SPC needs to look beyond traditional donor partners: Nauru President

As the Pacific Community (SPC) seeks to transform its operation to serve the needs of the member states better, Nauru President has called on SPC to consider non –traditional partners such as Taiwan and Israel for its work.

Speaking at the 10th conference of SPC on the theme “Innovative Partnerships for Sustainable Development’, Baron Waqa said the Pacific must adapt to the changing circumstances facing the region.

“I am of the view that we must support SPC to do its work based on the priorities of the region we have identified such as the SAMOA Pathway and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

“Our priorities are changing and evolving over time, we face a challenging future as we will have more mouths to feed and look after, in an uncertain future brought on by climate change and socio-economic impacts.  

“New challenges need new solutions so our theme today correctly identifies innovation as an approach in how we should conduct our affairs for the future. Perhaps one way of being innovative is to look beyond our traditional partners and consider non-traditional partners, such as Taiwan and Israel. I have visited Taiwan numerous times, and I was recently in Israel.  

The level of innovation and technological development in these two countries are simply amazing, especially in areas such as fisheries and aquaculture, agriculture, land and economic development, and in many other areas.

SPC sought collaboration with Singapore in capacity building, so why not do the same with Israel and Taiwan?  These are only two examples and there are more around,” President Waqa told leaders and delegates in Noumea, according to a report by PACNEWS.

President Waqa said SPC has done a lot of good work for the region over the past 70 years, and Nauru was a grateful recipient of such assistance, including the invaluable support provided through the years when the island nation experienced great hardship. 

“We will continue to recognise SPC for its specialised role that it provides the region, and we look forward to further collaborative projects in areas such as land rehabilitation, including capacity and institutional building in other areas that SPC specialises.  

“We are facing a whole range of issues today as never before.  We have a huge population expansion compared to 70 years ago, and this places a lot of stress on our ecosystems, and on our natural resources including our land and our oceans. We are facing uncertainties associated with climate change that could have a far reaching impact on our environment and our peoples.  

“The challenges we have ahead of us are indeed challenging for the whole region, and we must adapt to the changing circumstances,” President Waqa said.


Photo file. Caption: Nauru President Baron Waqa