NUKU’ALOFA-April 24: 11.40am (SPC/MEIDECC): Tonga’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy, Hon Siaosi Sovaleni this morning told delegates at the Pacific Energy and Transport Officials meeting at the Tanoa Dateline Hotel here in Nuku’alofa that regional partnerships were important.
Opening the meeting, Hon Sovaleni emphasised the importance of members discussing the important topics included in the conference agenda over the next few days.
The Pacific Community (SPC), in partnership with the Government of Tonga is hosting the two day officials meeting, preceding the Ministerial meeting to open on Wednesday this week.
High on the agenda for discussion are global and regional frameworks that will support access to global financing for Pacific Island countries. Discussions will cover the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Energy and Transport sectors, and financing Affordable, Reliable and Sustainable Energy and Transport Services for All.
Hon Sovaleni, who is the Minister for Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications (MEIDECC) and Minister of Foreign Affairs said ‘the weeklong agenda has been carefully prepared to guide our efforts to achieve common objectives and ensure the sustainable development of our countries and the well-being of all our people’.
“This region faces unique challenges in terms of geography, size of population and economies,” he continued.
“Our joint and collective effort with regional actions that support our national development priorities and strategies is the most effective response to receiving support from the international community,” he concluded.
SPC Deputy Director-General Dr Audrey Aumua in her introductory remarks said “a key purpose of this meeting is to periodically and systematically consult members on development and sectoral priorities. This meeting provides a necessary forum for members to shape regional and national priorities over the next three years, and agree on actions to support our member’s sustainable development aspirations for regional security.”
“SPC turns 70 this year and we are thrilled that our important work this week can celebrate that milestone in Tonga. In particular, the inauguration of the Pacific Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency office here in Nukualofa on Wednesday. And in that spirit, I would like to offer my personal gratitude to all our members and partners here today for all your continued support,” Dr Aumua said.
The two-day meeting will provide an opportunity for the Energy Officials and development partner roundtable, the first meeting of the PCREEE Steering Committee, discussions on maritime governance, Pacific Women in Maritime among other issues.
The outcomes of the two day officials meeting will go before the three-day triennial Ministerial meeting for deliberation on Wednesday.
Across the weeklong meeting, over 100 high-level delegates are registered to participate.
The weeklong Third Pacific Regional Energy and Transport Ministers’ Meeting will conclude on Friday, April 28.