COOK ISLANDS: 50th year of self-government celebrations commence
by Poto Williams
2015 Marks 50 years of the Cook Islands self governing in free association with New Zealand and to start the year long celebrations, the Cooks is launching three campaigns and hosting the 5th Development Partners meeting.
The campaigns 50 Milestones, 50 National Treasures and Go Green for 2015 commence shortly with the public asked to nominate the events in the Cooks History that they consider of historical significance and also to nominate people, items, music or what they consider to be National Treasures. The Go Green for 2015 asks people to consider leaving the car or scooter at home and either walk or use bicycles.
Also on the agenda is the 5th development Partners meeting which will hold conference sessions on the islands of Rarotonga and Mitiaro. Mitiaro will showcase its water projects, the harbour development and production of maire (polypodium). Opening on the 9th February the meeting will look at sustainable development reports on infrastructure, women in business, domestic violence and women in politics.
I am looking forward to participating in the Women’s economic and political rights discussion and sharing my experiences as a New Zealand female politician in the MMP environment. I am also keen to share my knowledge from my professional life in the NZ domestic violence scene but most importantly I am keen to learn from women across the pacific region about their issues and their solutions and what role I can play in supporting them.
I know the significant issues we all face in the pacific but water management, climate change are probably the most pressing, considering the resources required to deal with these issues sustainably are not readily available. Ensuring nations across the globe understand their responsibility in finding solutions is an important function of the Development Partners meetings.
The meeting is being held from 9th to 12th February 2015 and will include the 50th anniversary Development Partners awards on the evening of the 10th, recognising outstanding contributions and highlighting best practice in development over the last 50 years.