As its Peace Day today we are celebrating in Paddy's Peace Garden at Taputapuatea, downtown Rarotonga where we all gathered in 2000.
The theme from the UN this year - Sustainable Development Goals: building blocks for peace was presented by our CI Youth Council, many of whom work for Government and are involved in Te Kaveinga Nui - the Cooks Nationsal Sustainable Development Plan on a daily basis.
Our commemoration of the United Nations International Day of Peace has since 2015 become so much more. As well as focusing on the UN theme, it is an opportunity for us to give thanks and remember the extraordinary woman who has lit up our lives – Eleitino Paddy Walker. Paddy will always be our guiding light, our shining star both personally and as an organisation.
As a theme, initially we felt a departure from previous years. Here was a theme – the Millennium Goals – which is a complex topic, all encompassing, and a blueprint for the planet. So we turned to our country’s involvement on the MDG’s via the Office of the Prime Minister who have incorporated the revamped MDG’s into its National Sustainable Development Plan.
But why as we, a Civil Society Organisation, not offay with the revitalised MDG’s? Had we missed a workshop on this? The answer lay in funding for dissemination of information on the MDG’s was only for our Pa Enua – our Outer Islands, not Rarotonga.
Therefore we took it upon ourselves with the assistance of the MDG’s office of Rarotonga to inform our audience on Rarotonga of the importance of the MDG’s and to set the ball in motion here on Rarotonga. Our guests received MDG’s 101.
Our speakers were young women with passion who are involved in various Government Departments who in their daily work incorporate the MDG’s into work plans and programmes.
Young women who are well educated. Young women some of whom have already taken centre stage at the United Nations level in New York and Paris.
Therefore as well as being a sharing of information, it was an opportunity to showcase our young Pacific Island women.
The challenge now is for us as a Pacific based women’s organisation to entice this emerging generation into the PPSEAWA family and be infused with their knowledge and commitment to the planet. Its an opportunity for Pacific women to take a more active role at UN level.
PPSEAWA Cook Islands takes this opportunity in wishing our Sisters a fulfilling 2017.
To effect change you must be the change.