By Pita Ligaiula in Noumea, New Caledonia

NOUMEA, 28 JULY 2017 (PACNEWS) — Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine has called for better coordination between regional CROP agencies (Council of Regional Organisations in the Pacific).  


Speaking at the 10th conference of the Pacific Community in Noumea, President Heine says while member countries struggle will limited capacities and resources to implement and respond to urgent, crucial issues, the articulation of relevant entry points and increased collaboration should become the drivers of CROP agencies in lending their support to national and regional goals.

“Our strategies and partnerships must result in the continuance of providing solutions for the benefit of our people. Innovation must inevitably lead to efficient use of the resources and expertise of our CROP agencies.

“I am encouraged to see a better focused and vibrant CROP coordination and collaboration in place.

“With emerging issues that affect our region, we need organisations and partnerships that are committed to maintaining their core principles but at the same time to be flexible, adaptive and practical to meet new challenges,” President Heine told leaders.

A classic example of close collaboration is the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between SPC and SPREP this week.

SPC Director General, Dr Colin Tukuitonga also raised the issue with the leaders.

“I just want to share with you a concern I have. There is repeated references of CROP agencies squabbling over resources.

“It’s a myth. Off course we will have differences of opinions but I want you all to know that CROP agencies spend our time on how we can work better together to provide coherent, consistent advice to the members.

“Somehow the notion of CROP agencies competing over resources just keep coming up all the time. I’m a little bit grumpy about that, but we do our best. There will be odd occasions but ultimately the aim is to serve you better and sometimes different perspectives where slightly different advice for your consideration,”  Dr Tukuitonga said.

Meanwhile, President Heine said the mean of implementation for the 2030 Agenda for the Pacific needs to understand that there is “ No one size fits all solution” across the diverse Pacific region.

“I can assure you that the smaller the country is, the more multifaceted the challenges become.

“This is the kind of innovative partnership that we seek: meaningful, scalable, genuine, inclusive and based on open dialogue and trust. These principles must be embedded in our attempt to harmonise our implementation strategies for SDGs and other emerging challenges. Every member of SPC has a role to play, and we can be very effective by moving together in one direction,” said President Heine.

She said SPC partners need to understand and genuinely participate by tailoring their assistance and support towards achieving tangible outcomes.

“Many times, we have been disappointed by their shifts in policies, inability to consider our requests and their non-commitment to ensuring that our people are safe and secure from global events.

“In this connection, we should endeavour to include every partner recognised by the region to help participate in creating a Pacific that is truly a region of peace, harmony, security, social inclusion and prosperity and where all Pacific people can lead free, healthy and productive lives,” said President Heine…. PACNEWS [/restrict]