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Pacific stands to benefit from geopolitical focus says senior UN official

The UN's assistant secretary general hopes to see a renewed focus from Pacific development partners on raising climate ambitions and diversifying island economies heading into the new year.


Kanni Wignaraja concluded a two-day-visit to New Zealand on Thursday during which she met with government ministers, MPs and policy institutions in Wellington and Auckland.


This comes straight off the back of similar meetings held in Australia.


Wignaraja, who is also the United Nations Development Programme's Asia-Pacific Regional Director, said the plus side of heightened geopolitical interest in the region is that more development partners are listening to what Pacific leaders have to say.


She said there were two main areas in which Pacific countries could position themselves to benefit from this increased attention.


"A lot of these island nations or territories have often been very single product economies, that have not been able to diversify and haven't had the depth or range of financing and institutions to diversify," Wignaraja said.


"I think with a more of these funds coming through, the hope is that - primarily through the ocean economy - these countries can actually get a better deal economically and be able to have revenue sources that don't leave them so vulnerable to a single sector. So I think that's a big one."


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