Pacific NGO's Shut out of Forum meeting

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



avaiki nius agency said...

This is more of the same stuff rendering the Forum increasingly irrelevant to what is really going on the Pacific Islands today.

Our Pacific leaders are a gutless bunch of lickspittles that stomp about, protesting at interference in internal affairs, but fend off input from their own peoples as vigorously as any neocolonialist.

The only bright spark is that the only person to speak out - Foreign Affairs minister Wilkie Rassmussen from the Cook Islands, is considering leaving politics to apply for the Sec Gen job at the Forum Secretariat in Fiji.

You can bet your bottom dollar that the powers that be will be lobbying behind the scenes to ensure he doesn't get it.

Big thumbs up to your blog for getting this news out quickly - before the rest of the region apparently!

Ana said...

Kia Orana

You are correct the Forum is completely out of touch with the lives and concerns of grassroots Pacific Islanders. They are neo-liberal neo colonists and are being steamrolled by an agenda which just see us in the Pacific as a source of cheap labour and resources. Rassmussen has been the only Pacific leader that has outspoken about the EU and what the implications will be for us in the Pacific,he would an ideal person for the Sec Gen role at the Forum Secretariat, but again you are right this will be blocked by the lap dogs of nz, oz & the us, eu & wto.
Looks like there is an urgent need for us in the grassroots to oppose these agendas in our region.

naku noa