18 Aug 2003

Pacific NGOs want greater Forum recognition

4:22 pm on 18 August 2003

Civil society organisations from around the Pacific have called on the Pacific Islands Forum to grant them greater recognition.

They want NGOs accredited to all Forum meetings and for an officially recognized Civil Society Forum to run alongside the leaders summit.

And the NGOs has asked that the communiqué from their meeting be included in the Forum official statement.

The head of one NGO, Lopeti Senituli, from Tonga's Pro-Democracy and Human Rights Movement, says the present mechanisms for interaction with the political leaders are inadequate.

"We are asking for more opportunities, formal opportunities whereby civil society organisations can contribute towards not only the agenda of the governments forum but also the actual outcomes of the Forum."

Lopeti Senituli