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Islands of Globalization is a collaborative research and instructional project of the East-West Center's Pacific Islands Development Program (PIDP) and the Center for Pacific Islands Studies (CPIS), funded by the Ford Foundation . The project seeks to enhance understandings of the origins, nature and consequences of globalization from the perspective of small island societies, and in the context of changing notions of "islandness." Islands of Globalization focuses on the Caribbean and Pacific regions, and pursues pedagogical, policy and popular research that engages different types of audiences: intellectuals, academics, and students; artists; policy makers; and members of the general public. The project established collaborative relationships with educational institutions in the Pacific and Caribbean to explore historical and contemporary linkages between the regions, and to develop shared curriculum. Other outcomes will include faculty and student exchanges, scholarly publications, and multimedia products.
On 19 May 2000, the first Indo-Fijian Prime Minister of the Fiji Islands and his government, were overthrown in a "civilian" coup that brought widespread civil unrest, international condemnation, and a subsequent attempted mutiny by some of Fiji's military resulting in the death of eight soldiers. This is the third coup in Fiji since 1987 and was justified by the perpetrators as necessary to protect the indigenous rights of ethnic Fijians to be supreme in their land.
Since December 2000, PIDP has been conducting an ongoing series of high-level dialogues among the leaders in Fiji. Using the Polynesian concept of Talanoa as a foundational principle for the dialogue, PIDP has conducted seven plenary Talanoa sessions and numerous subcommittee meetings, involving political leaders representing the diverse population of Fiji. The Talanoa process provides an open forum for addressing differing perspectives on sensitive issues such as land, constitutional change, and race relations in Fiji’s multiracial society.
Our talanoa is based on the principles of reconciliation, inclusion, sincerity, honesty, respect for each other as individuals, respect for the rich indigenous and other cultural traditions domiciled in Fiji, and respect for our national assets and institutions including spirituality, human values, aspirations for economic and social justice, and basic constitutional principles.
Our talanoa is forward-looking. Taking account of and learning from the reality of the past, we seek to establish the basis for national unity in the future based on social and political stability.
National unity requires both dialogue and actions to increase understanding among the peoples of Fiji and dialogue and actions to address basic problems that underlie disunity. National unity also requires the highest standards of leadership and good governance.
(Excerpt from the first Talanoa Statement on National Unity )
Building on the Talanoa process, this undertaking will represent a major contribution to Fiji’s future stability. Six distinguished scholars, including both Fijians and Indo-Fijians, have been commissioned to author analytical papers on policy approaches that will advance Fiji’s social and economic climate. Two workshops allowing for review and critique of the authors contributions to a book on this subject have been held in 2003–2004 and the final papers will be compiled into a book to be published by PIDP.
PIDP is working in partnership with the United Nations on the Reinventing Government Project. PIDP is coordinating the Pacific islands regional effort for this worldwide UN project. The Regional Forum on Reinventing Government in the Pacific Islands convened 4–6 October 2004 in Apia, Samoa. Support from the Government of Italy facilitated the participation of senior Pacific Island policy makers, former government leaders and officials, and leading scholars from the Pacific’s universities. Organized by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the Government of Samoa and the Pacific Islands Development Program (PIDP) of the East-West Center, the forum focused on understanding good practices and innovative approaches to reinventing government.
Solomon Islands Projects
Isabel Tok Stori
During the time of tension in Solomon Islands, traditional leaders were often a source of continuity and stability. As debates about constitutional reform and possible state government progress, the importance of traditional leadership is once again a topic of national discussion. The Isabel Tok Stori forum offered an opportunity to discuss these issues from local, national, and regional perspectives.
With community members and leaders from the Province, Church, and Council of Chiefs present, the Buala Tok Stori allowed for open discussion of traditional leadership in Santa Isabel as well as possible futures for indigenous governance in the Solomon Islands and beyond.
The civil unrest that started in late 1998 left the Solomon Islands with a deteriorating economy, weak government capacity, law and order problems, and led to the description of the Solomon Islands state as “the Pacific’s first failed state.” In July 2003 an Australian-led Pacific Islands Forum Regional Assistant Mission to Solomon Island (RAMSI) was deployed to help reestablish law and order, and rebuild the country.
Navigating Solomon Islands Future is a Pacific Islands Development Program-sponsored project that aims to provide avenues for Solomon Islanders to reflect on their country’s past, and positively influence its future.