Thursday 17 November 2011, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Noumea, New Caledonia
The United States of America’s representative commended the work of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, calling it the ‘premier technical regional organisation in the Pacific’ at the 7th Conference of the Pacific Community in Noumea, New Caledonia.
Ms Frankie A. Reed, the United States ambassador to Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga and Tuvalu said, ‘The United States recognises SPC’s growing mission and importance in the Pacific. Our Assistant Secretary for East Asia and Pacific Affairs, Kurt Campbell, stated before the U.S. Congress last year that the United States considers SPC to be the premier technical regional organisation in the Pacific.’
She noted, ‘With the integration of the Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Board for Educational Assessment (SPBEA), the Secretariat of the Pacific Community is growing, and so are its responsibilities.’
The United States is increasing its engagement with the Pacific to a level not seen since the 1990s.
For the third time this September the US Secretary of State Ms Hillary Clinton met with Pacific Island leaders on the margins of the General Assembly of the United Nations, and in November 2010 Ms Clinton visited Papua New Guinea.
This past September, the 50-plus US delegation to the Auckland Pacific Island Forum Leaders meeting was the largest US delegation ever to visit the Pacific.
On the reappointment of SPC’s Director-General for a further two years, Ms Reed said: ‘Dr Jimmie Rodgers has more than ably guided SPC these last six years, including during the process of reforming the regional institutional framework.’
‘Under Dr Rodgers SPC has reached out to bring services closer to members, has adapted SPC to an ever-changing funding environment, and has stayed on course as SOPAC and SPBEA have been brought in.’
Last month, USAID and SPC signed an agreement in support of institutional strengthening and climate change adaptation in the Pacific, bringing the United States support of SPC to a new and historic level.
The US delegation to the 7th Conference, the two-yearly meeting of SPC’s governing body, includes the US Regional Environmental Officer for the Pacific, based in Suva, and two representatives of USAID based in Manila.
‘These actions speak louder than my words, and the message is clear − as a founding member of SPC, United States support for SPC has endured since 1947 and will continue to do so,’ she said.
Heads of government, ministers and ambassadors from 22 Pacific Island countries and territories and Australia, France, New Zealand and the USA met over November 7 and 8 at SPC’s Noumea headquarters to discuss the theme: Climate change and food security – Managing the risks for sustainable development.
Representatives from regional and international development agencies and international aid donors were also in attendance.
SPC’s members include American Samoa, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Pitcairn Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and Wallis and Futuna, plus its four founding members: Australia, France, New Zealand and the USA.
For more information, please visit www.spc.int or contact Rajan Sami at the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) on