Committee's regional contribution acknowledged
The contribution of the Committee of Representatives of Governments and Administrations (C.R.G.A.) to the development of Pacific Island states has been acknowledged in a high level regional virtual conference.
This year was supposed to be the 50th meeting of the C.R.G.A. but the onset of the COVID-19 global pandemic has changed the way intergovernmental organisations operate, resulting in the meeting being held in a hybrid format.
A statement released by the Pacific Community on the C.R.G.A. stated that the global pandemic and associated travel restrictions required the meeting to be held in a hybrid fashion, with some participants present in Noumea and Suva with others participating through virtual connections around the region.
The S.P.C. Director-General, Stuart Minchin, provided participants with an overview of the organisations over the last year and how the S.P.C is adjusting to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite the challenges they face, his report was positive and highlighted the achievements across many sectors, and he praised the commitment and dedication of Pacific leaders as being fundamental to this success.
“I am very pleased to say that the Pacific spirit of cooperation, consensus, and community has remained strong throughout these challenging times,” he said.
“Of course, this commitment and dedication should not come as a surprise to anyone. It is merely the latest example of how our community rises up to meet common challenges. [The] S.P.C. entire history has been testament to this.”
The 50th C.R.G.A meeting was chaired by Papua New Guinea’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Barbara Age, and she used the occasion to praise the work of the S.P.C.
She made specific mention of the organisation’s work on education, food security and the COVID response, and expressed confidence that the organisation was creating conditions to help support a quick post-COVID recovery.
“As we met this week, in the midst of the trying times in this unprecedented global COVID crisis, I can honestly say our progress as the Pacific Community brings me confidence that we have charted a way forward to deal with the challenges of COVID-19 and build back stronger and more resilient.”
She further stated that it was not going to be easy but in their collective efforts through the S.P.C. and with the ongoing support of their key partners, they are much better equipped to do so with success.
The 50th C.R.G.A was also an opportunity to reflect on its history and celebrate how these meetings have helped to guide the region’s development goals and achievements.
The S.P.C. members also expressed their commitment to the 2050 Strategy, a shared vision of the region’s future that helps C.R.O.P partners, governments, regional and international stakeholders, private sector players, and civil society groups to coordinate and complement each other’s work towards a common vision for the "Blue Pacific Continent".
The alignment between this vision and the S.P.C Strategic Plan will be an essential pillar for the Strategy.
According to the statement, several significant announcements were made on the sidelines of the C.G.R.A. meeting, which served to reinforce the strength and sustainability of the S.P.C.