Photo: May 1948 - SPC's First session
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When SPC was founded in Canberra, Australia, in 1947 there was no concept of cooperation between Pacific Island countries and territories and no regional organisation to support the well-being of their people.
In the 75 years since SPC has developed into a truly Pacific organisation with the support of a wide array of partners.
SPC’s successes and longevity owe much to the Pacific leaders who have nurtured and guided it over the past 75 years.
At 1st Conference of the newly named, Pacific Community hosted by French Polynesia in October 1999, Lourdes Pangelinan was appointed as SPC’s new Director-General. Ms Pangelinan was not only the first woman to head SPC but also the first woman to head any Pacific regional organisation at the time.
One of the most significant changes during Ms Pangelinan’s six years as Director-General was the shift for technical programmes to longer-term three-year strategic plans. This longer planning cycle meant service delivery could take precedence over the annual search for funds and enabled programmes to focus on the overall outcomes of their work rather than on individual activities.
The new approach was welcomed by both technical staff and development partners and revolutionised SPC’s approach to financing members’ priorities and continues to this day.
Today SPC continues to work with a variety of partners to support our members to achieve their development goals through scientific and technical assistance.
These include our CROP family, SPC is one of nine Council of Regional Organisations in the Pacific (CROP) agencies. We enjoy close ties with fellow CROP agencies, collaborating on technical and scientific work across different sectors and on key cross-cutting issues such as climate change mitigation and adaptation, disaster risk resilience, sustainable oceans management, education, sustainable tourism and culture preservation to name a few.
SPC’s major funding partners, Australia, the European Union, France, the United States of America, and New Zealand are also continuing 75 years of work, helping the region to achieve development outcomes through strong partnerships.