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On International Women’s Day 2022: A message from SPREP

By Tagaloa Cooper-Halo, Acting Director General and Director Climate Change Resilience Fakalofa lahi atu, Kia orana, Ran Annim, Lenwo, Kaselehlie, Mogethin, Ni Sa Bula Vinaka, Kam na Mauri, Iokwe, Ekamowir Omo, Bonjour, Faka’alofa lahi atu, Alii, Gude Tru, Talofa Lava, Halo Olketa, Taloha Ni, Malo ē Laumalie, Tālofa, Halo, Kia Ora and warm Pacific greetings! On International Women’s Day (IWD)...

Vanuatu records first COVID community case, as residents worry about road ahead

Vanuatu's main island Efate, and its surrounding islands, are in lockdown after the country's first COVID-19 case was detected in the community. The outbreak first began in the country's quarantine facilities, and contact tracing is underway to uncover details of the community case. Vanuatu's Health Minister Silas Bule, who has been been transferred to the Ministry of Climate Change and has...

Russia regrets PNG’s position to support Ukraine at UN

Russia has expressed regret over PNG’s position to support war-torn Ukraine at the United Nations General Assembly last week. Its ambassador to Indonesia, Lyudmila Vorovieba, who is accredited to PNG, said her country noted PNG’s position delivered by the Permanent Representative to the UN, Max Rai, and expressed hope that there might be a change of view in the future. Vorovieba...

Women fish too: invisible women in tuna industries

By Kate Barclay, University of Technology Sydney in Sydney The assumption that the tuna fishing industry is a man’s world is not only misleading, but also damaging. In the coastal Indonesian city of Bitung, women who fish cannot formally register their occupation and miss out on government support provided to fishers. The assumption that the fishing industry is dominated by men, or...

EU Council partially suspends Vanuatu visa waiver agreement due to risks posed by golden passport schemes

The Council of the European Union(EU) has decided to partially suspend the visa waiver agreement with Vanuatu due to the risks posed by its investor citizenship schemes (‘golden passport’ schemes). The suspension concerns only citizens of Vanuatu holding ordinary passports issued since 25 May 2015, when these Vanuatu investment citizenship schemes entered into force. At the end of this process,...

No reserved seats for PNG women in Parliament

The plan to have five regional seats reserved for women beginning in the general election this year has been shelved, a senior Papua New Guinea government official told a parliamentary committee last week. Ivan Pomaleu, the secretary to the Department of Prime Minister and National Executive Council, told the committee looking into gender-based violence, that Cabinet on 15 December last...

‘It’s our collective responsibility’ — Pacific researchers urge world leaders to help the islands fight climate change

Pacific researchers are calling for the planet’s leaders to join forces with them to fight climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its sixth assessment into the impacts of rising temperatures with a focus on communities, ecosystems and biodiversity last week. The report painted a bleak picture for the next decade with temperatures expected to top 1.5 degrees Celsius...

SPREP applauds endorsement of resolution to end Plastic Pollution

The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) has applauded the historic endorsement of the resolution to End Plastic Pollution: Towards an International Legally Binding Instrument at the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-5) at Nairobi last week. SPREP’s Pacific member countries were among 175 nations to endorse the resolution, which establishes an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) to work with the...

‘Trojan horse’: Palau’s bid to become global crypto hub could turn it into scammers paradise, critics warn

Palau’s new digital residency programme could leave it open to crypto scammers and corruption, critics have warned, arguing that not enough due diligence has been done on the scheme. The programme allows foreigners to buy an e-residency card which in turn allows them to start companies and sign documents, among other things. Most importantly, when the relevant legislation is passed,...

Wenda likens Ukraine crisis to that of West Papua

A leading West Papuan activist is comparing the plight of his region to that of the crisis in Ukraine. Benny Wenda, who is the Interim President of the United Liberation Movement of West Papua (ULMWP) says even as the world looks on in horror at Russia's invasion, West Papuans feel a special affinity to the Ukranian people. “We feel their terror,...

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