Pacific Community (SPC)

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About
  • The Pacific Community (SPC) has proudly supported development in the Pacific region since 1947 and is the leading scientific and technological organization in the region.
  • SPC are an international development organisation owned and governed by SPC’s 26 country and territory members: American Samoa, Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, France, French Polynesia, Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Pitcairn Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, United States of America, Vanuatu, and Wallis and Futuna.
  • SPC’s unique organization works in more than 25 fields in the name of sustainable development for the benefit of Pacific people. SPC is famous for its expertise and innovation in fields like geology, plant genetic resource conservation for food and agriculture, fisheries science, and public health surveillance.
  • Major cross-cutting concerns like climate change, catastrophe risk reduction, food security, gender equality, human rights, non-communicable diseases, and youth employment are a large part of our attention. In order to react to the development needs of our members, we take a multi-sectoral approach, rely on local and global experience and capacities, and encourage the empowerment of Pacific communities as well as the exchange of knowledge and skills among nations and territories.
  • SPC, which employs approximately 600 people, has its main office in Noumea, regional offices in Suva and Pohnpei, a national office in Honiara, and field personnel working on other Pacific islands. English and French are the working languages for our bilingual company.
The SPC’s Members

Twenty-six countries and territories make up the Pacific Community, including the four founding members—Australia, France, New Zealand, and the United States—and 22 island nations and territories.

The SPC includes the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, The Northern Marianna Islands, New Caledonia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, The Pitcairn Islands, French Polynesia, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Niue, The Marshall Islands, The Federated States of Micronesia, Wallis and Futuna, Nauru, The Salomon Islands, American Samoa, Vanuatu, and Samoa.

New Caledonia’s Commitment and Contribution to the SPC

The SPC’s host nation, New Caledonia, is fully aware of the significance of the organization and its position in the Pacific; as a result, New Caledonia has significantly boosted its involvement in the SPC.

In light of this, New Caledonia and the SPC decided on a cooperative strategy aimed at outlining the tactical parameters of their cooperation. This strategy formalizes the partnership between the two parties as mutually beneficial and identifies the key areas in which the SPC can best serve New Caledonia over the next five years. In contrast to similar agreements made by the SPC with other nations, the strategy decided upon with New Caledonia acknowledges the assistance given to the SPC by New Caledonia and the advantages associated with the fact that it is headquartered in Noumea. The creation of New Caledonia’s Planning and Development Plan, “NC 2025,” was taken into consideration when creating this important instrument.

In addition, New Caledonia formalized its working relationship with the SPC by establishing a Multilateral Division within the Department for Regional Cooperation and External Relations. This division’s responsibility is to keep track of the coordination between New Caledonia’s institutions and all local stakeholders who are affected by the SPC’s work on the one hand, and the SPC’s Divisions on the other.

Secretariat of the Pacific Community
  • The governments of Australia, France, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Great Britain, and the United States established the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, formerly known as the South Pacific Commission (1947–1998), in 1947 to provide them with advice on issues pertaining to the South Pacific island territories they governed in terms of economic, social, and health issues. It has its headquarters in Nouméa, New Caledonia, and is the oldest regional organization in the Pacific. In 1951, Guam and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands joined the SPC, expanding its membership to the North Pacific. However, the Netherlands withdrew in 1962 after handing control of Netherlands New Guinea (Irian Jaya) over to Indonesia. Britain left the organization in 1996 amid disagreements with its direction but returned two years later. The SPC had 27 members at the start of the twenty-first century. The organization changed into a technical advising, aid, training, and research agency when the majority of the regions attained independence, focusing on solving economic, biological, medical, educational, and social issues.
  • Each of the SPC’s original founding members had one vote at first. However, voting regulations were altered in 1965 to give Australia five votes, France, Britain, New Zealand, and the United States four, and Western Samoa one. This was in response to the admission of the newly independent Western Samoa. The criteria for membership were further changed to include non-independent territories and other independent states to join, leading to the admission of Fiji in 1971 and Nauru in 1969. In 1983, the SPC again changed the regulations, giving every member—regardless of status—equal voting rights. Two representatives from each member nation attend the annual South Pacific Conference, which approves the organization’s budget and establishes its Work Programme for technical support via local and regional seminars and workshops. The United States, Australia, France, Britain, New Zealand, and the SPC collectively contribute about 90% of the SPC’s budget.

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