PIANGO partnered with the University of the South Pacific (USP) to officially launch the logo at the USP in Suva, Fiji on 4 August, 2017.
Speaking at the launch, the USP’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Rajesh Chandra said: “The University of the South Pacific is indeed very pleased to be working with the Pacific Islands Association of NGOs and CIVICUS as we prepare to host International Civil Society Week 2017 at the university, in the first week of December.”
International Civil Society Week or ICSW, is a significant global gathering that is held every 18 months, bringing together civil society and other diverse stakeholders from all over the globe and providing them with a space to engage constructively in finding common solutions to global challenges.
“Bringing ICSW 2017 to the Pacific, for the first time in its history, is an important achievement for CSOs collectively, across the Pacific. It is indicative of the recognition and high regard held for the Pacific region and its peoples, by CSOs and development agencies and partners across the globe,” Professor Chandra said.
“Bringing ICSW to the Pacific represents a significant opportunity for Pacific civil society actors, organisations and development partners to engage and dialogue on a plethora of issues and pressing concerns that are unique to the Pacific region and to exchange ideas and strategies with counterparts outside our region.
“ICSW 2017 is themed “Our Planet, Our Struggles, Our Future.” This important theme is also very clearly represented in the ICSW logo which is being launched here today,” Professor Chandra said.
Explaining the significance of the ICSW 2017 logo he said: “The logo has several elements to it: The globe shows the Pacific ocean and the waves beneath it symbolise the links that Pacific people have to the ocean. The waves also symbolise the rising tides which are threatening the lives and homes of many of our Pacific island neighbours as climate change continues to become a grim reality for our region. The Fijian “masi” or barkcloth design at the base of the logo signifies the Fijian cultural identity and is placed strategically to illustrate grounding, links to mother earth and our foundation.”
PIANGO’s Executive Director, Emele Duituturaga said: “PIANGO has partnered with the international NGO CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, to organise International Civil Society Week 2017 in Suva. This will be a milestone in itself, as it will be the first time that a civil society event of this nature has been staged in the Pacific. And PIANGO is pleased and proud to be able to help showcase the Pacific to the rest of the world this year.
“The theme of this year’s ICSW will be “Our Planet, Our Struggles, Our Future” and we see this as being very pertinent to us as Pacific Island people and to our region as a whole.
“Climate change is at our doorstep. It has shown itself in various forms and is perhaps most evident in the rising tides which lap at the doorsteps and threaten the very existence of our Pacific brothers and sisters.
“Given the environmental considerations of holding an international event in Suva, we are working to make a contribution towards carbon-offsetting for each delegate attending the conference. We will apply a wide-range of planet friendly conferencing approaches – from locally sourcing food and materials, to ‘going paperless,” Ms Duituturaga said.