On the agenda when the Pacific Community’s peak governing body convenes for its biennial meeting (4 to 5 November) will be endorsement of the international development organisation’s Strategic Plan for 2016–2020, a High-level Dialogue on Youth and the anticipated admission of a new member.
The Conference will be preceded by the 45th annual meeting of the Committee of Representatives of Governments and Administrations (CRGA) from 30 October to 2 November, also to be hosted in Niue.
Earlier this year, the Government of Niue established a Conference Task Force and held a local competition to choose the event theme, “Resilient Pacific people – turning the tide”.
“We’re honoured to host this important Pacific Community event and look forward to welcoming delegates from across the Pacific to the Rock of Polynesia in true Niuean style. Our Pacific neighbours will gather in Niue at a significant time for international development, not just in the context of Pacific regionalism but also given the recent adoption by the global community of the Sustainable Development Goals,” the Premier of Niue, the Toke Talagi, said.
Now that world leaders have set ambitious goals for sustainable development, attention is turning to the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 21) in Paris, where the stakes are high for Pacific people based on whether the global community acts decisively to seal a new climate change agreement.
“The Pacific Community Conference will be a platform where the Pacific family can focus on decisions within our control that we believe will achieve our shared, long term vision for the region for the benefit of future generations,” the Pacific Community Director-General, Dr Colin Tukuitonga, said.
“This Conference and CRGA are particularly significant given we will look to our members to endorse the Pacific Community’s strategic development plan for the Pacific for the next five years, charting shared priorities and actions to improve the well-being of Pacific people,” Dr Tukuitonga said.
Timor-Leste is also due to be represented at the event, in anticipation of the nation’s formal admission to the Pacific Community, pending its accession to the organisation’s founding treaty, the Canberra Agreement.
While this will be the first time the Pacific Community Conference is to be held in Niue, the small Pacific Island nation has successfully hosted a number of notable regional events, including the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders meeting in 2008 and the 39th Pacific Maritime Transport Alliance Conference last year.
The CRGA and Conference meetings will be ‘paperless’, consistent with the environmental policy of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).
The Pacific Community is the principal scientific and technical organisation supporting development in the Pacific region. Its 26 members include all 22 Pacific Island countries and territories along with Australia, France, New Zealand and the USA. It has been proudly serving Pacific Island people since 1947.