Pacific Community Gathers in Niue to focus on development
Pacific development in focus as Pacific Community family gathers in Niue
31 October 2015
Alofi, Niue – The endorsement of a five-year navigation chart for the Pacific’s largest regional development organisation is on the agenda as a meeting of officials from among the 26 country and territory members of the Pacific Community (SPC) begins in Alofi, Niue.
More than 50 SPC member representatives and development partners, including GIZ and the European Union, are attending the 45th Meeting of the Committee of Representatives of Governments and Administrations (CRGA 45) from 30 October to 2 November.
The officials meeting will be followed by the ministerial-level 9th biennial Conference of the Pacific Community, in Niue next week (4 to 5 November).
The Director-General of the Pacific Community, Dr Colin Tukuitonga, said the focus over the next six days will be on cooperation to boost sustainable development outcomes in the Pacific.
“The Pacific Community is a major regional development organisation and our governing body meetings are of critical importance in that they engage our members and other partners in setting our direction and building a better organisation,” Dr Tukuitonga said.
“To remain effective, it’s paramount that our organisation connects with the people we serve among our island members large and small, and we’re delighted the Government of Niue offered to host this event for the first time,” Dr Tukuitonga said.
The Chairperson of CRGA 45, Nauru’s Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Michael Aroi, said it was a great honour for Nauru, as a Small Island Developing State, to be leading the proceedings.
“One of the most important items for consideration will be the Pacific Community’s new Strategic Plan because it will guide the direction of this principal scientific and technical agency and its support for development in the region for the next five years,” Mr Aroi said.
“There’s definitely a strong unity between the island countries and territories as we face very similar challenges. I believe it’s very important that we continue to work together as a Pacific Community so we can help each other in tackling these many challenges,” he said.
The Vice-Chairperson of CRGA 45 is New Caledonia, represented by the Senior Advisor for Multilateral Cooperation and Regional Organisation, Office of Regional Cooperation and External Relations, Anne-Claire Goarant.
Also on the agenda of CRGA 45, ahead of the Conference, are the Pacific Framework for Regionalism and ways of capitalising on the strengths and opportunities within the region to build resilience based on the event theme of “Resilient Pacific people – turning the tide”.
In 2001, Nauru hosted the second Pacific Community Conference at SPC headquarters in Noumea.
Timor-Leste is represented at the event in Niue, in anticipation of the nation’s admission to SPC, pending its accession to the organisation’s founding treaty, the Canberra Agreement.