Continued relations between the People’s Republic of China and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme were further strengthened with the official handover of USD 200,000 support to SPREP.
This comes following a formal announcement by China’s President, His Excellency. Xi Jinping, to the leaders of eight Pacific island countries with which China has established diplomatic relations – Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu – at the recent Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Papua New Guinea from 17 – 18 November 2018.
The primary purpose of the USD 200,000 presented to SPREP is to support the Secretariat in its efforts to address key priority concerns of Pacific island countries in relation to Climate Change.
The official handover of the financial assistance was presented by H.E. Wang Xuefeng, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Samoa.
H.E Ambassador Wang said, “It is my great pleasure to officially handover the 2018 financial assistance to SPREP on behalf of the government of the People’s Republic of China.”
“Two weeks ago, Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed that China understands the particular concern of Pacific island countries over the issue of climate change, and will continue to support the countries in improving their capability to address climate change.”
President Xi also announced that over the course of the next five years starting from 2018, China will provide a total financial assistance of US 1 million to SPREP, and will host ten training programmes on capacity building in the field of climate change for Pacific island countries.
“This announcement by President Xi speaks volumes for China’s commitment to helping Pacific island countries to address climate change and achieve sustainable development,” Ambassador Wang added.
SPREP Director General, Mr Kosi Latu, acknowledged the assistance of the People’s Republic of China and commended President Xi for his global leadership and efforts in addressing the adverse impacts of climate change in the Pacific.
“We greatly appreciate the continued support from the People’s Republic of China, which will enhance and accelerate our climate actions with our Pacific islands, as well as the core work of our organisation. We also commend President Xi’s efforts as a global leader in addressing the issue of climate change,” Mr Latu said.
“This is a reflection of China’s strong efforts in supporting Pacific island countries to accelerate the implementation of the Paris Agreement, which is the focus of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 24th Conference of the Parties (UNFCCC COP24) which started this week in Katowice, Poland.”
“It is also a tangible demonstration of continuing strong relations between China and the Secretariat, and we look forward to the continued growth of our treasured relationship with the People’s Republic of China.”
The Government of the People’s Republic of China has demonstrated solid support for the regional organisation for well over a decade, with the very first presentation of funds made in 1998.
SPREP is the leading environment organisation for the Pacific island region encompassing four key work areas, these being; islands and ocean ecosystems; climate change resilience; environmental monitoring and governance; as well as waste management and pollution control.
The organisation spans 26 member countries, 21 of which are Pacific island countries and territories.