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University of the South Pacific partners with Govt of Israel

6 December 2012

USP partners with Government of Israel

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed today between the University of the South Pacific and MASHAV - Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The collaboration is designed to assist the development process in the region and foster a friendly relationship through technical cooperation, training and capacity building programs between the two parties.

The MOU was signed by the Acting USP Vice-Chancellor, Dr Esther Williams and the Ambassador of Israel to Australia and Non-Resident Ambassador to Fiji and Papua New Guinea, His Excellency, Mr Yuval Rotem, at the University’s Laucala Campus in Suva.

In welcoming the Israeli delegation, Dr Williams said that USP was delighted to host the Ambassador and his team and to partner with MASHAV.

“The agreement marks another milestone for the University in its efforts to further strengthen its relationship with Israel. We also recognize the importance of Israel in the Pacific,” she stated.

MASHAV and USP have agreed to cooperate over the next three years in the areas of: public health; women’s empowerment; and agribusiness development.

Dr Williams acknowledged the leading role played by Israel in these areas and mentioned that the partnership will enable USP to significantly assist in the development of the region.

She briefed the delegation of USP’s role as the leading premier institution of higher learning in the region and the priorities of the University in going forward as outlined in its new Strategic Plan for 2013 - 2018.

The Acting Vice-Chancellor assured the Ambassador of the University’s commitment in working closely with MASHAV on the areas of cooperation in the MOU.

“We welcome any future opportunity to work closely with MASHAV and Israel on projects or programs that will benefit the region,” she added.

Similar views were expressed by H.E. Mr Rotem, who said that the Israeli Government also looks forward to working with USP.

The Ambassador said his country recognises the importance of its relationship with Pacific Island Countries.

He explained that Israel shares a strong connection with Fiji, given the religious and security associations between the people of both countries.

The Ambassador emphasised that the Israeli Government is determined to be more engaged in the Pacific and to identify areas of cooperation in the region.

In thanking USP for the partnership, he said, “I am here to cement this kind of a relationship. I hope this launches an outstanding friendship between the University and Israel.”

The Ambassador also spoke about the importance of women in society relating to experiences from Israel.

The signing was attended by the Israeli delegation and University staff.

ENDS

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