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Tonga must urgently invest in disaster risk preparedness, Fekita tells Commonwealth

Tonga faces continual challenges and is extremely vulnerable to the existential threat of climate change and climate disasters, the Minister for Foreign Affairs told Commonwealth counterparts in Canada. “We must urgently invest in more disaster risk preparedness,” Fekita 'Utoikamanu told the CPA Small Branches Network in Halifax, Canada. She was speaking on a panel, addressing Disaster Risk Preparedness for Small Jurisdictions,...

Tuimalealiifano reappointed as Samoa Head of State

Samoa's Legislative Assembly this morning reappointed Tuimaleali’ifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II as the Head of State for a second term of five years. The announcement came from the Speaker of the House, Papalii Lio Masipau informing Parliament of the notice from the Government to support the re-election of Tuimalealiifano. Tuimalealiifano had his first term in office extended in late July this year...

Dissolving Vanuatu Parliament irresponsible: Regenvanu

The former Vanuatu Leader of the Opposition, Ralph Regenvanu, has labelled the decision of the Council of Ministers (COM) to request the President to dissolve Parliament as grossly irresponsible and reckless. Regenvanu says that COM's decision to dissolve Parliament only halfway through its term, as well as being a totally selfish and self-serving act, also demonstrates their complete disregard for...

Private islands sale triggers national security concern

A potential sale to Chinese interests, of the privately owned Conflict Islands – which lie in the Coral Sea off Australia's east coast – would put our national security at risk, according to defence experts. Retired Australian businessman Ian Gowrie-Smith is placing his group of 21 atolls in Papua New Guinea's Milne Bay Province on the open market. The Conflict Islands...

Climate risk assessment of Kiribati finds significant ecological and financial risk

New assessment says Kiribati vulnerable to coastal flooding and erosion and identifies investments and recommendations to protect coastal communities. The Kiribati Ministry of Environment, Lands and Agriculture Developments, the Stimson Centre, and the Commonwealth Secretariat, through Commonwealth Blue Charter programme, Monday announced completion of a rapid assessment of climate and ocean risks and options to address these risks in Tarawa,...

Urgent Vanuatu Constitutional application registered

The 27 signatories of the motion of no confidence against Vanuatu caretaker Prime Minister, Bob Loughman, filed Monday in Court their urgent constitutional application on the dissolution of the Parliament by the Head of State, following the advice of the Council of Ministers (COM). Former Leader of the Opposition, Ralph Regenvanu, confirmed that in their submission they are challenging the...

Nauru Court of Appeal heard its first case in several years

The Nauru Court of Appeal opened Monday and heard its first case in several years, followed by several criminal and civil appeals listed to be heard over the next fortnight with a further session of two weeks allocated to consider refugee appeals. Acting President of the Court of Appeal Justice Dr Shirani Bandaranayake opened the session, 22 August and is...

Regional officers deliberate on policing issues

Several women in policing from across the region are convening at the 17th Annual Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police Women Advisory Network in Nadi. The two-day event is an opportunity to discuss challenges and barriers that female officers face in the workplace. Bereta Naisua, the Chair of the Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police Women Advisory Network says the love for a...

Unverified report of illness linked to mussels from Fiji being sold in NZ

Authorities in New Zealand have found mussels from Fiji on sale at independent retailers and on social media. New Zealand Food Safety has not assessed Fiji’s related growing, harvesting and processing controls so while mussels from Fiji may be brought into the country for personal use, they cannot be sold. There has been one unverified report of illness linked to mussels...

It’s time for Pacific security collaboration to tackle the region’s growing drug crisis

By Kuliniasi Ligaitamana Tukutukuwaqa It’s time for Pacific law enforcement agencies to work together, rather than trying to combat the region’s growing drug crisis in isolation Law enforcement agencies in the Pacific can no longer afford to work in isolation. Transnational organised criminal syndicates have long used the Pacific in the past as a transit point for their illicit activities, including...

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