PRINGO'S ALLIANCE PRESS RELEASE
Pacific NGO's Shut out of Forum meeting
Suva, Fiji Islands, July 2008: Regional NGO’s (1) were not able to take part in discussions that involved the future of Pacific people after they were shut out of the preparatory meetings (2) in the lead up to the Pacific Islands 39th Leaders Summit.
In expressing their grave concern, Pacific Regional Concerns Resource Centre (PCRC) head Tupou Vere said this is the second time PIANGO has been approved Pacific Regional Non-State Actor (PRNSA) consultative status with forum processes, but has been declined accreditation to forum meetings. Their application for accreditation was declined at the eleventh hour.
"When our region is striving for good governance and transparency, here we have regional NGOs shut out of important meetings that will determine the future and destinies of our peoples and Governments are making decisions without community input" added Rex Horoi, Executive Director of the Foundation of the Peoples of the South Pacific International (FSPI).
"We are not enemies of the Pacific nor of its governments but have a common vision and goal - that is the prosperous future of our peoples and the sustained preservation of our environment." said Nilesh Goundar of Greenpeace Australia Pacific.
"We call upon all Governments to ensure they draw on wider views and experience when discussing the Pacific Plan which is supposed to benefit citizens of this region," said Mrs Susana Tuisawau of Pacific Foundation for the Advancement of Women.
“We call upon Pacific Forum leaders and officials to be sincere in their commitments in engaging civil society in forum policy processes as was decided by the leaders in Auckland 2004, ” said Setareki Macanawai of Pacific Disability Forum.
The regional week-long meeting is being held at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat is the Pacific Plan Action Committee (PPAC), comprising senior government representatives from 16 Forum Members, Associate Members, and heads of the Council of Regional Organisations in the Pacific (CROP) agencies and Pacific Territories.
Key issues to be discussed by the Committee include progress to date on implementation of the Forum Leaders' "2007 Vava'u Decisions on the Pacific Plan" and proposed future priorities for the region.
Notes to Editors:
(1) Concerned PRINGO (Pacific Regional NGO’s) Alliance members are: Pacific Concerns Resource Centre (PCRC), Pacific Islands News Association (PINA), Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre (FWCC), Greenpeace, Pacific Foundation for the Advancement of Women (PACFAW), Pacific Disability Forum (PDF), Foundation of the Peoples of the South Pacific International (FSPI), Pacific Islands Association of Non Government Organisations (PIANGO).
(2) Pacific Plan Advisory Committee and Forum Officials Committee meetings