At the Pacific Community’s 49th meeting of the Committee of Representatives of Governments and Administrations (CRGA) and 11th Conference, SPC members agreed to expand the Pacific Community Centre for Ocean Science (PCCOS), promote the Pacific Data Hub, and call for donors and partners to make a greater investment in scientific research into the impacts of changing climate on our oceans.
The 2019 CRGA and Conference took place at the Pacific Community (SPC) headquarters in Noumea, New Caledonia, under the theme of ‘Ocean Science: A sustainable future for the Blue Pacific’. Members gathered to review the performance of SPC, highlight priorities for the coming year, and select the organisation’s next Director-General.
In his report, Director-General Dr Colin Tukuitonga highlighted the significant accomplishments achieved over the past year, and praised SPC’s members and staff for their efforts in strengthening the stability and focus of the organisation: “It is a pleasure to be able make such a positive report to this body, which shows we are making excellent progress against the vision of the Strategic Plan. We have a clear focus on our agreed priorities and an encouraging financial outlook. Today, SPC is well positioned to continue its critical work to support our members as they build a sustainable and prosperous future for this region.”
Other highlights from CRGA included interactive sessions on work in social equality and the Pacific Community Centre for Pacific Crops and Trees (CePaCT), as well as detailed presentations on SPC’s work in education, progress towards the Pacific Data Hub and SPC’s flagship ocean science programme, PCCOS.
CRGA 49 was followed by the 11th Conference of SPC. Prime Minister of the Cook Islands, the Honourable Henry Puna, was welcomed as Conference Chair for 2019–2021 and provided a keynote address on the Conference theme, which highlighted his firm belief in the ability and commitment of Pacific people to drive a sustainable future: “Pacific people throughout the region are born conservationists. Conservation is in our blood. By protecting our species and ecosystems we conserve our cultural heritage that we inherit and pass on to future generations.”
Thematic statements were also delivered by Ms Tepaeru Herrmann, Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Immigration, Cook Islands, and Dr Audrey Aumua, Deputy Director-General, Pacific Community.
The thematic session featured a high-level panel, including, The Hon Fiame Naomi Mataafa, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources & Environment of Samoa, Ambassador Peter Thomson, the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean, and Professor Gilles Bœuf of Sorbonne Université, Paris. The session was an opportunity to discuss ocean science within the Pacific context, and highlight the role that SPC will need to play in supporting the vision of a sustainable Blue Pacific.
The Chair of the 11th Conference announced the selection of the Pacific Community’s next Director-General. Dr Stuart Minchin will succeed Dr Tukuitonga, who has served in the position since 2014 and whose tenure will conclude at the end of 2019.
The Pacific Community 2018 Results Report can be accessed using the link below. The full text of the Decisions of the 49th CRGA and the 11th Conference Communique, in both official languages, will be distributed in the coming days and made available on the SPC website.
CRGA 50 will be held in Noumea, in 2020 and Conference accepted the offer of the Government of Vanuatu to host the 12th Conference of the Pacific Community in 2021.
The Pacific Community 2018 Results Report
The Pacific Community has been supporting sustainable development in the Pacific, through science, knowledge and innovation since 1947. It is the principal intergovernmental organization in the region, owned and governed by its 26 member countries and territories. www.spc.int
Pacific Way Bonus Edition CRGA and Conference podcast series- Listen:
- CRGA/Conference Podcast Episode 1: Preview of the week
- CRGA/Conference Podcast Episode 2: Interactive sessions
- CRGA/Conference Podcast Episode 3: Donors and Partners
- CRGA/Conference Podcast Episode 4: SPC and SPREP Agreement
- CRGA/Conference Podcast Episode 5: A sustainable future for the Blue Pacific