Minister for National Planning and Aid Coordination, Hon. Steve Abana, has highlighted the importance of the Secretariat of the Pacific Communities (SPC) in country presence during the Sixth Conference of the Pacific Communities (SPC) in Nuku'alofa, Tonga."The opening of the SPC in-country office in the Solomon Islands is testament to the importance our government places on building partnerships with key regional and international organizations," Hon. Abana told delegates. "Such an in-country presence would bring the work of the SPC closer to the government and people of the Solomon Islands."
The SPC in-country office, established early this year, will help implement the Solomon Islands government and SPC's joint country strategy (JCS) for the next four years.
"As the Minister responsible for National Planning and Aid Coordination it was pleasing to see that the JCS was anchored on the Solomon Islands Governments Mid Term Development Strategy," said Hon. Abana.
"This is important as it reflects our priorities for the next four years. The JCS provides an important mechanism for monitoring and evaluating the work of the SPC in-country."
The Minister said that the JCS has reached its mid point in its first year of implementation and a thorough assessment was conducted by the government's focal point. "While the overall assessment was positive the JCS process, as it is implemented on the ground, needs to follow a standard format or approach," the Minister said.
Hon. Abana said that the Solomon Islands are hugely supportive of the JCS and is committed to continuously seeking ways to improve it. "The Solomon Islands see it as an important mechanism for monitoring and evaluating the work of the SPC in-country."