PACIFIC PEACE CONFERENCE THEME: “STRENGTHENING THE ROLE OF PEACE IN NATIONAL BUILDING”
PCP hosted the inaugural Pacific Peace Conference in Suva, Fiji from 18-21 September 2016. As a pioneer peacebuilding organisation in Fiji, PCP intended to make the Peace Conference a niche event for the organisation in recognition of the work carried out within the country and in the region in this area. With this event PCP aimed to increase its own visibility, improve accessibility of/to the organization and of peacebuilding work locally and into the Pacific region.
The theme of the 2016 Pacific Peace Conference was “Strengthening the Role of Peace in Nation Building”. The objectives of the Peace Conference were generally to:
- Bring together Non-Governmental Organizations, Civil Society Organizations, Faith Based Organizations, International and Regional Organizations, Government Departments and Ministries, Students Academics and other interested as individuals to a space where we could all dialogue, listen to each other and to collaborate;
- Bring together peace practitioners to share their peacebuilding work and to find synergies; and
- Recognize the work that people are doing in their communities to bring about peace
The General Secretary of the Pacific Council of Churches, Reverend Francois Pihaatae opened the Conference on 18th September and this was followed by a vigil in remembrance of all Fijian peacekeepers who are serving and/or had served in peacekeeping duties. Keynote addresses were given each of the three conference days. Individuals also presented papers on their own areas of interest within the conference theme and five panel discussions were held on the following themes:
- Peace and Religion;
- Peace and Human Security;
- Peace and The Environment;
- Peace, Education and Multiculturalism; and
- Sustainable Development Goal- Building Blocks for Peace.
A public Peace Lecture to commemorate the International Day of Peace on the evening of September 21st was scheduled but had to be cancelled later due to the ill-health of the speaker. Due to short notice, a replacement speaker was not sought.
It was PCP’s fervent hope that through this event the organisation and peacebuilding work would be widely recognized across the Pacific region and internationally and also contribute to our partners’ and stakeholders’ own work and research. This event also hoped to provide opportunities for new partnerships, collaborations ad well as ideas to inform future peacebuilding work.