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PIANGO Newsletter # 2 - December 2011

2011 - The Year in Focus: PIANGO Re-emerges as a Regional and Global Civil Society Leader

In February 2010, 12 countries paid their own airfares to attend the PIANGO Special Council Meeting in Nadi, Fiji. The meeting was convened to decide on PIANGO’s future following defunding by NZAID and the collapse of the Secretariat in May 2009.


At that meeting, PIANGO members were emphatic that the organisation was not an office funded by donors but one made up of its membership National Liaison Units (NLUs). The NLUs emphasised that they are PIANGO and said they wanted to see the PIANGO Secretariat continue and the organisation retain its role as a regional platform – however, with a change in direction.


They called for PIANGO to devolve itself of running programs and become a global platform to reflect Pacific voices in the regional and global arena. This Special meeting confirmed two specific issues for PIANGO to pursue – CSO Development Effectiveness and Climate Change communication. The year 2011 saw the active involvement by PIANGO in both areas.

 

CSO Development Effectiveness


With funding support from the Open Forum on CSO Development Effectiveness, PIANGO received project funding through InterAction – the US national umbrella platform - to convene a national workshop in Fiji and a regional workshop in Tonga in May 2010 to identify the core principles for CSO development effectiveness.


These core principles were consolidated with contributions from 70 other countries and were endorsed at a General Assembly in September 2010 in Istanbul, Turkey. These have now become known as the Istanbul Principles. At that Istanbul meeting, PIANGO’s Interim Executive Director, Emele Duituturaga was also nominated as the Pacific Representative on the Open Forum Global Facilitation Group and was subsequently elected as Co-Chair of the Open Forum - which placed PIANGO in a global leadership role.

In March, a small regional meeting met to discuss the draft International Framework for CSO Development Effectiveness and the development of a PIANGO Code of Conduct modeled on the Australia Council for International Development (ACFID) Code. PIANGO has been discussing with ACFID a partnership to develop the PIANGO Code which will focus on three pilot countries, commencing with the Civil Society Forum of Tonga.

 

In June 2011, the Open Forum Second Global Assembly was held in Siem Reap, Cambodia, which discussed the International Framework. PIANGO was the chair of the global Assembly and steered the meeting to adopt the International Framework now known as the Siem Reap Consensus on the International Framework for CSO Development Effectiveness.

The 4th High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (HLF4) was held on 29 November-1 December in Busan, South Korea. This was preceded by a three-day Busan Civil Society Forum which again, was co-Chaired by PIANGO and attended by 500 CSO representatives from around the world. Mr Drew Havea, PIANGO Board Chair and the Interim Executive Director, Ms Emele Duituturaga both attended HLF4 and PIANGO was given the honour of delivering an address at the closing ceremony of the HLF4.


Climate Change Communication


In 2008, PIANGO was among 80 National platforms which gathered in Paris to establish the International Forum of National Platforms (IFP). The work of the IFP is carried out through Non Governmental Diplomacy Exercises (NGDE).


PIANGO was appointed to lead the Climate Change NGDE given it is a priority concern for the region. PIANGO is also a member of the Facilitation Group which is the interim governing body for the IFP.


In 2010, PIANGO received funding support from Coordination Sud, the French National Platform and also the International Secretariat for the IFP, to implement the Climate Change NGDE. These funds have enabled PIANGO to keep its regional secretariat operating in the past two years through engagement of project staff and a consultant Communications Adviser which enabled communication advocacy activities to be carried out in Fiji, Samoa and Kiribati in 2010.

The inaugural General Assembly of the IFP was held in Dakar, Senegal in February this year and attended by the PIANGO Interim Executive Director. A further meeting of the IFP Facilitation Group was held in Paris in October attended by the PIANGO Communications Adviser, Debbie Singh. The meeting was held back to back with the G20 meeting and the
IFP leaders, including PIANGO, held a special audience with the French President.

PIANGO again received project funding this year for the Climate change NGDE and regional coordination and is now developing a tool kit for community resilience with particular focus on Kiribati, Tuvalu, Tonga, Cook Islands, Fiji, and PNG. A regional workshop was held in December 2011 to develop the tool kit with specific contributions from PCC, Pacific Can and IUCN. Two newsletters have been produced between October to December 2011 and the PIANGO website has been updated and improved.

 



Where to Next?


In the first quarter of 2012, PIANGO will be consolidating its Strategic Development Plan 2012-2015. This will set the course for its future directions. Apart from active engagement with the two issues above, PIANGO has also been working with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and the Commonwealth Foundation.


PIANGO will be looking to secure core funding support and a couple of regional projects to consolidate its funding base, advertise positions and have a fully functioning Secretariat in 2012.


From the Board and Staff of PIANGO, we thank you for your support in 2011 and look forward to a more prosperous 2012.

 

 

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