SPC takes integrated approach to regional issues

Noumea, New Caledonia — Government representatives from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community’s (SPC) 26 member countries are met  in Noumea last week to discuss new approaches to addressing overlapping regional challenges, such as ensuring food security, preventing non-communicable diseases and adapting to climate change.

Drawing on its 65 years of experience across some 20 sectors, SPC is advocating a consolidated, multi-disciplinary approach to the big problems of the day.

Climate change, for example, is projected to increase the frequency and severity of natural disasters, and impact infrastructure, transport, marine ecosystems, agricultural food production and health, as well as access to safe drinking water, says SPC Director-General Dr Jimmie Rodgers.

“In the next ten to fifteen years, more than one million Pacific Islanders are likely to die from non-communicable diseases, equivalent to ten per cent of today’s Pacific population. No other cause of death will come close. Add communicable diseases and the picture is even more serious, presenting a dilemma on where investment is best directed to save lives.

Addressing these challenges requires commitment from everyone, through effective partnerships and greater multi-sectoral collaboration using a “many partners, one team approach”. Whole of government and whole of society approaches are key to achieving sustainable, long-term solutions,” he adds.

This multi-disciplinary approach is at the heart of discussions at the annual meeting of SPC’s governing body, the Committee of Representatives of Governments and Administrations, (CRGA) which takes place this week, 12 – 16 November, in Noumea.

The meeting brings together representatives from 22 Pacific Island countries and territories and the four metropolitan founding members — Australia, France, New Zealand and the United States of America — that make up SPC’s membership.

Representatives from regional and international development agencies and partners are also attending the meeting. France is chairing the meeting this year and Kiribati is vice-chair, in accordance with the CRGA rules.

For more information, please contact: Rajan Sami, Press Officer for CRGA (email: rajans@spc.int)

Background information

SPC is a Pacific-based international intergovernmental organization that assists Pacific Islands countries and territories by delivering a wide range of technical, research, educational and planning services. It has 26 members comprising 22 Pacific Islands countries and territories and four metropolitan members, Australia, France, New Zealand and the United States of America.

CRGA is a committee of SPC’s governing body, the Conference of the Pacific Community, which meets every two years. In years that the Conference does not meet, CRGA is empowered to make decisions on SPC’s work program and governance issues.

This annual event allows representatives of SPC’s 26 member countries to meet, exchange ideas and make decisions about the future of the organization.

The 42nd session of CRGA will focus on strengthening relations across SPC’s divisions, the organization's new strategic plan for the 2013–2017 period, and its response to the recommendations made by the recent independent external review.

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