Monday, June 01, 2009

On Pacific membership to IFEX, Oslo 2009

Presentation to 14 IFEX General Assembly, Monday 1 June, Oslo, Norway
Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you warm greetings from the co-chairs of the Pacific Freedom Forum, Monica Miller of American Samoa, and Susuve Laumaea of Papua New Guinea. I bring with me the hopes of fellow media freedom advocates many thousands of miles and many worlds away from this, the 14th general meeting of the IFEX global network. I am joined here in my sincere call for your vote by my colleagues Mr Koroi Hawkins of the Solomon Islands, and Mr Matai Akauola of Fiji, here as the coordinator of the Pacific Islands News Association.
I looked at the IFEX meeting schedule for today and tomorrow and found myself nodding, with an increasing sense of empathy. The insights on the need to get more strategic, the planning and consultation involved, and your internal review findings already resonate for us in the Pacific. Better strategies, better funding, better at doing better. The demands upon IFEX to be as dynamic as the changing world its members live in are also being faced, in unique contexts, by the Pacific Freedom Forum.
And it has for me, confirmed that our network having this space before you now in Oslo is a matter of perfect momentum, of an event finding its happening, and its place. Today the Pacific Freedom Forum, in terms of its journey crossing the path of that of this global assembly, has found such a moment. Our application for membership comes at a time when we are at our greatest need. At the same time we may also be placed to share a little bit of the Pacific x-factor to help achieve the IFEX vision. And honestly, if we didn’t believe we could help IFEX bring about a world where freedom of expression is defended, respected, and upheld; then we would not be here.