Pacific Partnership 2011 Engages Civil Society at the East West Center

Posted by Thomas E. Weinz
April 5, 2011
Commdore Wilson and PP2011 Staff With Journalists in Hawaii

Pacific Partnership 2011/USS Cleveland left Hawaii on April 5 with some very good contacts and friends acquired during two excellent discussions. The first took place on April 1 at the East-West Center (EWC), an internationally respected U.S.-based organization established by the U.S. Congress in 1960. Commodore Wilson began a roundtable discussion with a group of experts from the EWC, and a number of graduate students and professors. He offered an overview of past and current missions, and then asked participants for their thoughts on the current mission. Since some of the attendants were from countries we will visit this year, including Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, and Micronesia, our PP11 contingent was especially attuned to their comments. In some cases, nationals of countries that Pacific Partnership visited in the past suggested things that are already part of the Pacific Partnership effort; for example, to serve remote populations. Lesson Learned: do a better job of informing local people of Pacific Partnership projects and locations. One of the graduate students determined that he would be home in Timor-Leste during our mission there June 14 - 25, and the Commodore quickly enlisted him to participate.

EWC is one of the oldest and most respected organizations focusing on Asia and the Pacific in Hawaii, and our time spent there was beneficial to us all. Following that discussion, we returned to the USS Cleveland and hosted a local group of social media journalists and photographers -- one of the newest groups on the scene, but with tremendous potential, as we have witnessed during world-changing events across North Africa and the Middle East. At dinner, I spoke at length with Neenz Faleafine, who has had a great deal of success in building on-line communities. Neenz expressed her belief that passion and community commitment were essential to be effective journalists and bloggers (her own passion was evident throughout our discussion). She also shared her expertise in using applications to organize Twitter, a challenge I find particularly daunting. Since she has around 15,000 contacts on Twitter, her advice was well-received. The group offered to help us spread the word (and pictures) about Pacific Partnership, and we hope to get together again when Cleveland returns to Hawaii in July.



New Mexico, USA
April 5, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Tom Wienz,

You probably know me as a fellow with some fairly off-beat ideas, But I don't think this one would take an act of Congress...(chuckle).

If National Geo. can do "Inside the State Dept." I'm sure there's got to be someone willing to do a "home movie" on our seafaring diplomatic efforts in paying house calls with your mobile clinic.

I doubt if 1/2 of 1% of America knows you folks are out there...sad as that may be.

(which is why I refer folks to this blog so they can find out where their tax money is spent, and keep track of you folk's good work in some cases, least there's a staffer for the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that passed that onward and upward with much appreciation and mirth. I just figured it would be doing my small part in helping garner every State Dept. budget request without folks going through hoops and political muddy waters to get it:)

So here's the deal, see if you can arrange to post a vid. here, then have your superiors send it to MSNBC or some other major media outlet and make news out of it.

Mind you Tom, a lot of my fellow Americans including myself would love to be kicking it on deck in tropical breazes and that might stand as a recruiting incentive as such, as well you're all "on a mission" and folks can relate to the adventure in that.

Personally I'd love a working vacation and I think it would put the entire Dept in a totally new light for the American public.

Face it, Pacific Partnership is pretty unique in the annals of international diplomacy, and if America is to really get a grip on the policy of the "three D's" and understand the value of their taxes in all of it, I'm going to make an educated guess that this Non-Partisan Dept of State will not only have the support of the American people, but of the rest of the elected government thereby.

( Now I can only imagine if every program took this initiative to "market itself" (to multiple audiences of course) via documentary, folks be giving 3D testimony to Congress in advance of the verbal and written.)

I figured let's start with your's because I have no doubt it will be visually stunning given the locations you'd be shooting footage in.

If anyone @ State thinks this idea is worth doing, one of my best friend's brother is an acadamy award winning producer, and if the Dept gets really serious about doing a "home movie" I know he could do you'all justice with your's.

Well they say networking is a great diplomatic tool, you'all have my email address and I'm willing to place a phone call.

Least I can do. Here's to many more red skies at night...,



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