THE importance of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) to the wellbeing of the people in the North Pacific has been proven in so many ways.
"Whether one talks about agriculture, fisheries or energy, SPC is involved in so many aspects of our everyday lives," said Thomas Kijiner, Secretary of Marshall Islands' Ministry of Resources and Development.
"It is helping to make a difference."
These sentiments were echoed by Secretary Marion Henry of the Department of Resources and Development, Federated States of Micronesia, who said, "FSM values its partnership with SPC and appreciates its co-ordinating role and the synergies provided to ongoing projects in-country."
"Certainly, the presence of SPC in the North Pacific adds a comparative advantage to the undertaking of sub-regional projects like the EU funded, North Pacific ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific) Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (North REP) Project, under EDF Envelope 10."
These government officials were referring to the presence of the SPC North Pacific Regional Office in Pohnpei, FSM, which serves SPC's Northern Pacific members.
"This office came into being after the signing of a host country agreement between SPC and the government of FSM in 2006," explained Mr Amena Yauvoli, manager of the SPC North Pacific Regional Office.
"This was after the 2005 external review of SPC highlighted the organisation's need for visibility in the North Pacific."
Mr Yauvoli, who provides the oversight management of SPC's corporate services, finance and program implementation in the North Pacific, said, to begin with, the staff were technical people from the plant and animal health sections of SPC Land Resources Division.
"We started with four. Now, there are almost 40 staff members here, cutting across all SPC divisions and programs.
"The North Pacific Regional Office is also a conduit in terms of working with development partners to assist member countries."