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Emmanuel Macron’s dangerous shift on the New Caledonia referendum risks a return to violence

By Rowena Dickins Morrison, Adrian Muckle & Benoît Trépied With the growing possibility of a pro-independence victory, France is derailing decolonisation in a bid to shore up its position in the Indo-Pacific The French government’s decision to hold New Caledonia’s self-determination referendum on 12 December, despite the resolve of pro-independence parties not to participate, is a reckless political gambit with potentially...

Pacific Community adopts 10-year plan at its annual meeting, setting out ambitious vision for future of the Blue Pacific

The Pacific Community (SPC) has set its vision for a sustainable, thriving and peaceful Blue Pacific with the endorsement of its new 10-year Strategic Plan 2021+ during the 51st Meeting of the Committee of Representatives of Governments and Administrations (CRGA) in Noumea, New Caledonia. This strategic plan is the first to be co-developed directly with members, staff and stakeholders, including...

Solomon Islands PM ‘must take responsibility’ for Honiara tragedy, says Wale

Solomon Islands Opposition leader Matthew Wale has rejected the prime minister’s claim that he and other opposition members were behind last week’s rioting in the capital of Honiara. Wale claimed that the false statements were aimed at diverting the public’s attention from Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare’s “own failures” in dealing with the crisis. Wale said Sogavare “must recognise his role in...

Guam Catholic Church offers to pay up to US$34million to sex abuse victims

Guam's Catholic Church has come up with a revised proposed payment of US$27.96 million to US$34.38 million to those who claimed they were raped or sexually molested by priests and other members of the clergy when they were minors, dating back to the 1950s. That's more than US$100,000 per clergy sex abuse survivor if the award is based on equal...

Tropical tuna measure, albacore, compliance monitoring and labour standards head FFA priorities for WCPFC18

By Francisco Blaha The public perception of fisheries tends to focus on operations—boats, weather, accidents, overfishing, illegal fishing. It can be difficult to focus much public attention on the good news side of Western and Central Pacific tuna fisheries, and the fact that the four main stocks of tuna are healthy and sustainably harvested. While it’s true that the operational side...

Is Gender-based Violence the worst Pandemic we have ever faced?

OP- Ed by Levan Bouadze, Resident Representative, UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji The COVID-19 pandemic affected lives, plagued economies, left millions without jobs and income and deprived us of social relations as we used to know. In this context, one issue found fertile soil to dramatically grow: Violence against Women and Girls. In Fiji alone, there was a recorded 606 percent...

Pacific Island leaders bemoan weak Glasgow climate pact

Leaders from Pacific Islands threatened by rising sea levels said they were disappointed with the Glasgow climate pact, which called for a phase down rather than phasing out of coal use, the biggest source of global warming. Micronesia President David Panuelo said industrialised countries need to step up commitments to help other countries switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy...

New Zealand to send dozens of peacekeepers to Solomon Islands

New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern says she is ‘deeply concerned by the recent civil unrest and rioting in Honiara’ New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern has ordered police and troops to join an international peacekeeping mission in the crisis-hit Solomon Islands following deadly anti-government riots. Ardern said on Wednesday the deployment of 65 peacekeepers followed a request from the Solomons...

Landmark decision to negotiate new accord on pandemics ‘cause for hope’

Agreement by countries to launch a process to develop a new global accord on pandemic prevention and response is cause for hope, the head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Wednesday in Geneva. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus welcomed the consensus decision, reached during a special session of the World Health Assembly (WHA), the UN agency’s top decision-making body, attended...

Positive travellers from African states in quarantine

Fiji currently have COVID-positive travellers in quarantine who arrived in the country from African states before we knew about Omicron. Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services, Dr James Fong clarified this in his COVID-19 statement last night. Dr Fong said these travellers have been quarantined in line with the stringent measures we apply to countries we consider a red zone...

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Commission of Inquiry to probe Citizenship Commission in Vanuatu

Vanuatu's Justice Minister John Still Tari Qetu has appointed a Commission of Inquiry (COI) to investigate allegations of corruption within the country's Citizenship Commission. The...

Samoan PM to push Australia on climate, fossil fuels during visit to Canberra

Australia and Samoa are set to sign a new deal on education and health, as Prime Minister Anthony Albanese welcomes the Samoan PM Fiamē...

IPCC highlights rich nations’ failure to help developing world adapt to climate change

Vulnerable communities disproportionately affected by global warming are being given ‘insufficient’ funds to help adapt to extreme climate impacts, the latest report from the...