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  • Writer's pictureMerdeka Secretariat

Pacific Education and Advocacy Festival

Around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic had not only posed the threats of the disease itself but also of intensified resource plunder as the extractive industry is put in the spotlight by states and international financial institutions as a quick fix in the frame of post-COVID economic recovery. In the Pacific, life on land and ocean is further put at risk due to continuing land-grabs, deforestation, and land and deep-sea mining.

The Pacific region is a known champion in the global discourse on climate justice and denuclearization. In 2020, a 50th country has signed the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, the first agreement to explicitly prohibit the creation or procurement, testing, use and threat of use of nuclear weapons. While the treaty has its limitations, this milestone is undeniably a result of a strong campaign of both governments and civil society in the Pacific Islands.

Climate-induced migration, gender equality, and labor rights are also central in the people’s campaign in the region.

However, one of the most glaring yet lesser-known issues in the region is the ongoing occupation and modern-day colonialism still happening in some Pacific nations.

Amid the people’s long-standing call for genuine self-determination, the Indonesian Government keeps an iron grip over resource-rich West Papua. In over 50 years, more than half a million of the Indigenous population have been wiped out in a “slow-motion genocide”.

Meanwhile, nations such as Kanaky (New Caledonia), the French Polynesia, Mahunui, and Bougainville have also active independence movements led by the islands’ Indigenous Peoples who share the aspiration of determining their own fate in their own territories.

Today, as we celebrate the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, we also recognize the ongoing struggles for self-determination across the Pacific and it is in light of these urgent issues that people’s organizations and formations from within and outside the Pacific Region are coming together to organize the Pacific Education and Advocacy Festival.

The Festival is a series of online and offline activities running from August to December 2021 that aim to

  • share information on the historical and contemporary issues of the Pacific Region,

  • provide spaces for learning exchange among regions and skill-development for advocacy and engagements, and

  • amplify the calls of the region through global and local engagements and solidarity actions, and unite to win more victories for the Pacific people’s struggles

The Pacific Education and Advocacy Festival is coordinated by national, regional, and international civil society representing Indigenous Peoples, faith-based organizations, migrants, youth, workers, and support groups.

  • Pacific Council of Churches (PCC)

  • First Pasefika Fono

  • Fiji Council of Social Services

  • Dewan Adat Papua

  • Rize of the Morning Star

  • Merdeka West Papua Support Network

  • Asia Pacific Research Network (APRN)

  • International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL)

  • International League of Peoples Struggles Asia-Pacific (ILPS Asia-Pacific)

Co-organize an event!

We are inviting organizations and individual advocates to collaborate for particular activities. We’d love to hear your ideas for the Festival! Send us a message at

Participate in the activities!

Join us as we learn about the struggles and advocacies of the Pacific from the perspective of Indigenous Peoples; human rights activists; land, ocean, and environmental defenders; women; LGBTQ+; our elders; faith leaders, and our brothers and sisters at the frontline of the struggle for self-determination in the Pacific Region.

Let’s talk about the Pacific!

The Pacific is not free until all Pacific islands, non-self governing territories are free from colonialism, free from imperialism, and free from capitalism. Merdeka!


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