HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 608: 21 March 2012

Launch of the Pacific Regional Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security
The Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum and Prime Minister of the Cook Islands, Hon. Henry Puna M.P. will launch the Pacific Regional Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security at an interactive event which will bring together Forum member states, civil society organisations, UN agencies, and CROP agencies at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat Fale on 18th October, 2012 from 8:00am to 10:30am ahead of the annual UN Security Council Open Debate on UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security in New York on October 31.
The Regional Action Plan was drafted by the Regional Working Group on Women, Peace and Security co-chaired by the UNDP, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community and FemLINKPacific. The members of the Regional Working Group were selected based on existing work to implement SCR 1325 in the Pacific region. In recognition of the importance Leaders place on encouraging and ensuring national ownership of necessary regional processes, the Working Group included senior officials from two member governments, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. The group also included all three UN Resident Coordinators in the region, members of the Asia-Pacific High Level Advisory Group on 1325, members of PIF Reference Group on SGBV, and representatives from the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Secretariat of the Pacific Community, regional UN agencies and civil society organizations. UNDP Pacific Centre provided the secretariat for the Group.
Forum Leaders at their Retreat in Rarotonga this year noted the Regional Action Plan as the framework to strengthen the regional peace and security architecture through the practical integration of gender equality and women’s rights commitments.
The launch event will also feature presentations from Tuiloma Neroni Slade, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and Ms Fekitamoeloa Katoa ‘Utoikamanu, Deputy Director General, Secretariat of the Pacific Community. The Resident Representative of the United Nations based in Suva, Mr Knut Otsby, will handover the Regional Plan to the Forum Chair and Forum Secretary General in a gesture symbolising the Forum Secretariat’s undertaking to progress the work of the Regional Action Planin collaboration with Forum Members, development partners and relevant civil society organisations.
A panel discussion facilitated by one of the Regional Working Group co-chairs, Ms Sharon Bhagwan Rolls of FemLINKPACIFIC, will be held after the launch. The panel discussion will feature practitioners, Forum member representatives, and experts in regional peace and security from around the region. A planned performance by Pasifika Voices depicting the theme of Women, Peace and Security will bring a dynamic atmosphere to the Launch.

Herald Issue 608 21 March
- Terms of one China Policy document should be reviewed
- Pacific Media Assistance Scheme Seeks Innovation
- Successful NZ visit by PM
- Rerekura Teaurere New Climate Change Coordinator
- News Briefs

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