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  • News | Podcast: A Pacific-specific approach to regionalism

    Colin Tukuitonga, Matthew Dornan, Meg Keen, Jill Sheppard, Martyn Pearce. This week on the pod we take a look at regional cooperation amongst the Pacific Islands and the challenges they face in coordinating policy efforts.How can Pacific island nations work together better to tackle some of the big issues facing the region, and increase their clout on the global stage?Our presenters – Jill Sheppard and Martyn Pearce – also take a look at a few key policy issues in the news, including the Royal Commissions into both the Murray-Darling Basin and Australia’s banks, as well as proposed tax reforms and franking credits. They also discuss some of the comments you’ve left us and the suggestions you’ve given us for future pods – so keep them coming!This episode brings together three experts on the Pacific Islands:. Matthew Dornan is a Research Fellow and the Deputy Director at the Development Policy Centre in Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University .Meg Keen is Associate Professor at the Department of Pacific Affairs at ANU. She is also a senior policy fellow in the State, Society and Governance in Melanesia program at the university.Colin Tukuitonga has served as Director-General at Pacific Community since January 2014. He was formerly the Director of its Public Health Division. He is based at the organisation’s headquarters in Noumea, New Caledonia.Martyn Pearce is a presenter for Policy Forum Pod and the Editor of Policy Forum.Show notes | The following were referred to in this episode:. Franking credits and the Labor Party’s suggested tax reform. Policy Forum Pod: Australia’s environmental performance review. The Pacific Plan for Strengthening Regional Cooperation and Integration . Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton’s comment on climate change in the Pacific Islands. Environment Minister Melissa Price’s comment to former Kiribati president Anote Tong. Press release from Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs on providing safe medicines in the Pacific

  • News | Recruitment process for the next Director-General of the Pacific Community is now underway

    The Pacific Community is offering a rare opportunity for a qualified individual to take up the role of Director-General. The Director-General provides vision and leadership for the largest and longest serving development organization based in the Pacific. Building on the strong foundations laid by previous Director-Generals, the selected candidate will have the responsibility of guiding SPC in support of its 26 Pacific Island Country and Territory members, protecting the organizations status as the premier scientific and technical organization for the region, and ensuring that the traditions, knowledge and experience of the Pacific people are given the recognition they deserve.The recruitment process for the next Director-General of the Pacific Community is now underway. SPC invites qualified individuals with a passion and vision for development in the region to forward their details for consideration:. Lead the principal development organisation in the Pacific region. The Pacific Community invites applications for the position of Director-General of the Pacific Community.This position is located at SPC headquarters in Noumea, New Caledonia.The Pacific Community is the principal scientific and technical organisation in the Pacific region, supporting development since 1947. We are an international development organisation owned and governed by our 26 country and territory members. In pursuit of sustainable development to benefit Pacific people, our organisation works across more than 20 sectors. We are known for our knowledge and innovation in such areas as fisheries science, public health surveillance, geoscience, and conservation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.SPC and its secretariat shares the vision for our region adopted by Pacific Islands Forum Leaders under the Framework for Pacific Regionalism: Our Pacific vision is for a region of peace, harmony, security, social inclusion and prosperity, so that all Pacific people can lead free, healthy and productive lives. SPC’s mission is to work for the well-being of Pacific people through the effective and innovative application of science and knowledge, guided by a deep understanding of the Pacific Islands’ contexts and cultures.The organisation has gained a reputation for providing real solutions to real problems in the Pacific , and strives to maintain professionalism, integrity and pragmatism in delivering its services. The heart of SPC is its integrated work programme, which combines diverse disciplines enabling a multi-sectoral approach to regional development. The work programme focuses on delivering technical assistance, research, education and training through courses, workshops and seminars to Pacific Island member countries and territories. More i

  • News | 54th Annual Meeting of the Asian Development Bank (ADB)

    Strengthening domestic resource mobilization and international tax cooperation has become. an important strategic priority for ADB, arguably even more so after the COVID-19 crisis. To enhance ADB’s support for its developing member countries, ADB has announced the establishment of the Asia Pacific Tax Hub, which is envisioned to provide an open and inclusive platform for strategy policy dialogue, knowledge sharing, and development coordination among ADB, ADB member countries and development partners.The 54th Annual Meeting this year will serve as the official launch event of the Asia Pacific Tax Hub. Three topics will be discussed at the launch: the macroeconomic outlook and role of revenue mobilization, and effectiveness of medium-term revenue strategies; automation of tax administration; and international tax cooperation, bringing together the Governors from ADB members and development partners. The event will feature President Masatsugu Asakawa and high-level officials from development partners and ADB member countries.Visit the 54th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank page

  • News | What do the statistics tell us about the impacts of the COVID-19 on PICT economies

    A new paper by SPC Statistics Advisor-Strategic Planning Monitoring Analysis, Elizabeth Ragimana and SPC Data Analysis and Dissemination Manager, David Abbott reveals how almost eighteen months on since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide, Pacific economies are still grappling with its impact.The paper shows that the near total collapse of tourism in the region, a key pillar of economic development for many PICTs, has led to increasing job losses, public and private sector debts and a significant reduction in government tax revenues over the period.Samoa, Vanuatu, and the Solomon Islands each saw a 100% fall in arrival numbers against the March quarter of 2020. While Fiji , Cook Islands , French Polynesia and Guam , were not far behind, see Figure 1.

  • News | What do the statistics tell us about the impacts of the COVID-19 on PICT economies

    A new paper by SPC Statistics Advisor-Strategic Planning Monitoring Analysis, Elizabeth Ragimana and SPC Data Analysis and Dissemination Manager, David Abbott reveals how almost eighteen months on since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide, Pacific economies are still grappling with its impact.The paper shows that the near total collapse of tourism in the region, a key pillar of economic development for many PICTs, has led to increasing job losses, public and private sector debts and a significant reduction in government tax revenues over the period.Samoa, Vanuatu, and the Solomon Islands each saw a 100% fall in arrival numbers against the March quarter of 2020. While Fiji , Cook Islands , French Polynesia and Guam , were not far behind, see Figure 1.

  • News | NCD preventive policies and legislations update

    Part 1: What we should know about NCD preventive policies and legislations. Non-communicable diseases are the leading cause of death in the Pacific region accounting for 60 to 75% of mortalities. The Pacific Community’s NCD programme supports member countries and territories to scale-up the prevention and control actions recommended in the Pacific NCD Roadmap, and mobilise a sustained ‘whole of SPC, whole of government and whole of society’ approach to turning the tide on the NCD epidemic in the Pacific.My name is Amerita Ravuvu, and I work at SPC’s Public Health Division as the Non-Communicable Diseases Adviser - Policy and Planning. In April this year, our NCD programme commenced a series of policy webinars with Pacific Island Countries and Territories . This series comprises six webinars with the aim to strengthen country capacity in handling policy development processes surrounding NCD related policies.Why are NCD preventive policies and legislations important?Legislative and regulatory measures are powerful tools to safeguard and promote the public's health and safety. These tools also play an important role in regulating our national food environments that are now greatly influenced by industrialised food discourses. This globalised discourse of food has influenced our food supplies in the region and has come at the cost of traditional and place-based food production systems and the composition of food. Research evidence gathered in the region is showing that these changes correlate with an increasing availability and affordability of ultra-processed foods and the greater consumption of these. Thus, NCD preventive policies and legislations can play a role in reducing consumption of food and drink products directly linked to obesity, heart disease and diabetes, especially those high in salt, fat, and sugar by improving the food environment, regulating the food supply chain and the nutritional content of food.Having said that, most PICTs have NCD-related laws and regulations, however the majority need expanding and/or strengthening to keep up with changing environments and needs.What ongoing work has been done to address this?We have been supporting the development of the Pacific Legislative Framework – a regional framework for legislative measures dealing with each NCD risk factor namely tobacco control, liquor control, health promotion, marketing of breastmilk substitutes, the regulation of salt, sugar and trans-fat in the food supply, and marketing of unhealthy foods including sugary drinks to children. Moreover, this policy webinar series aims to facilitate a diverse conversation on the realities of developing NCD-related policies within PICTs contexts and the factors that continue to hinder its effective implementation. The series will also explore a variety of policy tools and frameworks that can guide countries on how to handle and approach different parts of the policy cycle, in

  • News | Actualisation des politiques et législations de prévention des MNT

    Les maladies non transmissibles sont la première cause de mortalité dans le Pacifique où elles sont responsables de 60 % à 75 % des décès. Le programme de lutte contre les MNT de la CPS aide les tats et Territoires membres à renforcer la prévention et les mesures de lutte recommandées dans la Feuille de route régionale relative aux MNT et s’efforce d’associer l’ensemble de la CPS, des pouvoirs publics et de la société pour enrayer l’épidémie de MNT dans le Pacifique.Part 1: What we should know about NCD preventive policies and legislations. Non-communicable diseases are the leading cause of death in the Pacific region accounting for 60 to 75% of mortalities. The Pacific Community’s NCD programme supports member countries and territories to scale-up the prevention and control actions recommended in the Pacific NCD Roadmap, and mobilise a sustained ‘whole of SPC, whole of government and whole of society’ approach to turning the tide on the NCD epidemic in the Pacific.My name is Amerita Ravuvu, and I work at SPC’s Public Health Division as the Non-Communicable Diseases Adviser - Policy and Planning. In April this year, our NCD programme commenced a series of policy webinars with Pacific Island Countries and Territories . This series comprises six webinars with the aim to strengthen country capacity in handling policy development processes surrounding NCD related policies.Why are NCD preventive policies and legislations important?Legislative and regulatory measures are powerful tools to safeguard and promote the public's health and safety. These tools also play an important role in regulating our national food environments that are now greatly influenced by industrialised food discourses. This globalised discourse of food has influenced our food supplies in the region and has come at the cost of traditional and place-based food production systems and the composition of food. Research evidence gathered in the region is showing that these changes correlate with an increasing availability and affordability of ultra-processed foods and the greater consumption of these. Thus, NCD preventive policies and legislations can play a role in reducing consumption of food and drink products directly linked to obesity, heart disease and diabetes, especially those high in salt, fat, and sugar by improving the food environment, regulating the food supply chain and the nutritional content of food.Having said that, most PICTs have NCD-related laws and regulations, however the majority need expanding and/or strengthening to keep up with changing environments and needs.What ongoing work has been done to address this?We have been supporting the development of the Pacific Legislative Framework – a regional framework for legislative measures dealing with each NCD risk factor namely tobacco control, liquor control,

  • News | HRSD's Pacific Youth and COVID-19 and Agriculture Policy Briefs in Focus

    In the Pacific, youth development is still under-resourced and faces many challenges.To support Pacific Islands and Territories in developing strategies to take on these challenges, the Pacific Community’s Human Rights and Social Development division has published two policy briefs concerning youth in the Pacific region.The first policy brief titled: Pacific Youth and COVID-19 provides an analysis of pandemic impacts on Pacific youth and identifies priority activities and policy actions needed for effective COVID-19 responses. Some of the immediate actions highlighted in the report include the need to boost youth engagement in agricultural production; providing financial services to enable youth-led, small-scale farming, and small and medium enterprises to overcome cash ow crises; distributing inputs for primary agricultural production to ensure food availability in the poorest areas; and providing digital services for agriculture and education. The brief also emphasises the value of small backyard gardens and local supply chains as essential, for providing nutritious foods needed for a healthy diet.The second policy brief titled: Farming The Future – Youth-Inclusive Agriculture Policies, Resourcing And Programmes For A Resilient Pacific highlights the potential of agriculture for sustainable youth livelihood, improved food security and employment; and identifies the policies needed to ensure increased youth engagement in agriculture. The brief shows how SPC and PICTs need to implement short-term innovative agricultural-based projects that are low cost but high impact to respond to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Pacific youth. It also emphasizes the need for SPC to support PICTs with tools to create agricultural skills training and employment pathways for youth.Other priorities in the brief include increasing engagement of youth in the Pacific Week of Agriculture; the need for National youth policies to encourage youth participation in agriculture strategies, action plans and policies; specific targets to ensure increased and sustained engagement of youth in agriculture production and value-adding processes for increased livelihood and employment export opportunities and; increased government incentives for youths to move into small-medium-large-scale farming with corresponding support for extension and field work, including technical assistance with finance and business management. E.g. government offering tax incentives for commercial farming initiatives.Underpinning both these briefs is HRSD’s emphasis on a 'people centred' approach to all the areas in which SPC serves its members.Farming The Future – Youth-Inclusive Agriculture Policies, Resourcing And Programmes For A Resilient Pacific

  • News | Synthèses sur les politiques relatives à la jeunesse et à l'agriculture en bref

    In the Pacific, youth development is still under-resourced and faces many challenges.To support Pacific Islands and Territories in developing strategies to take on these challenges, the Pacific Community’s Human Rights and Social Development division has published two policy briefs concerning youth in the Pacific region.The first policy brief titled: Pacific Youth and COVID-19 provides an analysis of pandemic impacts on Pacific youth and identifies priority activities and policy actions needed for effective COVID-19 responses. Some of the immediate actions highlighted in the report include the need to boost youth engagement in agricultural production; providing financial services to enable youth-led, small-scale farming, and small and medium enterprises to overcome cash ow crises; distributing inputs for primary agricultural production to ensure food availability in the poorest areas; and providing digital services for agriculture and education. The brief also emphasises the value of small backyard gardens and local supply chains as essential, for providing nutritious foods needed for a healthy diet.The second policy brief titled: Farming The Future – Youth-Inclusive Agriculture Policies, Resourcing And Programmes For A Resilient Pacific highlights the potential of agriculture for sustainable youth livelihood, improved food security and employment; and identifies the policies needed to ensure increased youth engagement in agriculture. The brief shows how SPC and PICTs need to implement short-term innovative agricultural-based projects that are low cost but high impact to respond to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Pacific youth. It also emphasizes the need for SPC to support PICTs with tools to create agricultural skills training and employment pathways for youth.Other priorities in the brief include increasing engagement of youth in the Pacific Week of Agriculture; the need for National youth policies to encourage youth participation in agriculture strategies, action plans and policies; specific targets to ensure increased and sustained engagement of youth in agriculture production and value-adding processes for increased livelihood and employment export opportunities and; increased government incentives for youths to move into small-medium-large-scale farming with corresponding support for extension and field work, including technical assistance with finance and business management. E.g. government offering tax incentives for commercial farming initiatives.Underpinning both these briefs is HRSD’s emphasis on a 'people centred' approach to all the areas in which SPC serves its members.Farming The Future – Youth-Inclusive Agriculture Policies, Resourcing And Programmes For A Resilient Pacific

  • News | Webinar Registration: Launch Revenue Statistics in Asian and Pacific Economies 2020

    We are pleased to invite you to the launch of the 2020 edition of Revenue Statistics in Asian and Pacific Economies on 23 July 2020, at 8.00-9.00am Paris time / 2.00-3.00 pm Manila time / 6.00-7.00pm Fiji time. The launch will discuss:. Findings from the 2020 edition on revenue trends in Asian and Pacific economies. Tax policy and administration responses to COVID-19 in the Asia-Pacific region. This webinar will provide an opportunity for representatives of Asian and Pacific economies and international organisations to discuss domestic resource mobilisation and fiscal policy in the region, informed by data and analysis from Revenue Statistics in Asian and Pacific Economies 2020. The event will also provide an an update on the region’s fiscal policy responses to COVID-19 as discussed during a virtual meeting held on 14 May 2020.