PIANGO participated in a Media Workshop to discuss the effectiveness of media engagement with Civil Society at a workshop organised by the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA), in Apia, Samoa on 2 September, 2017. The PINA media workshop was held in the lead-up to the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders meeting which takes place in Apia from 4-8 September, 2017.
PIANGO Board Chairperson, Sarah Thomas Nededog acknowledged the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIF) CSO Engagement Strategy as a demonstration of political will and commitment to include civil society in regional policymaking.
She commended the PIF CSO Leaders Dialogue, saying that this had improved over time, particularly since the initiation of the Framework for Pacific Regionalism.
“PIANGO has just completed its Pre-PIF Leaders CSO Roundtable on 1 September. A key message emerging from the roundtable was that CSOs appreciate the opportunity for engagement with Pacific Leaders through the CSO Leaders breakfast event, but are now looking to improve this engagement by deepening dialogue with Leaders. CSOs would like a partnership approach that is based on mutual respect and trust and we call for a review of the PIFs CSO Engagement Strategy to facilitate this,” Ms Nededog said.
She acknowledged the funding made available through the PIFS Non State Actor capacity building for policymaking, saying that this enabled PIANGO and other CSOs to conduct country and regional work to prepare them to input into policymaking processes.
“PIANGO’s Strategic Plan focuses on development effectiveness – which is driven by inclusive, meaningful and sustainable multi-stakeholder partnerships. Very simply, this means that all stakeholders, including civil society, must fully participate in development. The Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs, can only be achieved if there is a strong multi-stakeholder approach.
“The issue of West Papua is now on the PIF Leaders agenda. This has come about as a result of the effective use, by CSOs, of the processes of the Framework for Pacific Regionalism. The Pacific Island Forum Secretariat may wish to consider ways of further facilitating the engagement of skilled CSOs in this process through bringing together a variety of CSO actors who work on different issues and at different levels, to coherently and effectively influence regional policy processes. This can be done using a variety of approaches to ensure building solidarity, networks and cooperation which seek Pacific solutions and drive country and regional ownership and leadership,” Ms Nededog said.