At a small ceremony in Port Moresby today, representatives from the government of Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Community (SPC) signed a cooperation agreement to support development priorities of the SPC’s largest island nation over the next three years.
The agreement is shaped by the PNG Government’s Medium Term Development Plan III, which lays out the governments vision for the nation and specific objectives that it wishes to achieve in a variety of fields.
The Hon. Rimbink Pato, PNG Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, highlighted the significance of the agreement and the importance of PNG’s membership in the organization saying, “the SPC has the technical expertise that the PNG Government and its line agencies must take advantage of.”
Minister Pato added that after 42 years of being a member to the SPC, the agreement will now serve as a basis for a new era of cooperation. He said: ‘’As a nation we are dedicated to achieving a smart, wise, fair, healthy and happy society by 2050. With the support of SPC and its technical expertise, I am confident that we can reach our goal.”
The PNG-SPC country program will focus strongly on several development objectives of the PNG Government in which SPC has particular expertise, in addition to our normal work programme across over 20 sectors of the government:
- Fisheries Science: SPC will provide comprehensive tuna stock scientific assessment data for PNG, to help the country to maximize tuna revenue while conserving key species based on scientific data;
- Maritime and Transport: SPC will support the National Maritime and Safety Authority (NMSA) and Ports to maintain international standards under IMO for shipping in PNG. PNG has important national and international ports, being part of the conduit for 98% of the world’s trade transported by ship.
- Women in Maritime: SPC will support Papua New Guinea as the chair of the Pacific Women in Maritime Association (PACWIMA). PNG is leading the Pacific in providing an enabling environment for women to join the maritime sector as Captains, Engineers and Ship officers and deck hands.
- Education Quality: Through SPC’s EQAP Programme, the Department of Education is achieving better literacy and numeracy in schools: This vital work together is focused on education quality and is contributing to MTDP III KRA 3, Sustainable social development.
SPC’s Deputy Director General, Dr. Audrey Aumua praised the comprehensive development vision of PNG and expressed SPC’s full support, “PNG’s development plan demonstrates the nation’s commitment to helping it’s people lead free, healthy and productive lives. We are proud to support this nationally developed plan, and look forward to seeing PNG meet its ambitious targets.”
Papua New Guinea became a member of the Pacific Community in 1975. Today PNG represents SPC’s most populous and largest Pacific Island nation, with 72% of the population and 84% of terrestrial land area. It is also a key player in the Pacific fisheries industry, regularly rating as one of the top three tuna producing nations globally.
Peter Foster, Director Communications SPC | email: [email protected]
The Pacific Community (SPC) is an international development organisation gathering 26 Member Countries and Territories. Since 1947, SPC has proudly supported development in the Pacific as the principal scientific and technical organization for the region. Learn more at www.spc.int.