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EU Council partially suspends Vanuatu visa waiver agreement due to risks posed by golden passport schemes

The Council of the European Union(EU) has decided to partially suspend the visa waiver agreement with Vanuatu due to the risks posed by its investor citizenship schemes (‘golden passport’ schemes). The suspension concerns only citizens of Vanuatu holding ordinary passports issued since 25 May 2015, when these Vanuatu investment citizenship schemes entered into force. At the end of this process,...

No reserved seats for PNG women in Parliament

The plan to have five regional seats reserved for women beginning in the general election this year has been shelved, a senior Papua New Guinea government official told a parliamentary committee last week. Ivan Pomaleu, the secretary to the Department of Prime Minister and National Executive Council, told the committee looking into gender-based violence, that Cabinet on 15 December last...

‘It’s our collective responsibility’ — Pacific researchers urge world leaders to help the islands fight climate change

Pacific researchers are calling for the planet’s leaders to join forces with them to fight climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its sixth assessment into the impacts of rising temperatures with a focus on communities, ecosystems and biodiversity last week. The report painted a bleak picture for the next decade with temperatures expected to top 1.5 degrees Celsius...

SPREP applauds endorsement of resolution to end Plastic Pollution

The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) has applauded the historic endorsement of the resolution to End Plastic Pollution: Towards an International Legally Binding Instrument at the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-5) at Nairobi last week. SPREP’s Pacific member countries were among 175 nations to endorse the resolution, which establishes an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) to work with the...

‘Trojan horse’: Palau’s bid to become global crypto hub could turn it into scammers paradise, critics warn

Palau’s new digital residency programme could leave it open to crypto scammers and corruption, critics have warned, arguing that not enough due diligence has been done on the scheme. The programme allows foreigners to buy an e-residency card which in turn allows them to start companies and sign documents, among other things. Most importantly, when the relevant legislation is passed,...

Wenda likens Ukraine crisis to that of West Papua

A leading West Papuan activist is comparing the plight of his region to that of the crisis in Ukraine. Benny Wenda, who is the Interim President of the United Liberation Movement of West Papua (ULMWP) says even as the world looks on in horror at Russia's invasion, West Papuans feel a special affinity to the Ukranian people. “We feel their terror,...

Fiji stands for peace says PM

Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says Fiji will always support peace. Speaking on Radio Fiji One’s “Nai Lalakai” programme, the Prime Minister says Fiji has Ukraine in its prayers as the invasion by Russia continues. He said Fiji has already made its stance clear that it does not support what Ukrainians are going through. Bainimarama said the world is going through a...

No poverty reduction in Fiji over the last six years

Written by Neelesh Gound The Fiji Bureau of Statistics (FBS) released its preliminary report on the 2019-2020 Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES) on 08 February. The survey is based on a representative sample of 6,000 households and was conducted from February 2019 to February 2020. Thus the 2019-2020 HIES report provides a snapshot of poverty prior to the impact...

Fijian Drua claim historic win over Melbourne Rebels

Fijian Drua have trampled the Melbourne Rebels' season further into the ground, coming from behind to claim their first Super Rugby Pacific victory. The newcomers trailed 14-0 and were a man down thanks to a yellow card before turning it on at Sunshine Coast Stadium in an historic 31-26 win. Missing 14 men through injury and suspension, it was the biggest...

Byrne confident Fijian Drua success can help Fiji improve

Fijian Drua coach Mick Byrne expects his team's involvement in Super Rugby Pacific to have a positive impact on Fiji's national side after the competition's newest franchise picked up their first win on Saturday. The Drua handed Melbourne Rebels a 31-26 defeat in their third appearance in this year's newly expanded Super Rugby championship, and Byrne is confident the ramifications...

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