The first day of deliberations for the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP)’s 29th Meeting of Officials commenced this morning at the Tanoa Tusitala Conference Centre in Apia.
The first order of business for the 29th SPREP Meeting was the appointment of the new Chair and Vice-Chair of the Meeting.
H.E. Lucy Bogari of Papua New Guinea, who has been Chair for the last 12 months as well as a Member of the Troika, expressed her sincere gratitude to the Director General of the Secretariat and staff for the support accorded to her during her tenure as SPREP Meeting Chair.
“We have made a lot of progress under the leadership of the Director General, Deputy Director General, and Troika, of which I am grateful, as well as to all Members of SPREP for every effort you have made to take SPREP to the next level.”
“I would like to thank each and every one of you, and I look forward to working closely with the new Chair.”
The Director General of SPREP, Mr Kosi Latu, gave an overview to the room on the procedure of appointing the new Chair and Vice Chair.
“In accordance with SPREP Meeting procedure, when the Meeting is hosted by the Secretariat, the role of Chair shall rotate alphabetically. Thus, with Papua New Guinea being the outgoing Chair, Samoa will now take on the role of Chair of the 29th SPREP Meeting,” Mr Latu said.
The Meeting invited the representative from Samoa, Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Government of Samoa Peseta Noumea Simi, who now takes over the reins from H.E. Lucy Bogari as Chair.
Peseta thanked the outgoing Chair for her hard work over the last year, and led the Meeting straight into the deliberations, while encouraging interactive debates and discussions in order to make the most of the short time that is made available to them.
Similarly, the appointment of the Vice Chair, in accordance with SPREP Meeting Procedure also rotates alphabetically, thus making French Polynesia the new Vice Chair of the 29th SPREP Meeting.
The 29th SPREP Meeting of Officials is being held at the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel in Apia, Samoa from 3 – 6 September.
The Meeting will bring together SPREP’s 21 Pacific island Members countries and five metropolitan Members to discuss strategic issues pertaining to the organisation, and to approve the 2020-2021 work plan. The Environment Ministers’ High-Level Talanoa will be held on Friday 6 September.
The 21 Pacific island member countries and territories of SPREP are: American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Wallis and Futuna.
The five metropolitan members of SPREP are: Australia, France, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the United States of America.