SOUTH PACIFIC COMMISSION 50 YEARS OLD THIS MONTH

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CANBERRA, Australia (October 2, 1997 - PACNEWS)---(Pacnews)--The 50th anniversary of the founding of the South Pacific Commission will be marked by ceremonies in the Australian capital of Canberra this month.

The SPC was established in Canberra in 1947 at a meeting of the six governments then responsible for island territories in the South Pacific. The countries represented were Australia, France, New Zealand, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The SPC, with headquarters in Noumea, New Caledonia, is the oldest and largest regional organization in the Pacific. Its aim has been to promote economic development and social stability in the region.

Today, with a membership of 26, the SPC is a non-political organization delivering technical development assistance to the region through advisory and consultative activities. These are mainly in the areas of fisheries, health, agriculture, community education, and socio-economic and statistical services.

The 50th anniversary celebrations will coincide with the 37th South Pacific Conference to be held in Canberra on October 20-21, following a ceremonial opening on October 19.

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