REMARKS: Director Policy at the PIFS – EU ICT Equipment launch and Handover

Mr Pedro Velazquez, Acting Head of Cooperation for the EU Delegation for Pacific

Staff of the EU Delegation

PIFS Colleagues

 

I wish to warmly welcome you all this morning to this occasion.

Let me begin by saying that the Technical Cooperation and Capacity Building Facility, in short TECCBUF, contributes to the effective implementation of the EU’s development cooperation within the Pacific ACP group. This of course is done in line with agreed regional priorities, and to strengthen capacities of the PACP NAO’s and regional implementing organisations to implement EDF resources.

COVID-19, however, has posed unprecedented challenges to us all, necessitating innovative but inclusive means of delivery at all levels.

At the third TECCBUF project steering committee meeting in November 2020, the ICT investment Initiative  considered an innovative necessity in light of the COVID situation and the increasing virtual modalities of service delivery.

The rationale was to support the PACPs and relevant regional organisations involved in the implementation of EU-PACP cooperation, by equipping them with the necessary ICT equipment or facility that will enable effective and efficient participations in virtual meetings and workshops.

In response to a request for concept papers, fifteen stakeholders, composing 11 PACP NAOs and 4 regional organisations responded. PIFS was one of the successful applicants.

PIFS received the largest in number of items and in value of equipment, and this event marks the official handover of the ICT equipment to the Organisation. I take this opportunity to acknowledge efforts to acknowledge the dedicated efforts to ensure this

The equipment, to be officially handed over today, has and will continue to contribute to the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat’s ICT capacities for efficient and effective delivery of and participation in virtual meetings and serves as part of the Forum Secretariat’s preparedness in the face of future shocks.

Amongst others, the equipment within this Main Conference room has contributed to the smooth virtual delivery of specific key meetings this year, including the 2022 PACP meetings. Further the organisation has not had to pay for livestreaming facilities as we can now livestream directly from the main conference room.

Having said these, at this juncture, I wish to also take this opportunity once again to acknowledge and thank the European Union – a valued development partner to this region on mutually agreed priorities under the EDF framework, including the regional economic integration, Na. The TECCBUF programme is one of the regional programmes through which provisions for the ICT support initiatives was made available.

As the Cotonou agreement is coming to an end the new OACPS-EU agreement will continue to be the basis for our cooperation with the EU, through the Pacific Regional Protocol. And I do hope our cooperation will continue in a similar vein into the future.

I thank you.