By ALISON ANIS
VISITING United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) administrator and chair of the UN development group (UNDG) Helen Clark said she was impressed with the country’s effort in addressing key development issues such as gender and HIV/AIDS.
Ms Clark said this yesterday when visiting the Breakthrough Initiative (BI) for leadership development programme (LDP) on HIV and AIDS run by the Friends Foundation at Gerehu and the family sexual violence unit and the Boroko juvenile reception centre at the Boroko police station.
The former New Zealand prime minister also complimented the partnership between Government and non-governmental organisations, civil societies including UN and donor agencies in working towards addressing key development targets set under the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs).
She said this kind of partnership was important and a right step toward addressing development issues affecting the country.
Ms Clark arrived in Port Moresby on Saturday for a three-day visit leading up to the launching today of the country’s second National Millenium Development Goals Progress report at the National Parliament House in Waigani.
Ms Clark also met with Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare and Governor-General Sir Paulias Matane including women leaders and representatives in NCD who reported on the various programmes on the ground that aim at addressing development issues especially those affecting women and children.
She said she was pleased at the role of the leadership programme in supporting people to go back to their communities and act in new and innovative ways to deal with the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
“We all feel inspired to think that this humble programme from UNDP
has played a part in getting people to do extraordinary things back in their communities.”
She also said: “Leadership is needed to fight this epidemic at all levels and that people are empowered with knowledge to act for their own safety.”
From Gerehu, Ms Clark visited the Boroko police station where she was welcomed by a guard of honour and the Police Band after which she was escorted by Supt Fred Yakasa to visit the family sexual violence unit,
the Boroko cell block and the juvenile reception centre.