Thursday, 31 May 2007 11:46 AM

UNESCO's unpaid bill upsets MASI Secretariat

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has left the country without settling its bill as a co-sponsor for one of the PINA workshop venue.

The head of the Secretariat of the Media Association of Solomon Islands [MASI] has expressed concern that a major international organization has left the country without paying for the workshop venue it used during the recent Pacific Islands News Association [PINA] Convention in Honiara.

"It is not a large amount of money and I am surprised that UNESCO which jointly sponsored the venue with two others, left without settling the bill," Alfred Sasako said in a statement today.

The bill was for the use of a venue in Honiara for pre-PINA Pacwomen Workshop.
Alfred said MASI merely booked the venue, making it clear to the three organizations at the outset that they were responsible for meeting the bill for three day's use of the venue.

"When MASI received the bill, I immediately rang the company to find out what was going on. I was told that the head of UNESCO has asked the firm to send the bill to the MASI Secretariat," Alfred said. Alfred said he picked up the bill on Thursday afternoon and personally hand delivered it to the hotel where the head of UNESCO was staying.

"I had instructed the hotel that this was urgent and it must be delivered to the room as I was told he was leaving the next day. It was totally unacceptable that although the hotel had done this, the bill was still outstanding," Alfred said.
Alfred said MASI had gone out of its way to make the 2007 PINA Convention a memorable event.

"From delegates reports filtering through since the 4th Biennial PINA Convention concluded in Honiara last Saturday, it was clear to us that this year's Convention was the best ever in terms of organizing, program content and donor support," Alfred said.

"I am saddened however that some people appear to have a hidden agenda to destroy others hard work," he said. "As head of the MASI Secretariat, I do not and will not accept such behavior and it is only fair that the bill be settled as soon as possible," Alfred said.