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Bougainville President commends PNG intervention in Solomon Islands

The current troubles in the Solomon Islands must not be seen as an opportunity by Bougainvilleans to prey on the nation's instability says Bouganville President Ishmael Toroama. He said Bougainville has long shared traditional and familial ties with the Solomon Islands. However, the Solomon Islands remain an independent sovereign nation. “Many Bougainvilleans will have a vested interest in the situation in...

COVID-19: WHO’s Tedros criticises ‘blunt’ Omicron measures

The head of the UN health agency has criticised “blunt” and “blanket” measures taken by countries in the past few days to stop the spread of the Omicron variant. In a statement on Tuesday, the World Health Organisation Director-General said that it was “deeply concerning” that Botswana and South Africa, where the new variant was first identified, were “being penalised...

Unease builds over New Caledonia referendum

There is growing unease over the French decision to hold New Caledonia's third and final independence referendum on 12 December. Pro-independence parties and groups decided last month that because of the pandemic, they will stay away from the polls. The decolonisation mechanism, at play for 30 years, will therefore reach its formal end without the full participation of the colonised people...

Fiji’s international borders re-open today

Fiji’s international borders will reopen today after almost two years. This has brought in much excitement for the people of Fiji as the first tourist flight lands at the Nadi international airport this morning. This first flight is a strong indication of our resilience to get through the pandemic and a ray of hope for many employees of the tourism sector...

US$5 million ADB grant to support Tonga’s post covid-19 economic recovery

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Tonga have signed a US$5 million grant agreement to help restore and accelerate private sector-led economic growth in Tonga after the COVID-19 pandemic. The agreement, under the ADB's Tonga Economic Recovery Support Programme, was jointly signed by ADB Pacific Department Deputy Director General Emma Veve and Tonga's Minister of Finance, Tevita...

Forum Foreign Ministers Joint Statement on Blue Pacific Leadership in Disaster Preparedness Planning

As the World Health Assembly meets to consider pandemic preparedness and response, in the face of the new Omicron strain of COVID-19 and at the start of the Pacific cyclone season, Forum Foreign Ministers have released a Joint Statement on Blue Pacific Leadership in Disaster Preparedness Planning. Forum Foreign Ministers voice deep concern over the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic...

No one is safe unless everyone is safe: making emergency response safe for women and girls

Op-ed authored by Sanaka Samarasinha, UN Resident Coordinator to Fiji, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu & Vanuatu. During natural disasters and emergencies, women and girls are more at risk of experiencing violence, exploitation and abuse. Simultaneously, emergencies weaken national systems, including health and legal systems, and community and social support networks. This breakdown of systems can reduce access to health services, including...

Fiji troops deployed to assist Melanesian family

Today, a contingent of 50 Republic of Fiji Military Forces(RFMF) personnel depart Fiji to assist in the restoration of security and stability in the Solomon Islands. This after Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama assured his Solomon Islands counterpart of our support should they need our assistance. The request was accepted and the troops were prepared. Commander RFMF Major General Jone Kalouniwai in...

Pentagon to build up U.S bases in Australia and Guam to meet China challenge

The Pentagon will focus on building up bases in Australia and Guam to better prepare the U.S military to counter China, a senior defence official said. The moves have been prompted by the U.S Department of Defence's global posture review, which President Joe Biden ordered Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin to undertake shortly after taking office in February. Austin started the...

New Zealand: No longer Australia’s Pacific security partner?

Wellington has appeared slow to respond to a crisis in Solomon Islands where once it would have been a regional leader. By Robert Ayson The prophecy was delivered in 2014. “It is likely that over the next ten years,” Wellington’s Defence Assessment foretold, “New Zealand will deploy military and other assets in support of a Pacific Islands Forum member in crisis...

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