PIANGO board member Ms Lorine Tevi made a plea to the delegation of European Union to help fund Non State Actors in addressing issues in the region at the 11thEuropean Development Fund Consultation in Suva.
“Give us some funding so we can carry out what we have been mandated to do,” said Ms Tevi in the first day of consultation held at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.
Ms Tevi had shared how the creation of PIANGO through an initiative of island states, the financial debacle that saw it fall in 2009; and the mandate given by the 22 National Liaison Units two years ago to move forward.
Mrs Tevi said the creation of PIANGO was uniquely by the people of the island states in desiring to form a platform to voice their collective ideas in bringing about necessary changes in the region through Civil Society Organisations.
The allocation for None State Actors in the 11th EDF has not been decided but would be cut from the 34.27 billion Euros contributed by the European Union states for the closing phase of the Cotonou Agreement.
The last phase of the agreement starts at 2014 and will close at 2020. The Cotonou Agreement was the latest development funding pact which the European Union had been disbursing to African, Caribbean and Pacific nations which started at the beginning of the Millenium.
The cooperation which began 55years ago by the Europen Economic Community has been for technical aid and cooperation targeting to alleviate poverty for their partners in developing nations.
The cooperation has been sniped by critics claiming that some of the poorest nations have stayed in the same condition despite the billions of Euros in aid poured in from their European counterparts over the past five decades.
Ms Tevi said she was appreciative that NSAs had been recognized in the Cotonou Agreement and thanked EU officials for allowing them to be part of the 11th EDF consultation.
Regional Authorising Officer Tuiloma Neroni Slade, the Secretary General of the Pacific Island Forum secretariat said he recognized the contribution of Non-State Actors which was fundamental and essential for the region.
“The need for participation at the grassroots level is very necessary for the makeup and for the character of our region,” Mr Slade said.
“We all need to acknowledge and extend to the representatives of the civil society who are with us yesterday and today our appreciation for the manner in which they have contributed to this meeting.
“Very constructive, very engaging, very positive.
“We look forward to this continuing, it is obviously a two-way process, they need to gain the confidence and the partnership from member governments, governments need to give them an empowerment and the room for them to make that contribution felt and properly to be effective in the development communities and our region.”
The meeting was attended by state members of the PIFS, international high commissions, international funding agencies and Non State Actors (CSOs) and hosted by PIFS and a delegation from the EU from Fiji and Brussels. The consultation took place on the 11-12 October.