Prior to this appointment, he served in various UN assignments in Africa and Asia, leading programs in the environment and governance space, including crisis prevention.
While presenting his credentials, Wagener said: “It is a pleasure to come back to Papua New Guinea and work with you (Hon. Minister Pato) and the government to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. I am humbled to present my Credentials to the State and carry on the development work in the area of environment and conservation, climate change, peace processes and good governance.”
Minister Pato welcomed Wagener and reiterated the strong partnership that exists between UNDP and the government.
“On behalf of the country and the people of Papua New Guinea, I welcome you. UNDP and all UN systems are very important to us and we work very closely with them.
“We look forward in working together in the areas of peace building, biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. There is a lot of work to be done and you have my support.”