28 August -- Leaders at the Pacific Islands Forum are being urged to keep listening to the people as the 43rd Forum opens in Rarotonga with a degree of diplomatic posturing by non-island states. The call comes from the organisation that represents international aid and development NGOs in New Zealand.
The Council for International Development director, Wren Green, says as New Zealand hands the chair to the Cook Islands it should not be forgotten that in Auckland last year, Pacific leaders highlighted the importance of civil society to achieving progress.
“The leaders wanted the voices of the people reflected in Forum policy and this shouldn’t be lost in the noise as the Pacific’s strategic importance as a region ignites interest from abroad,” says Dr Green in reference to the expected arrival in Rarotonga of the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton this week.
Dr Green says the New Zealand Government has repeatedly stressed the need for partnerships for development outcomes. He stressed that crucial to any progress in the Millennium Development Goals, gender issues, climate change initiatives and economic growth is partnership with civil society organisations.
Meanwhile CID says forecasts of new initiatives coming from the Forum this year around gender issues such as increasing the number of women in positions of power will be eagerly anticipated.
For further information:
Wren Green, Director