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Shifting From Dialogue To Partnership Towards 2050 Strategy

Shifting from Dialogue to Partnership – shared responsibility and mutual accountability in the Implementation of the 2050 Strategy

Civil Society during the pre-52nd Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting CSO Roundtable in Rarotonga, Cook Islands, reiterated the regional CSO key positions and commitments on the Regional Collective Actions of the 7 thematic areas of the 2050 Strategy; in calling for political integrity, support for women political leaders and stronger recognition of the role of Civil Society in the implementation of the 2050 Strategy for a Blue Pacific Continent.

Intended to bridge the information gap between regional and national level, the dialogue brought together local and international NGOs including the CSO delegation representing civil society to the leaders multistakeholder dialogue.

Cook Islands Civil Society Organisations (CICSO) President, Clee Masters, in his opening remarks acknowledged PIANGO and the Cook Islands Red Cross office for convening the space to understand and briefly evaluate the 2050 Strategy against their local context.

“We have always worked from our hearts but to now bring those experiences to help us re-strategize how we work with Government in the implementation of the 2050 Strategy is really important. CICSOs priority is empowering women and young girls’ participation in national processes, alongside encouraging youths in political engagement spaces, and this is something that we would like to see through”, Masters added.

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The 2050 Implementation Plan (2050 IP) which sets out specific goals, outcomes and regional collective actions to achieve the long-term vision of 2050, was introduced by PIFS Gender Specialist, Melinia Nawadra. Nawadra highlighted how the IP outlines the roles of the Partners and key stakeholders and emphasised on the vital role played by civil society, adding that the IP proposes a resource mobilisation framework and a monitoring and evaluation and learning (MEL) framework to monitor progress unique perspectives.

Discussions in the opening and introductory part of the program, were mainly on what “regionalism” meant to NGOs in the Cook Islands. The questions on who exactly was responsible for setting the rules of civil society engagement was also raised together with the request of having more dialogue spaces before any CSO engagement with leaders.

PIANGO Executive Director, Emeline Ilolahia said the multistakeholder approach and collaboration between CICSO, Red Cross and Transparency International was important to contextualised the regional priorities at the national level.

Ilolahia said in the regional political spaces, CSO often take lead in providing logistical support on the ground. However, this time we are shifting our focus as equal implementing partners with shared responsibility and mutual accountability of the 2050 Strategy.

PIANGO perspectives and approaches on its engagement in the 2050 IP, were also shared against the backdrop of the principles of the Busan partnership for Effective Development Cooperation and Global Standards of CSO Accountability. “Recognizing that regional initiatives will only be sustained if driven and actioned by local actors with a bottom-up approach, PIANGO Board Vice President, Drew Havea, also explained that Civil Society need to continue demonstrating coherent, efficient and localized impact”.

The key overarching points of discussion during the four panel sessions were:

Relooking where we came from and where we are going

Inconsistency of CSO engagement within the PIFS mechanism

Plan to work towards change - PIANGOs role as the regional umbrella body

Civil Society as a permanent feature in our regional architecture

Civil Society collaboration with Government

Participation in shrinking and diminishing spaces

Advocacy for enough space – local perspectives

Finding a space with our leaders – identifying more champions

Overarching Climate justice that leaves no one behind

The dialogue concluded with the decision to remain united in determining CSO own destiny and a forward-looking approach to the next leaders meeting in Tonga.

© Scoop Media

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