The Marshall Islands Council of Non-Government Organizations (MICNGOs) has appointed Laitia Tamata of Fiji as their new Director.

This follows a boost of funding support from the Republic of Marshall Islands government and the signing of a new Partnership Framework Agreement between the government and MICNGOs in November last year.

The new partnership agreement supports President Dr. Hilda C. Heine’s Agenda 2020, to improve the social, environmental, and economic well-being in the country.

Pacific Islands Association of NGOs Executive Director, Emele Duituturaga said it was very pleasing to see Pacific governments recognizing and resourcing the critical role played by civil society development actors and especially national umbrella bodies which are needed to mobilise organized civil society actions at the national level.

Duituturaga highly commended the leadership of Mr Alson Kelen, MICNGOs President and his Board for this milestone achievement.

MICNGOs is one of PIANGO’s national affiliates from its 24 Pacific member countries and is also the national umbrella organisation for civil society groups, composed of numerous organisations that address a wide range of development challenges in the Marshall Islands. These include health, education, environment, women’s rights, youth, climate change and more.

Tamata is a former PIANGO staff member and has been engaged in regional and global development issues for over 30years. He joined the Fiji civil service in 1980 before joining the civil society sector.

Duituturaga is optimistic that as a seasoned development worker and human rights lawyer, Tamata will further boost the profile and visibility of the work of civil society organisations, community-based organisations and communities in the country.

Duituturaga said Tamata’s appointment is another form of south-south cooperation between civil society organisations in the pacific region, as there is still a limited cadre of people at the national level that can make the linkages from the village level to multilateral organisations like the UN.

Duituturaga said, “we have seen technical exchanges in the public sector of Fiji with retired teachers being seconded to other Pacific countries. Now we are seeing more of it within civil society to supplement national and local leadership. We have our own Pacific Island experts in the region, no need for more and more expatriates”.

“The Republic of the Marshall Islands has shown leadership at the world stage, particularly in the Climate Vulnerable Forum and the High Ambition Coalition and now, they are leading in resourcing the important role of civil society at the national level. This deserves recognition,” said Duituturaga.

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