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Massive referendum boycott highlights ongoing division in New Caledonia

By Nic Maclellan Provisional figures in the New Caledonia referendum on self-determination show an overwhelming No to independence. But this result only comes from the peaceful and disciplined response to the independence movement’s call for “non-participation” in Sunday’s vote. With 75,762 people voting No to independence, only 2,755 people voted Yes to the question “Do you want New Caledonia to...

New Caledonia votes to stay in France; separatists boycott

Voters in the French island territory of New Caledonia chose overwhelmingly Sunday to stay part of France, in a referendum boycotted by pro-independence forces and closely watched around the South Pacific. French President Emmanuel Macron hailed the result as a resounding confirmation of France’s role in the Indo-Pacific, and announced negotiations on the territory’s future status. Separatist activists expressed dismay,...

Samoa Speaker to delay swearing in of two women MPs

Samoa Speaker of Parliament, Papali’i Li’o Oloipola Tae’u Masipa’u is considering delaying the Swearing in of the two women appointed under Article 44 (1A), when parliament sits on Tuesday. In a press statement, the Speaker outlined his reasons as: *The Warrant of appointment of the two (2) women is being challenged in court as to the validity, as to whether it...

Over 53,000 displaced by king tides in PNG

More than 53,000 people in the coastal areas and atolls have been displaced and affected by king tides in Papua New Guinea, the National Disaster Centre says. The Autonomous Bougainville Government has already allocated K937,200(US$265,871) to provide emergency food and medicine including logistics to the affected areas in the region while further assessment is carried out by National Disaster Centre...

More than half a billion pushed into extreme poverty due to health costs

The COVID-19 pandemic is likely to halt two decades of global progress towards Universal Health Coverage, according to reports released on Sunday from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and World Bank, which reveal more than half a billion people are being pushed into extreme poverty because they have to pay for health services out of their own pockets. The findings...

French Polynesia vaccination law endorsed by Paris court

The French Polynesian government says France's highest court has approved the local vaccination law, which will now come into force in January. Anyone working in healthcare or with the public has to be vaccinated against Covid-19 according to the law adopted in late August. However, there have been several legal challenges, which prompted the government to defer the law's enforcement from...

Palau gets vehicles, protocol training from Indonesia ahead of Our Ocean Conference

Palau last week received 10 police vehicles and four protocol cars from The Indonesian government in support of preparations for the upcoming Our Ocean Conference in February. The donation of vehicles amounting to almost US700,000 will assist Palau’s public safety and protocol functions. The Indonesian government was represented in person by Minister-Counselor Isman Pasha at the handover ceremony on Wednesday. Vice President...

Villagers file human rights complaint over plan for giant PNG goldmine

More than 2,000 people in 60 villages in Papua New Guinea’s north – where the country’s largest gold, copper and silver mine is slated to be built – have filed a human rights complaint with the Australian government against developer PanAust. The landowners of the proposed Frieda River mine, on a tributary to the Sepik in the north of New...

Only 11pc of Papua New Guinea population vaccinated

With 22 days away to go before the year ends, Papua New Guinea is well short of reaching its goal of vaccinating 1.8 million people against the Coronavirus (Covid-19) in 2021, a doctor says. National Pandemic Response deputy controller Dr Daoni Esorom said so far, only 279,220 had received at least the first dose. There are 211,421 who have been...

U.S request for more bigeye tuna denied by Pacific Tuna Commission

A drive to increase Hawaii longliners’ bigeye tuna quota has again fallen short at the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC). The U.S delegation to the WCPFC requested that its longline bigeye quota be increased by 3,000 metric tonnes, noting stocks appeared to not be overfished and were not unhealthy, so could withstand an increase in fishing levels. The proposed...

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Pacific Defence Ministers to meet in New Caledonia

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