Monday, March 18th, 2024


18 March 2024

Tonga is hosting the first Pacific Islands Laboratory Week Workshop in Nuku’alofa, Tonga from the 18th to the 22nd March 2024. The week’s events are organized by the Pacific Quality Infrastructure (PQI) Initiative,

Tonga’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forests and Ministry of Trade & Economic Development, and

the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

The Pacific Islands Laboratory Week Workshop represents an important milestone for the regional PQI

Initiative to continue strengthening cooperation and coordination among Pacific Island Countries on

Quality Infrastructure (QI), with the aim of improving access to reliable laboratory testing services across

the region.

Tonga’s Minister of Health, Dr. Siale ‘Akau’ola officially opened the Pacific Laboratory Week

Workshop. The agenda

for the week will include:

• the first face-to-face meeting of the Pacific Islands Testing Committee (PITC), to discuss the

recommendations from the PQI laboratory survey, the Committee’s governance structure including

its Terms of Reference, and to plan upcoming activities;

• classroom and hands-on laboratory training sessions for laboratory personnel and the national

Testing Focal Points;

• site visits to laboratories in Tonga; and

• raising public awareness on the importance of laboratory testing for trade and the wellbeing of the

people of the Pacific.

The week’s events are jointly funded by the PQI Initiative, through the European Union’s Strengthening

Pacific Intra-Regional and International Trade (SPIRIT) Project, and the United Nations Industrial

Development Organisation’s ACP QI Project. Funding supported the in-person attendance of participants

from developing Forum Island Countries, with participants from other Forum Members welcome at their

own cost. Online options for the PITC Meeting and most training sessions will be made available to

participants unable to travel.

This is a very important event for Tonga. Prior to the Pacific Islands Laboratory Week, a National

Laboratory Committee was established to progress necessary preparations, and to continue working

together in the development of standards of Laboratories for Tonga.


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