Kia Orana and Salutations:
Delegates representing Members of the SPC
Director General of the SPC, Dr Jimmie Rodgers
Director of the SOPAC Division, Dr Russell Howorth
Members of the STAR scientific and technical network
Representatives of partner and donor organisations
I must say from the outset that Noumea occupies a special place in my heart and it’s a great pleasure to return to be among friends from around the region, and to be a guest of Director General Dr. Jimmie Rodgers.
The only down-side is that this visit has to be a very brief one as I must return home to Parliamentary duties. But it’s great to be back and to be included in this week’s organised gatherings of esteemed representatives from around the Pacific and beyond.
Following the STAR Network Meeting address yesterday, my pleasure doubles this morning in providing a few welcome remarks and a short Outgoing Chair's Address for this opening plenary session of the Second Meeting of the SPC Applied Geoscience and Technology Division – more commonly referred to – as SOPAC.
It is pleasing to welcome delegates representing most of the SPC Members here today. I also extend a welcome to all those delegates representing partners and donors that provide the support, including financial resources for the Division to carry out its extensive work programme. In particular, I recognise the Chair of STAR, Professor John Collen and his colleagues from the Science, Technology and Resources (STAR) Network.
Thank you for the privilege of addressing the STAR Meeting last evening. I’ve noted that some 40 scientific and technical papers were presented over the course of the 2-day meeting.
Likewise Professor Gary Greene, Chair of the Programme Monitoring and Evaluation Group (PMEG), who are drawn from the STAR Network to provide for Members the invaluable independent annual ongoing overview of the Division and its work.
I am aware you have been carrying out your monitoring and evaluation over the past week with staff at the Division Offices in Suva and here in Noumea amongst the Members. On behalf of the Members, I extend to your team our sincere appreciation.