THE Pacific Community marks 70 years of service to the region this month in a quiet way in Noumea, New Caledonia. It is fitting that an organisation with humble beginnings should celebrate such a milestone in a subdued fashion, eyes firmly focussed on the work that remains to be done to develop people, health, agriculture, shipping and aviation.
Born as the Secretariat of the Pacific Community in 1947, the organisation has stood alongside the nations of the region in their journey as colonies towards independence and later as sovereign nations. Of course there are Pacific territories which remain colonies, some of them by choice. Others, while independent, face various political challenges from benign dictatorships to failing economies, coastal degradation and Non-Communicable diseases.
Therefore it is fitting that the Pacific Community’s two main offices are in New Caledonia – a French overseas territory – and Fiji, one of the region’s longest independent nations. For Noumea and Suva represent in their own ways the best and worst of what the Pacific has to offer.
Each is a mixture of the best and the worst. Each offers an insight into the tremendous possibilities which exist for Pacific economies if there is a political will to seize opportunities and forge pathways towards a future which will benefit the people. Islands Business is proud to be associated with the Pacific Community through our coverage and support of key conferences on Non-Communicable Disease, climate change and sustainable fisheries.
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