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Officials in Apia for 5th Pacific Conference

Officials arrive in Apia to attend 5th Pacific Conference
Monday 12 November 2007, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) Conference, Apia, Samoa – Officials attending the 5th Conference of the Pacific Community have arrived in Apia, Samoa for the two-day meeting.

Among those to arrive over the weekend were Niue’s Premier, Young Vivian, and the Marshall Islands Ambassador based in Fiji, Mack Kaminaga.

The Conference will discuss a number of recommendations submitted by the 37th meeting of the Committee of Representatives of Governments and Administrations (CRGA 37), which met in Apia last week.

Some of the key items on the 5th Conference agenda are ‘The future of Pacific fisheries – planning and managing for economic growth, food security and sustainable livelihoods’, ‘Urbanisation in the Pacific – current trends and implications for national planning and development’, ‘Climate change – a coordinated organisational approach to respond to climate change issues’ and the implementation of the digital strategy, which is aimed at helping to bridge the communication divide between urban and rural areas in the Pacific. With regard to the latter, Pacific Community members will be encouraged to pursue elements of the strategy that are appropriate for them.

The Conference will also be asked to note the direction, progress and nature of SPC support for small island states (SIS). Among the recommendations of CRGA 37 to be considered by the Conference are to support efforts by the Secretariat to provide assistance to SIS with regard to shipping, and to direct the Secretariat to facilitate implementation of the decisions made by SIS leaders.

CRGA 37 concluded last Friday in Apia after three days of meetings. Officials at CRGA 37 discussed SPC’s audit reports and complimented the Secretariat on receiving an unqualified audit opinion from the auditors for the 11th consecutive year. This is a significant achievement as SPC celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2007.

Discussions were also held in camera on the evaluation of SPC’s Director-General, Dr Jimmie Rodgers. The CRGA chairperson will report separately on this to the Conference chair.

Delegates agreed that CRGA 38 will be held at SPC headquarters in Noumea next year. American Samoa will chair CRGA 38 and Australia will provide the vice-chair.

For more information, contact Rita Narayan, SPC correspondent for CRGA 37 and the 5th Pacific Community Conference, via email: ritan@spc.int or by phone: +685 7206902. You can also check the SPC website at www.spc.int .

Background information:

SPC's governing council is the Conference of the Pacific Community, which meets every two years. In years when the Conference does not meet, the Committee of Representatives of Governments and Administrations (CRGA – a committee of the Conference) is empowered to make decisions. The Government of Samoa is hosting the 2007 meetings of the SPC governing body in Apia: the 37th Meeting of CRGA (7–9 November 2007) and the 5th Conference of the Pacific Community (12–13 November 2007). The 5th Conference is also the 60th Anniversary Conference of SPC, as 2007 marks SPC’s 60th year of service to the Pacific region.

SPC member countries and territories: American Samoa, Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji Islands, France, French Polynesia, Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Pitcairn Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, United States of America, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna.

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