Pacific Island NGO Leaders In NZ
For Immediate Release
Pacific Island Ngo Leaders In NZ For Piango Council Meeting & Civil Society Forum
Auckland, New Zealand (7 August, 2008) − The Sixth Triennial Council Meeting of the Pacific Islands Association of Non Government Organisations (PIANGO) is set to kick off here in Aoteroa this weekend. The meeting, to run for two days from 10-11 August, 2008, will precede the annual gathering of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to take place from 12-14 August. Pacific Island NGO Leaders have begun arriving in Auckland for these two important meetings, both of which are being held at the Rendezvous Hotel in the City.
PIANGO’s Executive Director Bakanebo Tamaroa, from Kiribati, says that this particular annual flagship event is opportune, in that, it not only is his first as the organisation’s Executive Director, it also comes at a time of change for the organisation, particularly in terms of developing quality control and standard-setting measures, as well as repositioning itself at regional and international levels.
“We have chosen the theme “Strengthening NLU Effectiveness Towards 2010 and Beyond” for this Triennial conference. And I will be presenting a progress report based around this theme highlighting what I see as our challenges in the coming three years. I will also propose ways of addressing these challenges as we consolidate further and transition into the next phases of the Secretariat’s Work Programme,” Mr Tamaroa said.
“I am pleased to report that the Secretariat has made significant achievements in all of the main areas of focus in its Strategic Plan, namely, in the areas of information sharing, capacity building, strengthening key relationships with development partners, stakeholders and regional organisations and ensuring general quality performance,” he said.
PIANGO’s outgoing Chairperson, Samoa’s Adi Maimalaga Tafuna’i, said that while the organisation’s journey, like most, had been peppered with some challenges, the Secretariat was actively working on ways to address these challenges through consolidation of its work programme, the recruitment of additional expertise, standard-setting and quality control.
“We would not have been able to make such progress had it not been for the ongoing support of our development partners such as NZAID and AusAID, including le Centre du Contre du Faim et Development (CCFD), the Commonwealth Foundation, Australian Volunteers International, UNDP Pacific Centre, the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and dev-Zone. The commitment and support of our outgoing Board Members and the continuing collaboration with our National Liaison Units has also made working toward our goals that much easier,” she said.
The CSO Forum, which will immediately follow the PIANGO Council Meeting, is the annual flagship event of Pacific CSO leaders and representatives and precedes the annual meeting of Pacific Islands Forum Leaders.
Various issues of concern to CSOs at national, regional and global levels will be covered in workshops which will focus on issues such as energy and climate change, peace and security, human rights and self determination, aid effectiveness, health, education, livelihoods, trade, justice and governance.
Working around the theme“Consolidation of the NGO Sector for a better Pacific,” the CSO Forum will aim to explore ways to further consolidate the NGO sector; identify ways to build the capacity of Pacific CSOs through workshops on regional issues and concerns; promote Pacific CSO advocacy and action on regional issues and assist CSOs to strategise more effectively to facilitate greater engagement and policy change.
This year’s CSO Forum is organised by the Pacific Regional Non Government Organisation (PRNGO) Alliance consisting of the Foundation of the Peoples of the South Pacific International (FSPI), the Pacific Concerns Resources Centre (PCRC), the Council of Pacific Education (COPE), the Pacific Disability Forum (PDF), the Pacific Council for the Advancement of Women (PACFAW), the Pacific Council of Churches (PCC), the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre (FWCC), Greenpeace and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
Preparations for the CSO Forum have been spearheaded by PIANGO’s National Liaison Unit in Niue − the Niue Association of NGOs (NIUANGO) and the Auckland-based Niue organising committee, assisted by the Council of International Development (CID).