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Oxfam Creates Space for Civil Society at the Pacific Islands Forum

WHAT: Photo (and audio) opportunities
The Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) is being held in Auckland September 3-9. Oxfam has joined with Pacific allies to create a series of events around the time of the PIF meetings. Seminars and discussions will address crucial issues facing Pacific people, including climate change, agriculture and food security, trade negotiations, arms control, and gender rights. These are all opportunities for interviews with Oxfam experts and Pacific Island spokespeople. The sessions are open to the public and media are invited to attend or contact us if you’d like to arrange any interviews by telephone.

WHERE: Oxfam head office, Level 1, 14 West Street, Newton, Auckland
(unless otherwise stated)

WHEN: Saturday September 3rd
Reception for Pacific Island Delegates, 5pm - 8pm.
An informal social event to welcome Pacific civil society and other participants in the Forum events.

Saturday September 4th
Pacific Least Developed Countries Forum, 9am - 5pm
A forum on the five Pacific Least Developed Countries – Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Kiribati, Tuvalu and Samoa, following up from the 4th United Nations LDC conference in Istanbul in May.

Tuesday September 6th
Sexual and Gender-based Violence in the Pacific, 11:15am – 12:30pm
(Held at AUT Conference Centre Atrium, WA Building, 74 Lorne Street, Auckland)
Women’s Rights and Advocacy in the Pacific (WRAP) in association with The Pacific Media Centre, will hold a panel discussion featuring leading women’s rights experts in the Pacific region including the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre and the Solomon Islands YWCA.

Pacific Trade Forum, 9am – 5pm
The Pacific is engaged in crucially important trade negotiations with New Zealand and Australia, the European Union and the World Trade Organisation. You are invited to learn about the key issues, opportunities and threats, featuring Dr. Chris Noonan, former Pacific Chief Trade Adviser.

Small Arms Control session, 3:30 – 5pm
A chance to learn about the UN Arms Trade Treaty from regional arms control advocates.

Wednesday September 7th
Climate change in the Pacific, 9am – 3:30pm
Pacific people will discuss the effects of and responses to climate change, with a focus on the role of youth. Followed by a screening of The Hungry Tide, a film about rising sea levels in Kiribati.

Women, politics and change, 4 – 6pm
Women’s rights activists from across the Pacific will exchange experiences on the role of women in public and political life, featuring speakers from Fiji Women’s Rights Movement, Bougainville’s Leitana Nehan Women's Development Agency and the Tuvalu National Council of Women.

Thursday September 8th
Agriculture and GROW tour, 9am – 4pm
(Held at Tupu’anga Coffee and Affirming Works café, Otahuhu, South Auckland)
Community gardens are recognised as an important component of the public health work of NGOs. The event will include presentations by POETCom, a Pacific food processing initiative, Organic Systems Ltd, a shipping and logistics specialist, and Oxfam’s GROW campaign. Lunch will be served at Oxfam head office at 1pm.

For the complete list of PIF events, please visit http://oxf.am/47C

BACKGROUND: The official PIF meetings engage with the private sector and focus on economic development. Unfortunately there are no corresponding events with Pacific civil society in the official programme, which is deeply disappointing given the need for the Pacific Islands Forum to be relevant to the people and organisations that make up the vibrant fabric of civil society in each of the 14 Pacific Island countries, and Australia and New Zealand. That is why Oxfam has coordinated these events.

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ENDS

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