Dialogue Fiji has been working in the area of inclusive and participatory decision making, democratic transition, good governance, conflict analysis and peace-building since 2009. The vision of the organisation is “a Fiji where people respect each others’ differences and share a common will to build a free, just, peaceful, and inclusive nation”.
The organisation has the mission to “engage with others to create inclusive spaces for dialogue and peace building, and develop capacities in Fiji's society for a culture of Dialogue, resulting in dialogue processes being applied to increase understanding, respect and collaboration across divides”.
Dialogue Fiji's current projects are in a range of areas such as peace-building, conflict analysis, social accountability, democratic consolidation and civic engagement. We also work with our local and international partners in election monitoring, CERD reporting and other human rights development related programs. Dialogue Fiji promotes the use of dialogue and other deliberative processes to encourage and facilitate civic engagement in Fiji to strengthen a democratic culture, build social cohesion and advocate for the use of peaceful ways of dealing with conflict.
In May 2008, a group of civil society leaders, academics and senior civil servants from Fiji attended a Pan-Pacific United Nations organised workshop on conflict resolution in Port Villa, Vanuatu. At the end of the workshop, this group of Fijians, determined to take an active role in resolving Fiji’s problems, continued to meet periodically.
And it was during this period following the Villa meeting that the idea of Dialogue Fiji was conceived.
The initiative was initially conceived with two key objectives:
Develop an inclusive dialogue process to provide support and momentum for inclusive dialogue, toward finding solutions to Fiji’s problems.
Provide mechanisms for longer-term conflict resolution and national peace-building.
Dialogue Fiji was initiated as a movement of non-governmental organisations, and individuals committed to peace building and welcomes others to join the process through the Citizens' Assembly which took place annually, since 2009, to review progress and the committee membership.
The initiative was at the time directed by a Committee which received its mandate from the Citizens Assembly of wider civil society, and managed by a Secretariat.
Dialogue Fiji's common understanding of a ‘dialogue process’ is a sustained, participatory and inclusive process of listening and conversing in order to achieve understanding and reconciliation, aimed at finding solutions to diverse problems. Such dialogue processes are a necessary part of conflict resolution and peace building.
In 2015, Dialogue Fiji became a registered civil society organisation, and has been operating autonomously under the direction of Board of Directors.