Wednesday, October 13, 2010

[pima.nius] Secretariat of the Pacific Community signs host country agreement on 12th October 2010 to establish a country-office of SPC in Port Vila, Vanuatu

11:38 AM |




Hon Joe Natuman, Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade of the Government of the Republic of Vanuatu and Dr Jimmie Rodgers, Director General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community signs host country agreement on 12th October 2010 to establish a country-office of SPC in Port Vila, Vanuatu


The Secretariat of the Pacific (SPC) with the support of the government of the Republic of Vanuatu will establish a small country office in Vanuatu. This is the second country office to be established following the establishment of the country office in Solomon Islands in early 2009.


The hosting by Vanuatu of a country office of SPC is a fulfilment of the instructions by SPC's governing body, the SPC Conference at its 2005 meeting in Palau where it directed SPC to decentralise the location of some of its services beyond its headquarter in Noumea and regional office in Suva in-order to move services closer to the people.


A major criterion for the establishment of a 'country office' is the size and complexity of the programme of assistance SPC provides to the country.  In addition the member must indicate its wishes to have a country office established and that it is willing to meet the costs for the office space in the country.


The country office provides an in-country focal point the official SPC focal point in the Vanuatu government.


The presence in-country will enhance more regular consultations between the Vanuatu government and SPC on programme planning and implementation.


The office will coordinate the monitoring and reporting of all services provided by the various SPC programmes in Vanuatu.


The Vanuatu – SPC joint country strategy will provide the basis for this monitoring framework the result of which will also feed into Vanuatu government's own planning processes. The coordinator for the country office is the Director General's representative in the country and reports to the Director General. 


SPC currently has a substantial programme of assistance to Vanuatu covering a wide range of sectors including in Agriculture, Education (TVET and skills development), Fisheries, Forestry, Health, Human Rights, Maritime and Transport and Statistics / demography to name a few. 


SPC puts into Vanuatu approximately two million USD each year in technical, scientific, social and economic development programmes. Of this at least one million USD each year is for health alone.


In addition to the specific country focus the Vanuatu country office will also hosts part of SPC's Regional Rights Resources Team (RRRT) which undertake capacity building in human rights in the region.


Already RRRT currently has two staff members located in Vanuatu. The programme management of RRRT is located in SPC's Suva office as well as additional technical capacity to assist members.


SPC is in consultation with the government of Fiji on the two country hosting arrangement for RRRT that enables SPC to retain the programme management and part of its technical capacity operating from Fiji and part to operate in Vanuatu with the added advantage of being in close proximity to the USP Law School.  This arrangement will also provide an important link between two hosting countries.


The presence of part of RRRT in the Vanuatu country office will add a regional aspect to its role.


Dr. Jimmie Rodgers

Director General




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