FSM, SPC IN TALKS OVER DEVELOPMENT PRIORITIES

News Release

Secretariat of the Pacific Community Noumea, New Caledonia April 9, 2008

The Government of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) this week concluded a round of consultations aimed at developing a joint country strategy between FSM and SPC. The strategy will outline FSM’s development priorities and the services that SPC can provide in response over the next five years.

A team of 12 SPC staff led by Mr Falani Aukuso, SPC Deputy Director-General based in Suva, took part in meetings with government counterparts and representatives from several sectors.

‘The joint country strategy between FSM and SPC will be firmly based on FSM’s strategic development plan for 2004–2023.’ says Mr Aukuso. ‘This approach to delivering services to members really focuses on national needs.’

‘We’re also finding that we have to work closely with national counterparts to ensure that our work plans are consistent with their national development plans. This is helping to ensure that our services are provided at the right level and at the right time. They can also be harmonised wherever possible with assistance provided by other development partners.’

Before the visit, SPC drafted a profile outlining FSM’s development strategies and development challenges. The profile includes a summary of the services (worth US $2.4 million) that SPC has delivered to FSM since 2005. These services cover areas such as fisheries and maritime programmes, public health, land resources, statistics and demography, and human development issues.

Supplementing FSM’s technical capacity, and providing training workshops or attachments to build capacity are among the activities identified in the consultations. Some assistance will take the form of cash grants for research or procurement of essential equipment.

The joint strategy is expected to be ready for tabling at the upcoming FSM donor roundtable meeting in July this year. The strategy also identifies partnerships with FSM counterparts and other development partners such as World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA), Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA), and activities that will be implemented with NGOs and community-based organisations.

In 2006, SPC formally established a Northern Pacific office based in Pohnpei to facilitate communication with its members in this part of the region and enable better delivery of its services. Together with FSM counterpart staff, SPC staff based in the regional office will undertake periodic monitoring of the strategy and its implementation to ensure it remains relevant and forward looking.

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