Participants discussed ways to peacefully resolve conflict

National Dialogue Conference

September 2011
Facilitating Peace and Security in Fiji

EWMI is working with a coalition of Fijian NGOs (Dialogue Fiji) to explore ways of initiating and developing an ongoing dialogue between the government of Fiji and the NGO community and promoting tolerance between the divided social and political groups in Fiji, in particular the Fijian majority and the Indo-Fijian minority. In mid-July 2011, Dialogue Fiji held its fourth dialogue meeting – a three-day event with participants from the Western region of Fiji, including representatives from the NGO community, religious and interfaith groups, interim government officials, and political groups. Participants recognized the importance of dialogue, discussed ways to peacefully resolve conflicts and completed trust-building exercises. Later, in mid-September, Dialogue Fiji hosted a National Dialogue Conference. The conference participants included senior government officials, participants from past division dialogues, NGO leaders, members of interfaith groups, religious leaders, and other vital actors in the Fijian community. The purpose of the conference was to discuss the outcomes of the previous dialogues and debate national issues, such as progress towards constitutional reform, implementation of human rights and the promotion of inter-ethnic tolerance. After attending the conference, a high-level government official expressed that he understood the importance and necessity of a government-supported national dialogue event. Such an event may take place again in the coming year.