By Netani Rika
THE Polynesian Leaders Group will openly engage civil society when it meets in Tuvalu from tomorrow.
Tuvalu’s Prime Minister, Enele Sopoaga, said civil society was integral to any discussions on national development.
“By engaging civil society, we as a government ensure that the voices of the people are heard,” Sopoaga told IB in Funafuti. “And governments must ensure they listen to the people if development is to be effective.”
The leaders of American Samoa, the Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Niue, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu and Wallis and Futuna meet this week.
Talks are expected to focus on climate change resilience, trade and biosecurity.
Emele Duituturaga, Executive Director of PIANGO, welcomed the invitation to civil society.
“Prime Minister Sopoaga has taken a bold step,” Duituturaga said. “This will surely bring about greater and more effective cooperation between state and civil society.”
Polynesian leaders will meet at a breakfast briefing on Thursday