Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian, France’s Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Stuart Minchin, Director General of the Pacific Community (SPC), today signed a key multi-year cooperation partnership agreement between France and SPC covering the period 2021-2024. It reflects the resolve of the French President, as announced during the high-level dialogue on climate at SPC Headquarters in Noumea in 2018, to strengthen cooperation with the Pacific’s largest intergovernmental technical and scientific organisation.
Through this partnership, France, an Indo-Pacific nation, reaffirms its commitment to continue working alongside Pacific countries and stakeholders to meet the region’s challenges, in keeping with its Indo-Pacific strategy.
As part of the partnership, SPC and France will strengthen their efforts with communities in four priority areas, i.e. public health, climate change, the ocean, and the sustainable natural resource management.
The multi-donor “KIWA Initiative” for climate change adaptation and biodiversity protection in the Pacific led by the Agence Française de Développement (French Development Agency -AFD), with a budget of some EUR 35M - including EUR 13M from France and EUR14M from the European Union, - is a recent example of the excellent relations that exist between SPC and France. A funding agreement confirming SPC as one of the Initiative’s major implementing agencies was signed on 18 November 2020. In addition, in late 2020, France expanded its support for SPC’s Pacific public health network through a new AFD grant.
The three French Pacific territories (French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Wallis & Futuna) are also full SPC members.