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NZ Defence Force personnel return home as tensions ease

Some New Zealand military personnel deployed as part of the international assistance mission to the Solomon Islands have returned home early. They will even be out of MIQ (managed isolation and quarantine) in time for Christmas after the whirlwind deployment. The decision to pull the personnel back came after the security situation in the capital, Honiara, calmed following days of violence...

What’s the future of the regional peacekeeping response in Solomon Islands?

As the deadline looms for the regional peacekeepers who remain in Solomon Islands, there are questions on whether the police are up to the task of maintaining national security. Around 200 police and soldiers from Australia, Papua New Guinea, Fiji and New Zealand have been in the capital Honiara following last month's riots. The security situation is now calm and much...

ADB, Cook Islands sign $80 million financing to support economic recovery

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of the Cook Islands signed an US$80 million loan agreement to help the Pacific country's economy transition from recovery to sustainable, private sector-led growth. ADB will help the Cook Islands pursue reforms to improve public financial management and foster private sector activities. The Supporting Sustainable Recovery Program will provide an initial US$40...

France invites drafts to revise New Caledonia’s statute

France's overseas minister Sebastien Lecornu has called on New Caledonia's political parties to draw up proposals on the territory's new statute within the French republic, following last Sunday's referendum. More than 96 percent of New Caledonians voted against independence in a referendum boycotted by Kanaks. It was the last of three referendums, which concluded the 1998 Noumea Accord on the...

Pacific elders urge Fiji PM to demand Australia for greater climate commitments

Former Pacific Island nations leaders said Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama to demand from Australia, in his capacity as the chair of the Pacific Islands Forum, to commit to greater climate action. The Pacific Elders Voice expressed concerns over the lack of commitment from Australia from the recent Climate Change summit to support major initiatives such as reducing methane emissions,...

Pacific to benefit from Australia’s new Moderna vaccine facility

Australia will produce millions of doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine annually as part of a new deal that could have significant implications for the Pacific, in relation to a range of other “neglected tropical diseases” with one epidemiologist saying the “possibilities are seemingly endless”. An in-principle agreement has been struck between Moderna, the Australian government and the Victorian government,...

PNG Independent Commission Against Corruption should be in operation by 2023

The Papua New Guinea Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) top priority now is the appointment of the commissioner and deputy commissioners before operation by 2023. ICAC interim chairman Thomas Eluh said since the passage of Organic Law on the Independent Commission Against Corruption last year, it has taken ICAC more than 12 months to continue to progress the development and...

La Niña just raised sea levels in the western Pacific by up to 20cm. This height will be normal by 2050

By Shayne McGregor Severe coastal flooding inundated islands and atolls across the western equatorial Pacific last week, with widespread damage to buildings and food crops in the Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. On one level, very high tides are normal at this time of year in the western Pacific, and are known as...

Australia’s wait for world champion goes on as favourite Cikamatana bombs out

Fijian born Eileen Cikamatana's attempt to become Australia’s first female world champion in weightlifting failed when she bombed out of the women’s 81 kilograms in Tashkent in Uzbekistan today. The 22-year-old favourite was seeking her 13th straight win at the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) World Championships but made only one good lift, her final snatch, and for the first time...

School drop-outs, illegal drugs and health three major concerns for Tonga’s new PM

Tonga has many urgent needs and three major concerns for new Prime Minister Siaosi Sovaleni, are health, illegal drugs and school dropouts. “There's a lot and that is why it's important to have a good team to work with,” he told a press conference, Wednesday following his election to the top job by the Legislative Assembly, winning 16 votes out...

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The 2022 Forum Economic Ministers Meeting (FEMM) was convened on 11-12 August 2022. The meeting was chaired by  Johnny Koanapo Rasou, Minister for Finance...

Relationship between Pacific countries and development partners must be watertight: Vanuatu Finance Minister

By Pita Ligaiula in Port Vila The geo-strategic competition intensifying in the Pacific region requires a reset in relationships that does not jeopardise diplomatic...

Vanuatu releases a world leading NDC to the Climate Change Paris Agreement

Vanuatu, one of the world’s most climate vulnerable countries, has today submitted one of the world’s most ambitious nationally determined contribution (NDC) commitments to...