Opening Statement by the Chair, H.E. Mr. Collin David Beck, Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Solomon Islands
at the 53rd meeting of the Committee of Representatives of Governments and Administrations (CRG53)
Heads of Delegation, Senior Officials, Partners, Ladies and Gentlemen, warm Pacific greetings.
I am honoured to preside over the 53rd meeting of the CRGA, the governing body of the Pacific Community. Over the past 39 years, we have gathered 53 times, and there is no doubt that our Pacific Community has journeyed with strength and resilience.
Our presence here today underscores the importance of our solidarity and collective commitment to serving our people in the Blue Pacific Continent, a place we are blessed to call home.
Ladies and Gentlemen, our home today confronts a myriad of challenges, from the existential threat of climate change to the mounting pressures of population growth and youth unemployment, deteriorating infrastructure, health crises caused by non-communicable and communicable diseases, and struggling economies in the wake of the pandemic.
These are challenging times for our region, but we must leverage our collective strength and shared vision for a better Blue Pacific to navigate these turbulent waters. Business as usual is no longer acceptable. We must be ambitious and bold in our actions to make a difference in the lives of our people.
Our region has always stood out for its distinctiveness. While we value partnership to further our collective goals and aspirations, we also value and respect the individuality and national priorities of each member. This has always been our Pacific way.
Distinguished delegates, our journey ahead will not be easy, but with determination, mutual respect, and a shared vision, I believe we can chart a course toward prosperity, health, and well-being for all our people.
This is a task that can be well served through the support of our regional agencies and partnerships, such as SPC, through effective regional cooperation, shared services, and economies of scale.
On this note, I take this opportunity to thank the Director-General, Dr. Stuart Minchin, and his staff for their efforts in organizing this important meeting.
On our agenda this week, we have a few key issues that require our attention:
An update on regional cooperation and the progress of the implementation of the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent.
The development of the resource mobilization strategy, to support the implementation of our SPC strategic plan.
An update on SPC Host Country Agreements (HCAs) and Privileges and Immunities (PIs).
SPC performance and the means with which the organization can plan its implementation over the coming years.
The key decisions of our meeting will be transmitted under letter of the Chair to the Chair 13th Conference for consideration.
We have a lot to get through, so I thank you in advance for your efforts to be concise and disciplined when addressing all agenda items.
Without further ado, let us proceed.