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Five former Vanuatu PMs in race to replace Loughman

Five former prime ministers of Vanuatu are lining up to contest the election in a little over two weeks. They are Serge Vohor in Santo, Charlot Salwai and Ham Lini on Pentecost, Sato Kilman on Malekula, and Joe Natuman. The caretaker prime minister Bob Loughman is standing on Tanna. Vohor will contest for his newly established political party Pikinini blong Ground Movement,...

SG Puna confirms friendship with Kiribati President unaffected by Forum withdrawal

The Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Henry Puna said his personal friendship with Kiribati President Taneti Ma'amau has remained unchanged despite the controversial decision of Kiribati to hold to its withdrawal from the Pacific Islands Forum. Secretary General Puna confirmed to a virtual media briefing on the weekend that he had met the President and “despite what is...

Forum statement on UN anniversary deems Russia’s threats on nuclear weapons ‘unacceptable’

A Pacific Islands Forum statement released to mark the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons has criticised Russia's invasion of Ukraine, noting the nuclear threats being made by President Putin and his government are 'unacceptable' the statement on the Forum website, has no speaker as it was submitted in writing. The only other Pacific statement on the...

What to expect from Biden’s summit with Pacific island leaders

By Richard Herr When the White House announced that President Joe Biden will host U.S – Pacific Island Country Summit on 28–29 September, it noted that it’s the ‘first ever’ such meeting. This both focused attention on the importance the U.S attaches to repositioning its place in the Pacific island region and gave a Johnny-come-lately look for a country that...

Boost for Pacific youth sport integrity

Recognising that integrity in sport begins with the youth, the UN Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption Project (UN-PRAC) produced the Integrity and Sport for Pacific Youth Toolkit to help eradicating corruption in sport. Sport has been acknowledged as a very powerful tool in the fight against corruption and the pursuit of integrity, justice and sustainable development, and Pacific Sports Ministers have recognised...

Palau concerned about China’s pressure but committed to Taiwan

Despite pressure from China to do otherwise, Palau intends to continue diplomatic relations with Taiwan, said Palau President Surangel Whipps Jr. He noted, however, that the number of countries with a similar policy toward Taiwan has dropped from 30 to 14 since Taiwan and Palau established diplomatic relations in 1999. “(The drop in the number of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies) is concerning...

Solomons ‘unfairly targeted’ since recognising China, its Prime Minister tells UN

The prime minister of the Solomon Islands complained on Friday that his country had been subjected to "a barrage of unwarranted and misplaced criticisms, misinformation and intimidation" since formalising diplomatic relations with China in 2019. In an address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Manasseh Sogavare said the Solomons had been “unfairly targeted” and “vilified” in the...

At UN, Micronesia denounces Japan plan to release Fukushima water into Pacific

The president of the Pacific island state of Micronesia denounced at the United Nations last Thursday Japan's decision to discharge what he called nuclear-contaminated water from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station into the Pacific Ocean. In an address to the UN General Assembly in New York, David Panuelo said Micronesia had the "gravest concern" about Japan’s decision to release...

Nauru elects new parliament

Nauru's president Lionel Aingimea is among the members of parliament who have been re-elected in the weekend poll. However,  results show that two former presidents, Baron Waqa and Ludwig Scotty, failed to win any of the 19 seats at stake. Marcus Stephen, another former president, also retained his seat. In the Yaren constituency, the two seats were won by women, Charmaine Scotty...

Marshall Islands halt negotiations with U.S over nuclear testing legacy

The Marshall Islands halted key negotiations with the U.S on Friday over ongoing grievances relating to nuclear testing dating back 70 years on the atolls in the heart of the Pacific. Discussions planned for this weekend to renew the terms of the Compact of Free Association -- a key international agreement between the U.S, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Palau...

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