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In-country consultations with Papua New Guinea

SPC commences in-country consultations for its joint country strategy with Papua New Guinea on 1–5 August

The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) has started week-long in-country consultations with the Government of Papua New Guinea (PNG), including various government agencies and sector counterparts, to determine the level of interventions by SPC and form the basis of what will be the Papua New Guinea–Secretariat of the Pacific Community Joint Country Strategy 2011–2015.

The PNG–SPC Joint Country Strategy is a partnership document mapping out SPC’s planned engagement with PNG across the technical sectors in which it works, which include public health, fisheries, aquaculture, marine ecosystems, statistics for development, applied geosciences, disaster risk management, water resources, agriculture, forestry, land resources, transport, energy, information and communication technology, education and training, and human development (youth, culture and gender). The planned strategies in the JCS will be closely aligned to the national strategies articulated in the PNG Medium Term Development Plan 2011–2015, which support the goals and objectives espoused in the PNG Strategic Development Plan 2010–2030 and the Vision 2050.

Kicking off this week-long process is an opening plenary, held at the PNG Institute of Public Administration Hall. At the opening plenary, the SPC team, led by Director-General Dr Jimmie Rodgers, will provide an overview of SPC’s programmes and key assistance the organisation has provided to PNG in recent years. This plenary will launch sectoral consultations, where PNG and SPC sector specialists shall determine and agree on key areas of support, with an emphasis on achieving development outcomes for the people of PNG.

Dr Rodgers said, ‘SPC is looking forward to the JCS consultations in PNG, our largest Pacific Island member country. SPC has set clear guidelines to ensure that the discussions over the course of the week will be based on the development priorities articulated by the Government of PNG.’ He added, ‘This mutually agreed PNG–SPC JCS will be firmly based on the Vision 2050, the Strategic Development Plan 2010-2030 and PNG Medium Term Development Plan 2011–2015, and SPC’s capacities and priorities as encapsulated in the SPC Corporate Plan 2007–2012.’ He further noted that the JCS with PNG would formalise SPC’s programme delivery to PNG, capturing it in one comprehensive document that includes an annual monitoring framework.

Ambassador Maue, Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, echoed Dr Rodgers’ sentiments adding, ‘As SPC’s official contact point, we welcome Dr Rodgers and his staff, and endeavour to support them in this JCS process, a process the Government has supported through SPC’s governing body, the CRGA, and we especially look forward to the final and agreed PNG-SPC JCS.’ Ambassador Maue further stated, ‘For PNG, this is a tripartite partnership between SPC, Foreign Affairs and our own Department of National Planning and Monitoring and demonstrates the need and importance to work together to achieve our national targets.’

Ms Ruby Zarriga, Acting Secretary of the Department of National Planning and Monitoring, stated, ‘We welcome this joint consultation with SPC, and we have continued to promote and encourage basing this partnership on our development priorities espoused in our key national plans.’ Further, the Acting Secretary added, ‘We look forward to working with SPC to determine the sectoral interventions which will assist us in meeting our objectives under the targeted priority areas in the Medium Term Development Plan.’

The JCS mission will conclude on Friday 5 August with a closing plenary, at which the SPC team and sector counterparts will present mutually agreed programme interventions and areas for potential assistance.

ENDS

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