As the 10th Conference of the Pacific Community came to a close this week in Noumea, representatives from the organisation’s 26 country and territory members took the opportunity to reflect on the history and celebrate the achievements of the region’s oldest development organisation.
“I wish to congratulate the Pacific Community for the commitment to achieve its strategic objectives and for having the courage to consider transformative reforms at a pace it could appropriately manage,” the Prime Minister of Samoa, Hon. Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sa’ilele Malielegaoi said.
“I welcome their ability to mobilise skills and resources of its partners and in doing so, has enabled the build-up of a regional resource of specialist technical expertise to creatively respond to members development needs.
“As leaders it is our inherent collective responsibility to provide continued support to the institution we had established to assist our Pacific peoples,” Hon Malielegaoi added.
“This organisation is a wonderful organisation. One that also has a chameleon quality to adapt and change with circumstances through difficult times. Today we celebrate its survival, an embracement of new and modern techniques. For me its greatest value is its ability to protect and continue to value our past, our cultures and our peoples,” the President of the Federated States of Micronesia, H.E. Peter Christian said.
Over the past week, leaders from around the Pacific Islands region and development partners met to deliberate on the strategic direction of SPC with a focus on building innovative partnerships for sustainable development.
The biennial conference was hosted by the Government of New Caledonia.
“Today SPC has become a global example of inclusivity, be it from an institutional or geographical standpoint. This open mind dear friends has culminated in 1983 when in Saipan in the Northern Mariana islands, two States and territories of the Pacific have become fully fledged members of SPC. From then on Niue, just like the United States, Tuvalu, just like France, share the exact same status within this organisation. The principle of equality then became one of the founding principles of in the governance structure of SPC. Today the a-political nature of the organisation is its main strength,” the President of the Government of New Caledonia, Hon. Philippe Germain said.
The Pacific Community’s Director-General, Dr Colin Tukuitonga, expressed his appreciation for the dedication and commitment of the entire membership. “Celebrating 70 years is a major milestone. We can be proud of what the organisation has achieved in that time by celebrating the strong shared leadership, vision and commitment of SPC’s members and partners that have shaped our development organisation into what it is today, We now carry the responsibility of building on this strong foundation to ensure what we do is relevant and makes a truly positive impact in the lives of the people of the Pacific.
Dr. Tukuitonga also marked his appreciation for the important role of SPC’s partners noting that, "This is a collective effort and I would like to acknowledge the tremendous support of our development partners which has enabled us to effectively serve our region.”
The Pacific Community was established in 1947 following the singing of a treaty called the Canberra Agreement, by the governments of Australia, France, Great Britain, the Netherlands, New Zealand and the United States of America, to establish the organization called the South Pacific Commission.
The organisation officially changed its name to the Pacific Community in 2013.
Jean-Noel Royer, SPC Communications Officer, [email protected] or +687 87 70 63