Photo caption: Dr Colin Tukuitonga, SPC Director-General and His Excellency Shane Jones, New Zealand’s Ambassador for Pacific Economic Development.
During a visit over two days to the headquarters of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) in Noumea, New Zealand’s Ambassador for Pacific Economic Development, His Excellency Shane Jones, was briefed on SPC’s role in supporting sustainable development of the region’s resources.
While Pacific Island countries and territories have very small economies in global terms, they have important oceanic and land-based natural resources.
The Ambassador’s role focuses on development of Pacific economic sectors such as tourism, fisheries, agriculture and horticulture.
Mr Jones was given an overview of the work of SPC’s technical divisions in supporting sustainable management and development of some of these resources. He also had face-to-face meetings with heads of SPC’s divisions and programmes.
The Ambassador ended his visit with a meeting with SPC Director-General, Dr Colin Tukuitonga, on the organisation and the role it plays in the region.
Mr Jones said, ‘Regional bodies are obviously important in Pacific development. I’ll be working very closely to ensure regional collaboration is on top of the agenda to grow the economic value of our fisheries resources in particular. Community is important and we must not forget the local fishery resource.’
New Zealand is one of SPC’s founder members and has been a constant partner of the organisation and the region.
Thanking the Ambassador for his visit and commitment to a challenging task, Dr Tukuitonga said, ‘We appreciate this opportunity to discuss the Ambassador’s views on regional development and to share the results and successes of some of the work SPC does in partnership with its island members.’