Thursday, September 10, 2015

PM expresses appreciation for CSO input to Pacific Islands’ Forum

Prime Minister Peter O'Neill has welcomed the participation and engagement of a number of Pacific Civil Society Organisations in the Pacific Islands' Forum meetings this week.
O'Neill said Pacific Civil Society Organisations were of vital importance for people around the Pacific as a partner in the provision of services and community support.
Beginning with a forum with leaders on Tuesday, ongoing discussion has seen wide-ranging sharing of views and perspectives relating to the welfare of people in the region.
"Leaders have certainly appreciated the input and discussion from our community service organisiations, and this is factoring into Leaders'' deliberations," the Prime Minister said.
"We all know the challenges we face across our diverse islands states, and governments appreciate the partnership we have with Civil Society Organisations."
O'Neill said the meeting was the first of its kind to be held alongside a Pacific Islands Forum Leaders' Meeting.
"I have attended five of these meetings and I have never had the opportunity to sit down with civil society leaders and representatives," he said.
"This is a very good initiative and I think future forums should embrace this as we move forward.
"We live in the same region, same community, it is not only up to the leaders to make decisions that affect our way of live but it involves everyone." 
O'Neill said from Papua New Guinea's perspective, the discussion of climate change, disaster risk management and fisheries were particularly important.
"Like other countries in our region, Papua New Guinea is very much exposed to climate change.
"We are also facing extreme climate threats from drought and frost which is affecting millions of people," he said.
"Papua New Guinea is a very strong advocate of climate change action and will take a position that will enable the international community to try and work together.
"It is our obligation that before we go to the Paris COP-21 this year, as a region we come up with a common position on what to put forward to the global community.
"We thank Pacific Civil Society Organisations for their views and perspectives on moving this agenda forward."

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