March 20, 2017


Date: 20 March 2017

Suva – The Pacific Islands Association of NGOs will host a global gathering of civil society organisations in Suva on 4-7 December this year as part of International Civil Society Week (ICSW)

PIANGO executive director, Emele Duituturaga said she was delighted to receive official notification as well as a video of the announcement of PIANGO’s successful hosting by CIVICUS secretary general, Dr Danny Sriskandarajah.

“PIANGO and its 24 affiliates in Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia are excited to be the hosts of the 14th ICSW not only because of the international participants that are expected at the event but also because it is the first time for an ICSW to take place in the region,” Duituturaga said.

“With Fiji as host country, PIANGO’s member the Fiji Council of Social Services (FCOSS) will have a special role to play to ensure the civil society community in Fiji are engaged.”

“We are expecting over 1,000 participants, based on 900 participants from more than a hundred countries at last year’s ICSW held in Bogota, Columbia so this is going to be a huge undertaking for PIANGO and its regional affiliates.”

“PIANGO had begun scoping work for the hosting of the weeklong event last year particularly in securing a venue large enough to cater for the numbers we are expecting. We are delighted to be able to secure the USP Laucala campus for this” she said.

Duituturaga said the PIANGO Council meeting held in December last year in Suva had endorsed the hosting of the event. 

CIVICUS Secretary General Dr Danny, at PIANGO Council meeting 2016

“This means the full support of PIANGO’s affiliates or national liaison units in 24 Pacific countries is behind this initiative. We expect to see PIANGO members front the effort to host their colleagues from other regions in true Pacific style.”

In a video announcement posted on CIVICUS youtube channel, Dr Sriskandarajah said the CIVICUS board felt it was important as a global alliance to show solidarity with the Pacific especially at a time when climate change and sustainability is high on the region’s agenda.

“We are delighted to be working with PIANGO, the umbrella body for the Pacific civil society to host the event (ICSW 2017) themed, “Our Planet, Our Struggles, Our future,” he said in the video statement released last week.

The event objectives are to:

  1. Connectthe different sources and forces of citizen action, empowering civil society to be more robust and effective, ensuring diversity and multi-stakeholder engagement, and encouraging both formal and informal networking.
  2. Sharetools and experiences for enhancing citizen action, facilitating capacity building trainings and activities, amplifying citizen voices through social media and technology, and building awareness of the importance of a vibrant civic space, with the special focus on how to enhance national and global monitoring and accountability.
  3. Celebratethe power of innovation to affect social change, enhancing citizen participation and promoting sustainability, highlighting innovative leaders and stories of change.

ICSW events follow a different approach to conferencing according to CIVICUS.

“It celebrates innovation and relies on multiple partnerships with local, international, and multi-sectoral organisations who pool their resources together to convene a diverse international group of leaders in civil society issues,” a statement on the CIVICUS website outlined.