Siotame Drew Havea: Representing Civil Society on the Specialist Sub-Committee on Regionalism

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The Specialist Sub-Committee on Regionalism recently welcomed four new members. The new member representing Civil Society is Mr. Siotame Drew Havea.

Mr. Havea has extensive experience working with communities and the Civil Society Sector.  A founding Member of the Tonga National Youth Congress, Tonga National Leadership Development Forum and has been very instrumental in setting up the Civil Society Forum of Tonga.  In 2017 Mr. Havea was honored with the Harris Wolfford Global Citizen Award by the United States National Peace Corps Association recognizing his extensive work in supporting youth, democracy, civil society and leadership in Tonga,

Mr. Havea was a Board Member of the Pacific Island Association of Non-Government Organizations for twelve years of which eight years he was Board Chair serving the region for a better Pacific, advocating for space and dialogue and the elimination of poverty in the Pacific.  Hr. Havea is a Trustee of PIANGO and currently representing the Pacific in the Commonwealth Foundation Board of Governors in London advising on matters of Civil Society.

Mr. Havea is passionate about Community Development looking at communities from inside, promoting local governance and resilience.  Currently working with farmers and youth farmers promoting organic farming with a vision for the Kingdom to be fully certified organic by 2030 and setting up Social Enterprises for the export market in organic virgin coconut oil and organic vanilla to provide employment for young people in the Kingdom.

The sub-committee is appointed by the Forum Troika Panel and reports to the Forum Officials Committee. It plays a vital role in the implementation of the Framework for Pacific Regionalism. This expert panel makes important decisions on the regional priorities to be put forward for Pacific Islands Leaders consideration at their annual Forum. The sub-committee applies the tests for regional action set out in the Framework, and draw on advice from a broad range of sources, including CROP agencies, to determine where the region’s needs are, and how best these can be addressed.

The Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat is the standing chair of the sub-committee, and the seven other members are drawn from a range of diverse backgrounds, all possessing key skill sets and areas of expertise.