The newly appointed Fiji-based UNICEF Representative for the Pacific Island Countries, Sheldon Yett, presented his credentials to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Hon Milner Tozaka today.

When presenting his credentials, Mr Yett thanked the Solomon Islands Government for its commitment to meet the needs and rights of children and reiterated the support of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to support the Government to meet the country’s obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

He also said, “I am truly humbled by the reception I have received since arriving into Solomon Islands and I wish to take this opportunity to commend the government, partners and people of Solomon Islands for its many achievements in prioritising the rights of children and women.

“It is an honour to be here and I look forward to working closely with the relevant stakeholders and counterparts, towards the common goal of accelerating results for children here in the Solomon Islands.”

In his response,  Minister Tozaka acknowledged and accepted Mr Yett’s credence.

“I receive and accept with much honour and gratitude the letters of credence by which you have been duly appointed as the Country Representative of United Nation Children’s Fund to the Solomon Islands. I am confident that with your professional and personal qualities, my government and UNICEF will continue to work together in partnership.”

He highlighted UNICEF’s ongoing assistance in the areas concerning women, youth and children, saying that, ” UNICEF’s contribution to the Solomon Islands government is recognized and appreciated and the government will continue to accord all the courtesies and facilities in working closely with your office to ensure success in the discharge of your duties”.

During his two weeks visit in Solomon Islands, Mr Yett will participate in the Solomon Islands United Nation’s Pacific Strategic meeting with key government counterparts that will be held next Thursday 22nd of September, as well as visiting communities and meeting with key partners.

He is a United States citizen and was appointed to the position of the UNICEF Pacific Representative in August this year.

Mr Yett brings extensive experience to Solomon Islands and the Pacific having worked in the field of international development for the last 20 years.

He previously served as the UNICEF Country Representative to Liberia, UNICEF Representative to Macedonia from 2008-2013 and UNICEF Representative to Armenia from 2005-2008. He also served with UNICEF in Burundi, Somalia, Kosovo and New York.

Mr Yett holds a Masters in international relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and a Bachelor of Arts in international studies from Reed College.

He replaces Dr Karen Allen who held the position from 2013-2016.