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Full integration of regional organizations nears

PAPEÉTE, Tahiti (Tahitipresse, Nov. 3, 2010) - In January 2011, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) will be a larger organization with more staff and additional programs, SPC Director-General Dr Jimmie Rodgers announced.

"SPC is about three key development outcomes - sustainable human development, sustainable natural resources management and development and sustainable economic development. These are also our key result areas," Rodgers said.

Dr Rodgers was speaking last week at the opening of the 40th meeting of the Committee of Representatives of Governments and Administrations (CRGA - SPC’s governing body) at SPC headquarters in Nouméa, New Caledonia, a SPC press release states.

Representatives from 24 of SPC’s 26 members attended the meeting, which ran October 25-29 and covered issues that are of high priority for Pacific Island countries and territories, including agriculture, aquaculture, culture, fisheries, forestry, gender, ICT, human rights, maritime transport, Pacific Legislatures for Population and Governance, public health, statistics and demography, youth and cross-cutting areas including food security and climate change.

SPC leads regional initiatives in many of these sectors in partnership with other regional and international organizations.

SPC will expand significantly in January 2011 with the full integration of two of these regional organizations: the Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC) and the South Pacific Board for Educational Assessment (SPBEA), which initially merged with SPC as a stand-alone program at the start of 2010.

The move of the two organizations to SPC is the result of decisions made by Pacific Forum leaders to reform the regional institutional framework with a view to achieving greater efficiency and effectiveness in delivering services to members.

SPC members, many of whom are also members of SOPAC and SPBEA, stressed the importance of the work of both organizations to Pacific Island countries and territories as they welcomed them to their new home in SPC.

SPBEA and SOPAC are both based in Suva, Fiji Islands, increasing the number of SPC staff based in Fiji to more than half (360) of SPC’s 600 staff in 2011.

Nouméa has just over 200 staff, while remaining staff are based in the North Pacific regional office in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia, smaller country offices in Solomon Islands and Vanuatu and field operations in 10 other island countries.

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