first_imgThis was announced by Vanuatu’s Prime Minister, Charlot Salwai Tabimasmas during the opening the Pacific Games Council’s (PGC) General Assembly in Port Vila, Vanuatu.“My government is committed to be the host of this important event and it is also important especially for the young generations,” he said.The government’s commitment reassures member governments and sports disciplines of the Vanuatu gathering after an alarm was sounded by the Vasanoc that the hosting of the games could be moved to another country following the long silence on the part of the Vanuatu government of its financial commitments towards the game plans.Prime Minister Tabimasmas also extended an invitation to PGC members attending the assembly to visit the venues for the 2017 Games and see for themselves that Vanuatu is committed.PGC president Vidya Lakhan thanked the Prime Minister, the Council of Ministers and the people of Vanuatu for the commitment and assurance given to the 22 island nations- members of PGC.“Honourable Prime Minister, we are delighted to have your personal commitment and support and your government to ensure that the 2017 Games is a successful one.”The PGC president informed a joint-press conference that there will be an evaluation commission set up to review the initial plans and budget for the Games and come back to the Council with a report by June 24th.The PGC Assembly held yesterday saw the attendance of Australia and New Zealand for the first time as observers. They are members of the Oceania National Olympic Committee (ONOC).PGC Executive Director Andrew Minogue said the Council was delighted to have 21 of the 22 Pacific Games Associations present in Port Vila.“We’ve invited Australia and New Zealand to be observer, they are delighted to be here as well including ONOC led by its president and member of the IOC- Dr Robin Mitchell of Fiji.”It has been approved that Australia and New Zealand compete in two sports in Vila next year and eight sports for the 2019 Pacific Games in Tonga. Both countries competed in four sports at the XV Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea last year.Minogue said the deliberations on day one of the assembly focused on the future of the PGC’s sports programmes whereby it has been decided that future games will only cater for 24 sports instead of 26.“Just to lighten the load on our hosts but at the same time we are increasing the number of sports on the programme that are compulsory from 14 to 16 with sailing and triathlon being promoted,” Minogue said.An exciting second and final day looms for election of office bearers for the next four years on the PGC plus bids by Tahiti and the Solomon Islands for the 2023 Pacific Games.The hosts of the 2017 Pacific Mini Games- Vanuatu, 2019 Pacific Games- Tonga and 2021 Pacific Mini Games- Northern Marianas will also present reports at the assembly. Pic: 2015 Pacific Games participants in Papua New Guinealast_img

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