Speech by H. E. Mr. Yutaka Yoshizawa, Ambassador of Japan
on the Occasion of the Signing Ceremony for PEC Fund Project at Apia, Samoa
10.00 a.m. 17th June 2011, Apia, Samoa.
Mr. Manualesagalala Enokati Posala, Minister for Works, Transport, Infrastructure and Utilities of Samoa
Mr. Tuiloma Neromi Slade, Secretary General, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat
Ladies and Gentlemen
First of all, I wish to express my sincere appreciation to the Samoan Government for its warm welcome extended to me and my colleague. I also wish to thank the Samoan Government for the excellent arrangement of this ceremony.
It is a great honour for me to witness, on behalf of the Government of Japan and as the Ambassador in charge of JAPAN-PIF relations, today’s signing of “Financing Agreement for Samoa's 400kWp Solar PV Project” between the Government of Samoa and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, the first occasion for formalising a project to be funded under the Pacific Environment Community Fund or PEC Fund.
At the 5th Japan Pacific Island Leaders Meeting or PALM5 in May 2009 held in Hokkaido, Japan, Leaders of the Pacific Island Forum (PIF) Countries welcomed Japan’s plan to provide 6.8 billion yen worth of contribution to the PIF to be utilized to address environmental issues including climate change, through appropriate Japanese technologies.
Based on this endorsement by the leaders of Pacific Island Countries, Japan contributed 6.8 billion yen or 66 million US dollars to PIF Secretariat in December 2009. The Fund has of late become known as the Pacific Environment Community Fund or PEC Fund.
In the Guidelines formulated in May 2010 for the use of PEC Fund, it has been stipulated that the Fund will be used for environmental issues with a focus on the provision of solar power generation and sea water desalination.
While PEC Fund is available for projects in all 14 Island Countries of the Pacific Island Forum, this project is the first one to be formalized. Therefore, this is a memorable occasion for the operation of PEC Fund. I wish to take this opportunity to commend the hard work extended by those concerned both in the Samoan Government and in the Forum Secretariat.
I also wish success in the implementation of this project, so that this will be a great model for future projects to be funded by PEC Fund.
I further take this opportunity to hope that many other projects funded under PEC Fund will be formalized for other Forum Island Countries not in the distant future, with initiatives of those concerned in both the Island Countries and the Forum Secretariat.
In this connection, I am very encouraged to note that the Forum Secretariat is planning to hold a workshop on PEC Fund for the benefit of Forum Island Countries later in July in the Cook Islands.
In conclusion, I wish to reiterate my hope that this project will greatly benefit the people of Samoa and my appreciation for the hospitality extended by the people and the Government of Samoa.