SPC looks to multi-sectoral approach to regional issues
The outgoing director general of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community says in future the regional agency will put more emphasis on a multi sectoral approach to solving problems in the Pacific.
The outgoing director general of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Dr Jimmie Rodgers, says in future the regional agency will put more emphasis on a multi-sectoral approach to solving problems in the Pacific.
The agency's governing body, the Conference of the SPC, has just finished its bi-ennial meeting in Suva.
Dr Rodgers says the SPC's direction for the coming years was set by an independent review last year which laid out a far reaching reform programme, most of which has now been implemented.
He told Don Wiseman the Conference endorsed these changes but there will be more focus on having various parts of the agency and other bodies co-ordinating their work.
JIMMIE RODGERS: It's quite easy for technical organisations to do things along the very specific sectors, like agriculture or like fisheries or statistics. It's much, much more difficult for organisations to bring together the cross-sectoral expertise and address a cross-cutting issue like climate change, for instance, or like disasters. A good example of this will be an initiative we're currently doing in the Solomon Islands, where the provincial government would like to engage in a holistic development programme that includes climate change, disaster mitigation, agricultural development, fisheries, forestry. And what we have done is we've brought together many of our SPC technical divisions. We have also brought together with us a number of other regional organisations. We've brought together a number of other development partners with financing. So basically what then happens is the province sets the agenda for comprehensive development. We bring in from the SPC all that expertise to help develop a development agenda that cuts across many different sectors.
DON WISEMAN: In terms of the theme for this conference - 'Enhancing sustainable development in the Pacific community' - what will change there?
JR: A number of things. Fiji is linking the theme, because the theme is the prerogative of the host country, they're linking the theme to the Post-2015 Development Agenda. The conference that we have here is basically saying what needs to change. Well, firstly, Pacific Island countries need to establish a very strong and co-ordinated regional approach. It's quite easy going on individually as countries only linked by the fact that we're from the Pacific, but haven't really got to understanding each other in terms of what we should do - so that's the first thing. The second thing that we're looking at doing in terms of what we should really look at focusing on content and how do we actually influence, for instance, the strategic partnerships that will be launched next year in the seats. And, importantly, how do we equip our ambassadors at the UN who are engaging with this agenda internationally to be equipped with the kind of information about the priorities in the Pacific that they will continue to push at the international level. Thirdly, SPC has been asked, because of that same wide coverage of sectors, we have been asked to take a leadership role in supporting each of the Pacific Island countries positions themselves. And the kind of work we'll do is analytical in each of the sectors, but particularly in statistics. We have a resources statistics programme to try and look at the kind of indicators that will be used to measure success in the Post-2015 Development Agenda. The fourth thing that we're looking at is to ensure that we have a Pacific voice continuing to drive home the message that there needs to be a point of convergence between the processes globally.
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