Professor Rajesh Chandra, Vice-Chancellor & President of USP and Mr Pierre Amilhat, Director for Asia, Central Asia, Middle East/Gulf and Pacific at the Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development (middle) with the USP and EU delegation at the Laucala Campus.
The University of the South Pacific (USP) and the European Union (EU) are committed to working together to ensure that projects delivered in the region provide the maximum impact to the countries and people.
Professor Rajesh Chandra, Vice-Chancellor and President made the comment during a successful meeting with the EU Delegation led by Mr Pierre Amilhat, Director for Asia, Central Asia, Middle East/Gulf and Pacific at the Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development at the Laucala Campus on 6 February, 2018.
The EU delegation comprised of H.E Mr Julian Wilson, Head of Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific; Mr Matthias Reusing, Development Coordinator for the Pacific Region; and Mr Christoph Wagner, Head of Cooperation while the team from USP comprised Professor Derrick Armstrong, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research & International; Mr Jaindra Karan, Director Strategic Partnerships, Advancement & Communication and Mr Iresh Lal, Manager, Development Cooperation.
Professor Chandra acknowledged the opportunity to meet with the delegation saying it presented an opportunity to discuss imminent issues that would further strengthen the partnership between USP and EU.
“The EU is amongst the four major development partners of the University and has immensely contributed towards areas such as climate change, renewable energy; education; public administration; gender and other areas faced in the region,” he noted.
Professor Chandra further noted that, “Under the EU’s 9th European Development Fund (EDF9), the University implemented the Pacific Regional Initiatives for the Delivery of Basic Education (PRIDE) that enhanced student learning in fifteen Pacific countries by strengthening the capacity of each Ministry of Education (or equivalent) to plan and deliver quality basic education”.
Mr Amilhat thanked Professor Chandra and the USP delegation for agreeing to meet saying that the EU has always, and will continue to value their partnership with the University at all levels.
The parties met to discuss EU-Pacific relations with regards to Climate Change, including the on-going cooperation between EU and USP.
USP's management and performance and future cooperation under the 11th EDF programme and the Intra-ACP, and Global Public Goods and Challenges (GPGC) was also discussed.
The University’s legal status as an International Organisation or Inter-Governmental Organisation was deliberated on. While it was agreed that USP does not qualify as an International Organisation as per requirements under the EU’s Financial Regulation, it was resolved that the EU will undertake it due diligence and officially write to the University on the rationale for USP not being recognised as an Inter-Governmental Organisation despite having the six member countries ratify the University Convention.
The EU further resolved to officially confirm the University passing the Seven Pillar Assessment conducted in 2014 and 2015 and that USP can implement EU-funded projects under Grant Agreement modality with the EU.
Professor Chandra reassured the University’s support for the EU saying that they both have enjoyed a long standing partnership, and the University looks forward to developing this even further.
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