Tonga has won the bid to host the Pacific Community’s first-ever Polynesian Sub-regional Office.
The decision was made by the Pacific Community’s Committee of Representatives of Governments and Administrations (CRGA) and endorsed by the 12 Special Thematic Conference that was held from November 23-25 in Port Vila, Vanuatu.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Fekitamoeloa ‘Utoikamanu led the bid.
Tonga’s successful bid is expected to boost its engagement in the organisation, and “will provide a platform for improved partnership building, re source mobilisation, donor coordination and enhanced integrated country programming,” stated the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Nuku’alofa, on November 29.
The CRGA and Conference are mandated to review the work and overlook the governance of the SPC.
While, the SPC has sub-regional offices for Melanesia and Micronesia, Tonga is to host the first office for Polynesia. It presents an opportunity for the SPC to respond to emerging issues and to enhance its capacity to deliver programmes for Polynesia.
The Minister also held a bilateral meeting with the Australian Minister for International Development and the Pacific, after the conference. Minister Conroy is expected to visit Tonga next month.
The Pacific Community (SPC) is the principal scientific and technical organisation in the Pacific region, established in 1947 and owned and governed by 27 country and territory members, including Tonga.