Noumea, New Caledonia – The Pacific Community (SPC) today marks 70 years of serving Pacific development.
Pacific Community Director-General, Dr Colin Tukuitonga, said: “We are excited at the timely opportunity to reflect and celebrate the shared progress we have made with our members, who own and govern our development organisation, and our partners over the years.”
“Over its 70-year history, SPC has grown into one of the primary regional bodies contributing to the development of the Pacific Island region. This is testimony to the strong leadership, commitment and effective governance of our members and partners to build and shape their development organisation with a strong shared regional vision and purpose for a prosperous and resilient Pacific.”
SPC’s headquarters are in Noumea, New Caledonia, with a regional hub in Suva hosted by the Government of Fiji. We also have offices in Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Federated States of Micronesia, improving our physical presence, sub-regionally and nationally, and strengthening ongoing engagement with our 26 member countries and territories.
We work across more than 20 sectors to support members’ development aspirations, by contributing to building a resilient Pacific Islands region. We are known for our knowledge and innovation in such areas as fisheries science, public health surveillance, geoscience, and conservation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.
SPC’s efforts are guided by our Strategic Plan 2016–2020, the Framework for Pacific Regionalism, the SAMOA Pathway and the 2030 Development Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals. SPC is the principal scientific and technical agency in the Pacific Region, supporting development since 1947.
Dr Tukuitonga explained: “Our responsibility and service to our members and partners will not stop at producing good science and technical advice. Collectively, we must continue to ensure that we are making a difference in people’s lives. SPC’s comparative advantage lies in our deep and nuanced understanding of the Pacific Island context, and our capacity to formulate integrated and targeted programmes that effectively tackle development challenges across the region, which also contribute to global benefits.”
Dr Tukuitonga noted that SPC recognises that development issues are complex and multi-dimensional, and cannot be solved by a sectoral approach alone, and by taking a multi-sectoral and integrated approach to responding to Pacific Islands’ development priorities, we draw upon skills and capabilities from around the region and internationally. As a result, SPC continues to empower Pacific communities through the sharing of expertise and skills, and lessons learned between countries and territories.
He added: “In the face of global and regional challenges, genuine and sustainable partnerships will continue to be crucial to achieving sustainable, longer-term outcomes. SPC, its members and partners remain united in our shared aspiration for a prosperous and sustainable future for all. To those same ends, SPC will redouble its efforts to ensure the organisation is in the best shape to deliver on those outcomes so that all Pacific people can lead free, healthy and productive lives, leaving no-one behind.”
Originally called the South Pacific Commission, the Pacific Community was established on 6 February 1947, with the signing of the Canberra Agreement in Australia, between Australia, France, Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.