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Project to help empower society

Charlene Lanyon
Friday, April 15, 2016

A JOINT $2million project funded by the European Union and Australian Government will allow civil society organisations to work at community level to strengthen public participation in Fiji.

The 'Democracy-Understanding and Action' project will be implemented over the next two years by the Pacific Centre for Peacebuilding, Citizens' Constitutional Forum, Fiji Women's Rights Movement, Dialogue Fiji and Conciliation Resources.

EU Ambassador to Fiji and the Pacific Andrew Jacobs said the project would allow the organisations to work with community leaders, women leaders and local authorities to strengthen public participation in inclusive policy formation and accountability processes.

"These principles are mutually reinforcing and are at the core of democracy," Mr Jacobs said.

"As such they are at the heart of the Cotonou Agreement which governs our relations with Africa, Caribbean and Pacific countries. The EU recognises that an empowered civil society is a crucial component of any democratic system and civil society represents and fosters pluralism and contributes to more effective policies, equitable and sustainable development."

Fiji Women's Rights Movement program director Michelle Reddy said it was encouraging to see the EU supporting local democratic processes.

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