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CLOSING REMARKS BY KEUTEKARAKIA MATAROA ACTING CHAIRMAN, PIANGO EXECUTIVE MEMBER, COOK ISLANDS CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS INC

Your Excellencies,
Ambassadors and High Commissioners;
Members of the Diplomatic Corps;
Distinguished Delegates
Guests & Participants;
Ladies & Gentlemen.
Kia Orana and Bula to you All.

I am indeed privileged and grateful to be here today in your midst as Chief Guest for the closing plenary of the second Regional Workshop on the PIDF Agreement.
On behalf of the Cook Islands Civil Society Organisation Inc (CICSO) and the Pacific Islands Association of Non-Government Organisation (PIANGO), I wish to express my sincere appreciation to the Government of the Republic of the Fiji Islands for hosting and facilitating this second regional workshop on the PIDF Agreement.
Allow me to congratulate all of you, the delegates and participants from here in Fiji and from around the region that was at the first regional workshop on the PIDF Agreement, and again here at the second regional workshop.
It has certainly made our discussions at this session, more a “discussion, commenting and a feedback” process.
I thank you all for making the time and effort to be present in the workshop.
It will also be a remiss of me if I didn’t echo the sentiments, emotional and inspiring words of endearment and Video presentation of the Mana o te Moana Prayer and Video by His Worship, the Archbishop.
It is very clear in my mind that, PIDF is addressing the collaborate efforts of bringing Governments, Civil Societies and the Private Sector together, at the same table, as is with the Mana O Te Moana, and that is working together to achieve common goals.
I thank you your worship for reminding us that we must live as a united people to receive abundant blessings.
At this juncture I am encouraged by our contributions as we work towards strengthening the PIDF through the consultation process, in facilitating the PIDF agreement.
The articulated vision of PIDF, creates a space and a forum where we can engage freely amongst ourselves to determine policy priorities of national importance to our respective island nations and united by our goal of enhancing the welfare and prosperity of Pacific peoples through sustainable development and our aspirations for the FUTURE WE WANT aligned with the PACIFIC WE WANT to include;
 People centred development
 Promoting the aspirations and vision of the PI peoples
 Inclusivity, belonging and shared ownership
 Multi-stakeholder governance at all levels including civil society
 Affirming Pacific spirituality as foundation of nurturing and building resilience in Pacific communities
PIANGO has a mandate from 21 PIC National Liaison Umbrellas or Units in the Region to seek spaces for it’s members of grass roots origin and being present at this consultation is a step closer of achieving the fostering of partnerships in enhancing the welfare and prosperity of Pacific peoples.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
In closing, I note that the focus of this consultation process is to have an Establishment Agreement signed and adopted by our Leaders in September, In my view we have achieved this with minor adjustments.
This is a new baby, and we let it grow by “breast feeding” it to adulthood
At this juncture, please allow me to deviate from my closing remarks to honour this meeting with;
1. The Signing of an MoU between PIANGO and PIDF
2. Pledge of $30,000.00, to be treated as follows;
a. $10,000.00 – to go towards the Trust Fund
b. $20,000.00 – secondment of a PIANGO staff to PIDF
Finally, I would like to convey my sincere appreciation and gratitude to all of you for your participation and contributions during the workshop.
For those of you travelling back home, to include yours truly, I echo the Psalmists words, “I will send my Angels to protect you wherever you are”
With these few remarks, I now declare the workshop close.

Kia Orana, Kia Manuia and Vinaka Vakalevu
Thank you and Blessings Everyone.

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