HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 580: 07 September 2011

NGO at the Forum
The Cook Islands Government may be the only delegation at the Forum that has NGO representative on their delegation.
Kairangi Samuela of Punanga Tauturu Inc has been accredited to the Government delegation as an indication of the Government recognising Civil society and NGO partnerships in economic and social development.
The PM – Hon. Henry Puna agreed that Samuela be recognised as a member of the delegation and be included in debriefings or discussions during the Forum. Samuela acknowledges that it is indeed a privilege to be given this level of access into Government negotiations and is trying to understand how the processes work and identifying how as NGO’s we can influence the process during building up to the Forum meetings.
Samuela says that she is quickly having to learn the different acronyms for organisations and understanding “diplomatic” talk in terms of negotiating talks. Including as to why they’re calling this the 40th Anniversary of the Forum – when it is also called the 42nd Forum.
She says that these meetings are clearly different from NGO meetings which are loud, highly charged and emotional and she is receiving support from various Government reps on the delegation in understanding the issues being raised.
Where are the women?
Samuela says that the lack of women in decision making positions in the Pacific Islands is clearly obvious at the Forum meeting in Auckland. There are no women ministers at the meetings and also Government delegations are made mostly up of men. This is also visible in the delegations of the Crop Agencies of the Pacific i.e SPC and PIF.
It has been suggested that this may be due to the issues of discussion taking place at the Forum which include Tourism, Trade, Energy , Climate change, which are generally male dominated areas of skills and expertise.
Samuela contravenes this notion saying that if we look at Tourism across the Pacific these are mainly dominated by Women in terms of workers in the industry e.g Hotels, restaurants and other service sectors, which should make it even more important that women are promoted/recognised in Outcomes documents at the high level of talks.
It is also noted that there is a section on the participation of women and the work being progressed in this area with UN Women and the SPC in the SIS discussion paper.
Climate Change funding now?
The President of Kiribati put forward a strong proposal to the Small Islands States meeting to recommend that the SIS put forward stronger language to international talks on Climate Change issues.
President Tong said that he had attended many international meetings regarding the COP discussion and is concerned that most of the language is about prevention with no recognition that work needs to be done now to address these issues. He said that he is concerned that the International Committee seems to view Climate change as a mid level importance when Kiribati and other SIS are viewing this at “extreme” levels and needs to be addressed as such.
He urged the SIS to mobilise now to deliver for the Durban talks later on in the year to ensure issues are attended to urgently including the need to address the release of funds for Climate change.
The Premier of Niue also requested the Forum to develop stronger language within the SIS communiqué to reflect the concerns of the leaders in the delays in the release of funds for financing Climate Change and also to recognise that these changes are occurring now and assistance is required urgently.
- Kairangi Samuela

Herald Issue 554 09 March
- Norm exposes Trio of Doom
- Briefs from PM’s media conference Tuesday
- Tourism Industry ponders $5 million draft strategy
- Norman George resigns from Cook Islands Party
- Letter of Resignation from CIP
- Norman selfish says Prime Minister

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