The Pacific Community's 70th Conference in New Caledonia. Photo/ John Pulu.
Pacific leaders meeting in New Caledonia this week, have been asked to address the issue of failing to pay their dues to the Pacific Community (SPC).
SPC Director General, Dr. Colin Tukuitonga, says this has resulted in a NZD$5.93 million shortfall.
Over the last 70 years, SPC has survived on the contributions of international donor partners to provide scientific and technical support to 26 member countries in the region.
Dr. Tukuitonga hopes Pacific leaders will consider the importance of meeting their financial obligations.
"If it was just a simple management issue, I'd force it and penalise non-payers," he says. "But it's political so they need to decide among themselves how we're going to deal with it.
"It makes life difficult for us, delivering the services, if we aren't being paid."
Dr. Tukuitonga says, other than finance, they'll also be discussing other major issues such as climate change, child obesity and sustainable development.
The SPC Conference held in Noumea, will come to a close today.
Pacific leaders at SPC's 70th conference in Noumea. Photo/ John Pulu.