PIANGO had its origins in the growing movement towards increased networking amongst Pacific Island NGOs which commenced in the late 1970s.
The historical framework of the region has included both French and British colonialism, which has left a legacy that needs addressing in order to enable selfhood for all the communities within the Pacific. Pacific island nations vary between fully sovereign and independent countries, to freely associating states and non-self governing territories relating to the United States, France and New Zealand. Geographic distance is also a factor which inhibits communication between the nations of the Pacific, given the logistics of transport, communication and language.
Following a process of regional consultation, the first PIANGO Council was held in August 1991 in Pago Pago, American Samoa. The Council was funded by a range of donors, including the Australian International Development Assistance Bureau (AIDAB), the Commonwealth Foundation, the Government of New Zealand, and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
The meeting was attended by more than 60 NGO delegates from 22 Pacific countries. The idea of forming an NGO network to facilitate regional programs and action was discussed, and there was unanimous support for the formal establishment of PIANGO. A constitution was drafted, guidelines were set for its operation, and a Coordinating Committee was elected.
Since then, PIANGO has taken significant steps to increase its profile and establish itself as an effective support organisation to NGOs throughout the Pacific. Activities over the past years have come under the following programme areas; Information Sharing, Capacity Building, Strengthening Key Relationships, and Ensuring Quality Performance.
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