Government reaffirms 55-year partnership with University of the South Pacific

Foreign Affairs

Today Aotearoa New Zealand and the University of the South Pacific (USP) underlined the need for a shared Pacific future, announcing a new ten-year partnership to support the long-term success of a critical regional institution.

Deputy Prime Minister and Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs (Pacific Region), Carmel Sepuloni, and USP Vice-Chancellor, Professor Pal Ahluwalia, launched the new partnership framework at the University’s Centre for Culture and Arts, in Suva.

“Now more than ever, and in true Pacific spirit, we must continue to maintain regional solidarity and be unified in what is a very important partnership for Aotearoa New Zealand,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

“This partnership will support an enduring and thriving University. It’s a partnership that is grounded in the value of Pacific regionalism, informed by Pacific knowledge and cultures, and led by Pacific people,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

“The USP is a well-known training ground for future leaders and is an institute where many Pacific leaders and politicians have studied. It’s a centre of excellence for, and kaitiaki of, Pacific knowledge, systems and research.

“We’ve partnered with USP since its inception in 1968, and today’s announcement reaffirms our commitment to the University and the important role it plays to the region.

“The partnership further provides Aotearoa New Zealand with the opportunity to support the University’s strategic direction, as well as to deliver against shared priorities. It also supports Pacific action on the region’s 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent, and work towards countries’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“Aotearoa New Zealand is committed to upholding regional security and stability in the Pacific. It’s even more important now that we strengthen even further the relationships with our Pacific whanau, and work with them to maintain and build on the institutions that have long maintained peace and security within our region.

“Empowering Pacific-led development strengthens the autonomy, long-term resilience, and prosperity of the region. This partnership is an excellent demonstration of our commitment to a regional approach making us stronger together,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

For the first five years of the new partnership, Aotearoa New Zealand will contribute NZ$35m million to support USP’s long-term planning, innovation and stability.