The recent CRGA47 and 10th Conference was a very successful event for the Pacific Community (SPC).  The meetings culminated in a fun event celebrating our 70th birthday providing support to our members.

The week started with a very successful training and orientation day for members of the Committee of Representatives of governments and Administrations (CRGA) and SPC Conference.  The aim of the training was to assist CRGA members to better understand their roles on the Committee.  We were fortunate to have Mr John Davidson, former Counsellor for the Government of Australia and regular representative to CRGA, facilitate the training day.

The training and orientation day was followed by two busy days of the actual CRGA meeting where a number of significant issues were discussed.  The Pacific Community transformation and change agenda was the main item of discussion, including the financial situation and prioritisation process currently underway.  Important staffing and financial issues (including agreement on a policy for dealing with members in arrears) were discussed.  I had the pleasure of presenting a detailed comprehensive report of the challenges, achievements of SPC in 2016.  The report was well received.

Some difficult issues were discussed but I was impressed with the positive response and support expressed by our members to SPC and the work we are doing.

CRGA was followed by the 10th Conference of SPC consisting of Ministers and Leaders.  The President of the Government of New Caledonia was elected as the Chair of Conference 2017-2019.  The Conference heard from President Hilda Heine (President of RMI), Yukiya Amano (Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency) and Pascal Lamy (EU High Level Facilitator for Outreach Activities on Post-Cotonou Agreement).  The theme of the Conference was Innovative Partnerships for Sustainable Development.  The Conference endorsed the establishment of the Pacific Centre for Ocean Science at SPC and a Learning and Innovation Hub for the region.  The strategic agreement between SPC and the IAEA was also endorsed.

The 11th SPC Conference will be held in the Cook Islands in 2019.

The week culminated in a wonderful celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Pacific Community.  Leaders and other distinguished guests enjoyed the hospitality provided by the Government of New Caledonia.

We look forward to working closely with members to further strengthen the work of SPC for and with members and development partners.