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Pacific nations face ‘lost decade’ due to economic cost of Covid

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Countries in the Pacific risk a “lost decade” following the Covid pandemic, with the region facing its greatest economic contraction in four decades, according to a new report into foreign aid. The latest Lowy Institute Pacific Aid Map, which sets out aid spending and donations to the Pacific Islands region, shows US$2.44bn in foreign aid reached the Pacific in 2019,...

Nauru’s seabed mining pitch out of step with Pacific

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A Pacific government which has sought to expedite deep sea mining used its UN platform to make a pitch for an industry that is unpopular with ocean peoples. There's great interest among advocates of the fledgling sector in the polymetallic nodules found on the deepest seabed of the Pacific, but few regional countries are on board. Polymetallic nodules are lumps found...

PNG Controller imposes one-month ban on gatherings of 20-plus persons

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Papua New Guinea Commissioner of Police and Controller of the PNG COVID-19 National Pandemic Response David Manning has issued a directive banning gatherings of more than 20 persons effective from tomorrow (30 September) for one month ending 30 October 2021. Manning has directed that events/gatherings, inclusive of social (clubbing/bar activities, dances, dinners, parties, sporting competitions, etc.) and religious activities (church,...

‘Ikale Tahi European tour confirmed

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The ‘Ikale Tahi will face Scotland, England, French Barbarians, and Romania during their European tour in October and November, Tonga Rugby Union CEO Peter Harding confirmed Tuesday. However, the team will be without Head Coach Toutai Kefu, who had surgery after he was stabbed during a home invasion in Brisbane last month. Toutai has recovered but will remain with his...

Palau President Whipps asks world leaders to support Pacific maritime boundaries declaration

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Palau President Surangel Whipps Jr called on the global community to support the Pacific island leaders’ declaration of setting permanent maritime boundaries even if their shorelines diminish due to sea-level rise. Whipps in his statement delivered during the Alliance of Small Islands States (AOSIS) Leaders’ Summit last week also pointed out the adoption last month of a Declaration on Preserving...

‘Neglected danger’: Nukes not in forefront in speeches at UN

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It was the Marshall Islands’ turn to speak, and the president wanted to remind world leaders of a cause the United Nations has espoused since its founding. “No effort should be spared,” President David Kabua told the UN General Assembly this month, “to move towards a world free of nuclear weapons and nuclear risk.” It might seem like a must-discuss topic...

Fiji records 65 new cases of COVID-19, 29 new covid deaths reported

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Fiji has recorded 65 new cases of COVID-19 and 29 new deaths Tuesday, increasing the total number of cases in the island nation to 50,802 and 612 deaths since the outbreak in April. Permanent secretary for Health, Dr James Fong said there have been 196 new recoveries to report since the last update, which means that there are now 12,869...

Sydney think tank says China less generous toward Pacific

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China gave significantly less aid to Pacific island nations in recent years despite Beijing’s diplomatic efforts to increase its influence in the region, according to a Sydney-based think tank. Chinese aid to the Pacific shrank by 31 percent in 2019 to US$169 million, the Lowy Institute said in its annual Pacific Aid Map released Wednesday. Only the World Bank pulled back...

Fiji Defence Minister welcomes top appointments

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Fiji's Defence Minister Inia Seruiratu says the recent top appointments within the disciplined forces are timely. Seruiratu said these are challenging times and there are various issues that need to be addressed. Brigadier-General Jone Kalouniwai was recently appointed the new Commander of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces by the Constitutional Offices Commission. This includes the re-appointment of Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho as...

PNG forced to transfer vaccines donated by New Zealand

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Pacific nations are swiftly rolling out their vaccine programmes, but some countries are struggling with vaccine hesitancy, logistical challenges and the risk of significant wastage. The challenges facing some Pacific Island nations have been highlighted by the recent example of Papua New Guinea. PNG has a population of nine million, but less than one per cent is vaccinated. Meanwhile, the country...

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PINA welcomes Fijian Government’s review of current Media Laws in Fiji

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By Makereta Komai, PACNEWS Editor President of the Pacific Islands News Association, Kora Nou today warmly welcomed the new Fijian Government’s immediate push to revisit...

Hipkins sworn in as New Zealand PM, pledges focus on economy

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Chris Hipkins was sworn in Wednesday as New Zealand’s 41st prime minister, following the unexpected resignation last week of Jacinda Ardern. Hipkins, 44, has promised...

Namah condemns arrest of West Papua governor

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Vanimo-Green River MP Belden Namah has condemned the manner in which West Papua Governor Lucas Enembe was arrested and detainted by the Indonesian government. Namah,...