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Japan offers 3 million vaccine doses at Pacific Islands Summit

Japan will provide Pacific island nations and territories with 3 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from mid-July through the UN-backed COVAX global vaccine sharing program, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Friday. Suga’s announcement came as leaders of Japan and Pacific island nations and territories held an online meeting Friday, with Tokyo aiming to promote its “Free and Open Indo-Pacific...

PNG vaccine programme opened to all adults

Papua New Guinea has opened its vaccine programme to anyone over 18 years old as it tries to overcome high levels of hesitancy. Health authorities are worried the country is particularly vulnerable to the Delta variant because of its low vaccination levels. Papua New Guinea's vaccination program is off to a slow start — so far just under 55,000 people have...

Fiji PM Bainimarama joins Pacific Leaders and Japan at PALM 9 meeting

The Pacific Island Forum (PIF) Leaders and Prime Minister of Japan Yoshihide Suga convened the 9th Pacific Islands Leaders’ Meeting (PALM 9) Friday with a renewed commitment to sustainable recovery and resilience through regional solidarity. Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama expressed his appreciation to Japan for its leadership through the PALM process which provide opportunities to collaboratively address challenges in...

Samoa to send only overseas athletes to Tokyo 2020 due to COVID-19

Samoa will only send overseas athletes to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games because of concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, the country’s Government has announced. The Samoa Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (SASNOC) has confirmed the Government order has led to the withdrawal of three weightlifters from the team. Vaipava Nevo Ioane and Don Opeloge were due to compete in...

World Rugby ‘offer to help’ blocked Samoa sevens players

World Rugby said on Thursday it has offered to help Samoa sevens players stuck in the United Arab Emirates following last month's Olympic qualifying tournament. The Pacific Islanders have been in Dubai since failing to reach this summer's Tokyo Games after losing in the semi-finals of the preliminary tournament on June 20. They remain in the Middle East after being unable...

Pacific Ministers endorse Port Moresby Declaration on Regional Aviation Safety and Security

Ministers responsible for civil aviation and senior aviation officials from 14 Pacific Islands States convened virtually this week to endorse the Port Moresby Declaration formalising their shared commitments to progressing important Pacific regional aviation matters through a new enhanced collaboration framework. The Regional Aviation Ministers Meeting (RAMM), hosted by the Papua New Guinea government on Wednesday, 30 June, resulted in...

Forget GDP, ‘vulnerability index best gauges aid’ to small islands

Small island nations on the climate crisis frontlines have been overlooked in overseas aid, according to a new index. Urging a move away from the current benchmark of using gross domestic product (GDP) to measure aid allocation, researchers from the Commonwealth secretariat and the Foundation for Studies and Research on International Development (Ferdi), a French thinktank, have developed the universal...

Commonwealth proposes first Global Tourism Action Plan to spur Post-Covid recovery

The dramatic plunge in global tourism due to the COVID-19 pandemic is having far-reaching and devastating effects, particularly for Small States. During a Commonwealth Tourism Seminar, the Commonwealth Secretariat proposed the development of a global 'Tourism Action Plan' to help spur a much-needed recovery. Tourism is the economic lifeblood for many Commonwealth Small States, in particular Small Island Developing States (SIDS)...

Not a lone shark: bull sharks may form ‘friendships’ with each other, study finds

The apex predators show preferences for certain individuals and avoid others, according to new research on sharks in Fiji By Tom Vierus They reach 3.5 metres long, weigh more than 200kg and are an apex predator. But even apex predators need friends. And, according to new research, bull sharks may be capable of making them. A recently published study from Fiji...

Defiant Tuilaepa to appeal Samoa Court ruling

Samoa caretaker Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said they will appeal part of this weeks’ court ruling especially the orders to convene Parliament within seven days of the ruling. Tuilaepa has also said that the judiciary was over-reaching its powers and that one arm of government should not be “Hitler like” and asserting its authority over another. He remains defiant in...

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