THE passing away of former Director General of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency, Sir Peter Kenilorea on Thursday 25th February heralds “the end of a very special era in our Pacific history,” says FFA’s Director General James Movick.
“Here on Kola Ridge, Sir Peter’s FFA family heard the news of his passing with a profound sense of sadness and loss,” Mr Movick said.
“Our hearts and condolences go out to Lady Margaret and the family. As the people of this nation mourn, a region stands with you. Sir Peter was more than a national leader, he was that rare breed of visionary—those who see far beyond the horizon– and who could see the future this region is capable of.”
As the country’s first Chief Minister and Prime Minister, in 1978 Sir Peter endorsed the FFA Convention founding the FFA and offered Solomon Islands to host the new regional agency in Honiara.
Less than a decade later, as Prime Minister, he opened the new secretariat building on Kola ridge in 1985.
Sir Peter affirmed his personal commitment to the vision of Pacific Leaders in establishing the Forum Fisheries Agency when he became the second Director General of the Agency, serving for three years from1991 to 1994.
During his term as FFA Director General Sir Peter initiated the establishment of the FFA Conference Centre funded by the European Union.
He fostered and oversaw the initial regional discussions for the establishment of the FFA Regional Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) which is today at the heart of the highly effective regional MCS system supporting all FFA member countries in the satellite surveillance of fishing activities in their EEZs and adjacent high seas.
Says DG Movick: “The region owes much to the unwavering vision of individuals such as Sir Peter and other Forum Leaders of the region. Leaders who were ahead of their time, who worked to achieve the founding values for this agency and who recognised that together, as one region, we are stronger.
“We especially owe a debt of gratitude to Sir Peter for not only setting regional policy as Solomon Islands Prime Minister and a member of the Forum Leaders but also for being prepared to lead the Agency as its executive head during its formative years to better ensure its successful growth and capability implement decisions he had helped to make as a Leader.
“On behalf of our forum fisheries members and all our staff and families at the agency, I thank you Sir Peter for putting your hand up to lead regionalism in Pacific oceanic fisheries, to its home in your country.
“Thank you for bringing FFA here, and taking the necessary steps to foster that initial vision for regional cooperation.”
Sir Peter is survived by wife Margaret, his seven children, and a number of grand-children.