The Pacific Community (SPC) has set its vision for a sustainable, thriving and peaceful Blue Pacific with the endorsement of its new 10-year Strategic Plan 2021+ during the 51st Meeting of the Committee of Representatives of Governments and Administrations (CRGA) in Noumea, New Caledonia.
This strategic plan is the first to be co-developed directly with members, staff and stakeholders, including women and young people. Pacific indigenous languages have been incorporated for the first time in an SPC strategic plan through the values that will guide the organisation: aroha (care); kaitiakitanga (stewardship); enginkelap (generosity); and gida gaituvwa (unity). SPC has also invested in building strategic foresight capabilities among member representatives and its own staff to ensure the plan anticipates and can quickly adapt to the challenges and opportunities of the coming decade.
These efforts have ensured that the plan is not only a representation of the organisation’s current priorities but also a true reflection of voices from across the region.
During his presentation to the SPC membership, Jimmy Naouna, Senior Adviser Multilateral Relations for Government of New Caledonia, highlighted the importance of the consultative process and its impact on the final text of the strategic plan: “In the process of the co-development, we recognised our shared Pacific values and their centrality for ensuring SPC is fit for purpose for the next decade and for the successful implementation of the strategy.”
The new strategic plan outlines the ongoing commitment of SPC and its members in progressing the rights and well-being of all Pacific peoples through science and knowledge, guided by the organisation’s deep understanding of Blue Pacific contexts and cultures. Among the highlights of this new vision, SPC is emphasising climate change as the existential threat facing the region, alongside addressing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and acknowledging the tremendous strengths of the Blue Pacific, including its culture and traditions, resilience, and island and ocean resources.
Food systems were highlighted by SPC Director-General Stuart Minchin as an example of how the new strategy would guide the organisation toward more integrated ways of working that respond to member needs. Many areas of SPC work contribute to food systems outcomes.
Through collaborative efforts SPC membership can strengthen data collection and analysis for more equitable food systems, promote Pacific-led innovation and research for climate resilient, sustainable food production, enhanced biosecurity capability and contribute to more productive and healthier communities through digital capabilities, testing and developing technologies.
Just as importantly SPC can make a major impact in increasing awareness of the important role and contribution of Pacific food systems across the region and around the world.
The strategic plan compliments the region’s 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent and, combined with national sustainable development plans and strategic plans developed in other Council of Regional Organisations in the Pacific (CROP) agencies, provides a comprehensive window into the ambitions of the Pacific.
The plan’s implementation will begin immediately, with a monitoring and tracking process in place to ensure the organisation is working as one towards the vision of a resilient and sustainable Pacific.
Peseta Noumea Simi, Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade for Samoa, in her comments to the CRGA representatives, stressed the seriousness of the challenges facing the Pacific and the importance of the plan for the future of the region: “The bonds that connect us as a Blue Pacific region continue to be tested due to climate change, geopolitical conflict and COVID-19. SPC now has a robust and adaptive strategy to ensure that it meets member needs, responds to changing member priorities, and supports coordination with other development partners and our CROP family.”
With CRGA endorsement, the Strategic Plan 2021+ comes into effect with Conference adoption, becoming the foundation of SPC’s work plan and, in combination with the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent, a clear pathway towards a sustainable and resilient Pacific future.