Lourdes T. Pangelinan
Secretariat of the Pacific Community
98848, Noumea Cedex
letter is to request your kind assistance in advancing the idea of the SPC
assuming a mandate for regional security. This is an idea American
Samoa presented to SPC during their recent review of SPC's draft corporate
plan several months ago.
may be aware, security spans all development sectors and can impact either
positively or negatively on a community. For example, a terrorist
incident would have a devastating effect on fragile Pacific economies,
particularly those that depend heavily on the tourism market. By the
same token, a secure region has much to gain in economic benefits.
Forum Secretariat has a regional security mandate, however, membership is
limited and security is most effective when it is seamless. US Pacific
insular areas do not participate in Forum activities thereby leaving a
security breach within the region. Following on the heels of APEC's
statement advocating regional security cooperation, I feel it would be most
appropriate to address the issue of regional cooperation and a possible role
for the SPC. I feel it is important that our community takes a
proactive role in this arena to avoid being identified as a soft target for
terrorist activities that currently plague Pacific Rim nations.
like to request that we advance this discussion by placing regional security
on the CRGA meeting agenda and gage the interest of SPC member nations on
this important matter. If the dialogue should indicate to the
positive, I would like to suggest that the idea be explored in further
detail and presented at the next SPC heads of government meeting next year.
closing I would like to wish you and all the SPC member representatives to
the CRGA a fruitful meeting.
Governor of American Samoa