An official farewell takes place on 13 April for the Suva-based Deputy Director-General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Fekitamoeloa ‘Utoikamanu, as her maximum six-year term draws to a close.

A respected advocate for the advancement of development in the Pacific, Ms ‘Utoikamanu has been the figurehead of SPC in Fiji, overseeing the international organisation’s operations and strong collaboration with the host government, Fiji, and SPC’s many development partners.

Ms ‘Utoikamanu also led SPC’s former Education, Training and Human Development Division, now its Social Development Division.

Reflecting on her service to the Pacific Community, SPC Director-General Dr Colin Tukuitonga said Ms ‘Utoikamanu’s dedication to improving the prosperity of Pacific people had earned her widespread admiration.

“Ms ‘Utoikamanu has been a central driver of SPC’s corporate agenda for change and ongoing efforts to improve our development efficiency as we work to meet the changing needs of our members governments throughout the Pacific.

“But it is perhaps her stance on issues affecting people’s quality of life, in particular  human rights, quality of education, gender equality, culture and young people with disabilities, where she has left her greatest mark,” Dr Tukuitonga said.

Prior to joining SPC, Ms ‘Utoikamanu was the Permanent Representative of Tonga to the UN in New York and served concurrently as Tonga’s Ambassador to the United States, Cuba, Venezuela and as High Commissioner to Canada.

At the request of Dr Tukuitonga, Ms Patricia Sachs-Cornish, Chief of Staff in the Director-General’s Office, will undertake an interim mission to provide executive office representation, support and continuity in SPC’s Suva offices, pending finalisation of the organisation’s Corporate Strategic Plan later this year.

“The completion of our Corporate Strategic Plan will allow SPC, in conjunction with our members, to review our organization’s overall ‘fitness for purpose’ which may require adjustments to our structure and selected roles,” the Director-General said.

“Ms Sachs-Cornish’s important interim role will centre on advancing the Pacific Village project in Suva and maintaining our working relationships with the Fiji Government, our Members’ diplomatic missions, the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, the European Union, GIZ, the Pacific Islands Development Forum Secretariat and other partners with a presence in Fiji,” he said.

Media contact: Julie Marks, SPC Communications Director,  [email protected], +687 807 495