Sport is critical for people-centred development

April 17, 2023
ONOC Vice-President and Chair of the International Relations Commission, Baklai Temengil of Palau chairs the Commission Meeting in Brisbane. | Photo: ONOC Communications

Sport is critical to people-centred development in the Pacific Islands.

Speaking on the side of the Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC) International Relations Commission (IRC) Meeting, Chair Baklai Temengil said ‘the Commission recognises the importance of sport as a contributor to people-centred development.’

Held at the Sofitel Brisbane Central Hotel yesterday, 16 April, Temengil said the meeting reflected on the journey to position sport as cross-cutting priority regional policy priority in the Pacific.

Temengil added the Commission discussed ‘opportunities for leveraging strategic partnerships to maximize the value of sport to contribute towards critical priorities in the Pacific.

‘Sport can play such a critical role in our communities in address some of our key priorities such as health, education, non-communicable diseases, and climate issues.’

New members

Temengil said the Commission was pleased to welcome its new members: Dr Giulio Masasso Paunga, Deputy Vice Chancellor from The University of the South Pacific;  Tuala Matthew Vaea, CEO of the Samoa Association of Sport and National Olympic Committee (SASNOC), and Ken Wallace, Acting Chair of the ONOC Athletes' Commission.  

They replace Karo Lelai of Papua New Guinea (Athletes’ Commission Rep), Maretino Nemani (USP), and Patrick Fepuleai, former President of SANOC.  

Temengil said, ‘ONOC and the International Relations Commission are grateful for the contributions and support received from the outgoing members and look forward to working with the three new members who also come with great experience and knowledge from their various fields.’  

ONOC Annual General Meeting

The ONOC International Relations Meeting is part of the weeklong ONOC General Assembly which culminates in the Annual General Meeting to be held on Friday, 21 April.  

The week features the BRISBANE 2032 Step Up Oceania Conference, the Oceania Sport and Sustainable Development Goals Workshop, the Olympic Solidarity Forum, and a range of panel discussions linking sport and health, safeguarding, sport education, climate change, and sport in development.


For more information, please visit the following links:  

IRC Chair – Baklai Temengil – International Olympic Committee (IOC Profile)
Oceania National Olympic Committees
ONOC International Relations Commission
43rd ONOC Annual General Assembly


About ONOC 
Established in 1981, the Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC) is one of five Continental Associations. It looks after the interests of 17 member nations in the Oceania Region, including Australia and New Zealand as well as seven associate members. 

ONOC has an office in Guam where Secretary General Mr. Ricardo Blas is based and the Secretariat in Suva, Fiji, where the Office of the President Dr Robin Mitchell is located.

All services and-programmes are based on the ONOC Strategic Plan for 2018-2021, and its 4 Core Functions of (1) Building and Strengthening NOCs Capacity (2) Cultivating Strategic Partnerships (3) Contributing towards Sporting Excellence and (4) Leading by Example.


For more information, please contact;

Shivneel Narayan
Chief Communications Officer (Acting)


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