Pacific Region Incoming Chair for the 9th Meeting of the Commonwealth Gender Plan of Action Monitoring Group
The Pacific region turned out in impressive numbers this morning to the 9th Meeting of the Commonwealth Gender Plan of Action Monitoring Group (CGPMG), which opened this morning at the UN Millennium Plaza Hotel, New York. Of the ten countries in the Pacific who are members of the CGPMG, five countries were present, an achievement within itself taking into consideration the costs of travelling to New York.
Equally important was the fact that the Government of Samoa formally accepted the invitation to be the incoming chair for the 2012/2014 period, “I hope that Samoa’s leadership will do justice in our deliberations on advancing women’s rights and achieving gender equality globally,” said the Minister of Women, Community and Social Development of the Government of Samoa, Honourable Tolofuaivalelei Falemoe Leiataua.
Moreover, for the first time, Civil Society representatives have been endorsed as official members of the CGPMG which includes a representative from the Pacific region. The four seats are a two year term 2012/2014 and are officially delegated to CSO representatives from the Africa, Asia, Caribbean and Pacific groupings. The CSO Pacific representative for the initial two year term is ‘Ofa Guttenbeil-Likiliki from the Kingdom of Tonga who is also the Director of the Women and Children Crisis Centre (WCCC), a member of the Pacific Network Against Violence Against Women and the Pacific WAVE media network.
The meeting objectives include a review of the CGPMG, monitoring and evaluation of the Commonwealth Plan of Action (PoA) for Gender Equality 2005-2015 and sub-regional group meeting reports.
Representative of the Govenrment of Tonga to the meeting is Polotu Fakafanua-Paunga, head of Women's Affairs Unit of the Ministry of Educaiton, Women's Affairs and Culture.
The monitoring group has been operating for just over six years. One of the concerns raised this morning was the lack of a monitoring framework for the output of good sound documentation and reporting of the PoA. Initially the group attempted to mirror other reporting processes of other mechanisms i.e.; the Beijing Platform of Action. It was proposed that a trend analysis be undertaken to get baseline indicators so that it can be use to develop a specific monitoring and evaluation framework for the PoA.
NOTE: The five governments from the Pacific present; Samoa, the Kingdom of Tonga, Kiribati, Tuvalu and New Zealand.