Members of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) are discussing crucial and substantive issues relating to the Canberra Agreement of 1947 – the founding treaty of SPC.
These include confirming the legal effect of two previous decisions taken by the organisation’s governing body, the Conference of the Pacific Community: the 1983 decision to provide full and equal membership rights to all current member countries and territories, and the 1997 decision to change the organisation's name from the South Pacific Commission to the Pacific Community.
Delegates to the 43rd Committee of Representatives of Governments and Administrations (CRGA), which is taking place at the Vale ni Bose in Suva, Fiji from 12–15 November, also discussed an expression of interest by Timor-Leste to become a full member of the Pacific Community and a proposal to create two new categories of ‘associate member’ and ‘observer’ to the Pacific Community.
CRGA will provide recommendations to be considered by the 8th Conference of the Pacific Community when it meets on 18–19 November 2013 at the Vale ni Bose.
The recommendations will include endorsing the previous decisions of 1983 and 1997 and expanding the organisation’s territorial scope to include Timor-Leste. This will mean that SPC will be in a position to consider membership for Timor-Leste, if the country submits a formal application.
The Conference of the Pacific Community will make authoritative decisions on these matters.
SPC is an international development organisation and the Pacific region's principal provider of vital technical, scientific, research and policy services in areas such as agriculture, energy, transport, fisheries, forestry, geoscience, public health, disaster risk management, water resources, education, statistics, gender, human rights, youth and culture. The organisation is also charged with meeting the challenge of cross-cutting issues, such as climate change, in all these sectors.