New Caledonia, SPC renew partnership
New agreement to enhance the French territory's regional integration
By Pacific Island Times News Staff
Noumea, New Caledonia-- New Caledonia and the Pacific Community on Monday signed a new four-year partnership agreement in Noumea that strengthens ties, intensifies SPC’s activities and reconfirms New Caledonia as SPC’s headquarters.'
New Calendonia President Louis Mapou and Stuart Minchin, SPC director general, signed the agreement after getting the landowners' approval for the continued use of their land.
New Caledonia has been the site of SPC's headquarters for almost 75 years.
“We are convinced that New Caledonia and its people can be proud to host the headquarters of the Pacific's leading regional scientific and technical organization, in the same way, that SPC and its headquarters staff are proud to be based in New Caledonia," Minchin said, adding that the French territory represents the Pacific community "so well."
New Caledonia is "deeply rooted in its culture and traditions and so resolutely turned towards the future and modernity," Minchin said.
SPC said the partnership signing recognizes "our shared history and our future as one of the Pacific region’s scientific, technical and development organizations supporting the well-being of Pacific peoples."
The agreement also aims to promote regional integration in New Caledonia and enable SPC to optimize its role in bringing together all of 27 members.
“This agreement consolidates the central pillar of our common hut in Nouméa. It sets a course that aims to tighten our ties, to strengthen the action of SPC in New Caledonia and obliges us, in return, to contribute to the major challenges facing the people of our ocean," Mapou said.
"There is also a common desire to strengthen cooperation for an ever more assertive integration of New Caledonia in the region. This agreement invites us, finally, to cultivate the diversity of our blue Pacific in order to build our region on new foundations and in the unity of the values that characterize our great states and countries of the ocean," the president added.
The new partnership focuses on three main objectives that will be developed over a four-year period.
The first objective involves strengthening the organization's headquarters in Nouméa to enable SPC to pursue its development in its host country.
The second objective concerns technical cooperation between SPC and New Caledonia. It will be implemented through the development of an SPC country strategic commitment in New Caledonia, in line with SPC's 2022-2031 Strategic Plan. This plan aims to strengthen New Caledonia's regional integration and mobilize Caledonian expertise in SPC's regional projects.
The third objective concerns communication and will be implemented through new governance of the partnership and the establishment of a joint communication plan on the actions implemented within its framework. February 2024 will also mark 75 years since SPC established its headquarters in New Caledonia.