The Pacific Islands Association of Non- Government Organisations (PIANGO) is representing Civil Society and Non-Government Organisations (CSOs/NGOs) of the Pacific Region at the 3rd UN Conference of Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) in Apia, Samoa.
A PIANGO delegation is now in Apia with representatives from its member national CSO/NGO coordinating and umbrella bodies from Tonga, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Cook Islands, Fiji and Tuvalu. They team up with representatives of their counterpart in Samoa, SUNGO (Samoa Umbrella for Non-Government Organisation) to present a strong CSO/NGO delegation to the United Nations SIDS (Small Island Developing States) Conference.
Led by PIANGO Chairperson, Drew Havea and the PIANGO Executive Director, Emele Duituturaga; the PIANGO team has been committed to contributing to the Major Groups and other Stakeholders Forum in Apia last Thursday, August 29th by finalising its programme as a member of the Major Groups Steering Committee and being part of the Drafting Committee of the Forum’s Outcome Statement.
The PIANGO delegation is pleased to announce that the Drafting Committee has finalised the five Pacific specifics to be negotiated into the SAMOA Pathway which is the pre-prepared SIDS Outcomes Document.
These Pacific specifics are: culture, cultural identity and Spiritual Well Being; Climate Change; Oceans and Seas; Youth Issues and Seabed Mining and Extractive Industries and reflect the Forum’s discussions by the 250 and more delegates at the Forum from three regions of the world; the Caribbean, the Pacific and the AIMS region (Atlantic, Indian Ocean, the Mediterranean and South China Seas).
The Outcome Statement will be presented to the SIDS proper by a representative of PIANGO’s Samoa member organisation in Samoa, SUNGO. With the Major Groups Forum over, the PIANGO delegation is ready for the major task ahead that is participating effectively at the SIDS to fully represent its members in the Pacific region.
“PIANGO has membership in 22 countries in the Pacific and has been working hard in coordinating its members’ coordination efforts in their respective countries. Furthermore, PIANGO will soon be a member of the Caribbean Policy Development Centre (CPDC) which shows the recognition that it is receiving from the international community,” Mr Drew Havea, the PIANGO Chair said.
PIANGO is now confident and strongly feels that the time is right for it to take its regional coordination role to the next level by taking on the international role of coordinating the implementation of the SAMOA Pathway by CSOs and NGOs in the Pacific region.
PIANGO will also be talking with the United Nations on its intentions to be members of the United Nations Economic and Social Council. This will mean that PIANGO will be accredited to UN conferences as it serves as the central mechanism for the activities of the United Nations system and its specialized agencies, and supervises the subsidiary and expert bodies in the economic, social and environmental fields. This will greatly benefit its Pacific members in accessing major UN international conferences.
The PIANGO delegation will also make time to talk to their respective Pacific country UN High Commissioners here at the SIDS to support this intention and consider PIANGO’s stance on the post-2015 development agenda as it is also the Beyond 2015 Campaign regional coordinator. Beyond 2015 is a global CSO campaign lobbying for a cross cutting thematic framework for the post-2015 MDGs.
At the regional level, PIANGO will be meeting the new PIFS Secretary General, Dame Meg Taylor on how best PIANGO can collaborate with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat in the implementation of the SAMOA Pathway in the region.
On these new partnerships that PIANGO anticipates at this conference, the Board Chairman Drew Havea says, “There is a challenge for us and one of it is working together to find space in regional and global processes to capture a diverse range of expertise and experiences. But more importantly the relationships with all our governments need to be further enhanced in order to impact from the ground level and upwards. The real work will be to build relationships with our local governments, CSOs, NGOs and other stakeholders.”
Major Groups and other stakeholder delegates from the various SIDS will converge for an Orientation at the UN SIDS Conference Complex at 5-6pm today Sunday 31st August before the Official Opening of the conference from 7-8pm tonight in Apia, Samoa.