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Japanese PM assures PNG of continued support

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga says his country will support Papua New Guinea’s electrification programme, provide construction equipment for road development, and help with its emergency K1 billion (US$284.6 million) support loan. He gave this assurance to Prime Minister James Marape during a Virtual Online Bilateral Summit between the two leaders Tuesday. “As part of our cooperation, we will move forward...

Convene Samoa Parliament as per ruling: NZ Foreign Minister

New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta has urged Samoa to convene Parliament following a Supreme Court ruling early in the week that ordered the House to sit within seven days. Mahuta acknowledged the decision of the Court on Monday as well as the Appellate Court last Friday when she took to Twitter on Monday to make the appeal. She called...

ADB launches digital health guide for Pacific

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) today launched its first guide to investing in digital health information systems for those working in the Pacific health sector. The Digital Health Implementation Guide for the Pacific sets out a clear pathway for countries seeking to implement and invest in digital health. The primary audiences for the user-friendly guide are Pacific health managers and...

Vaccines an injection of hope for Pacific

By Kishti Sen & Tom Kenny The COVID-19 vaccine rollout in the Pacific islands has so far exceeded expectations in positive news for the region’s prospects of an economic recovery. In part, this is a result of assistance from the region’s development partners, in particular Australia and New Zealand. Fiji (the Pacific islands’ most populous country) aims to vaccinate 53...

No Government shutdown: Samoa caretaker PM

Samoa caretaker Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi has assured the public in a special address Tuesday that there will not be a shutdown of Government services as there provisions in the law to continue funding public services despite the Parliament not sitting. Speaking on the eve of the new 2021/2022 fiscal year through a special announcement made through the Government’s...

Nauru sets two-year deadline for deep-sea mining rules

The tiny Pacific island nation of Nauru has requested approval for deep-sea mining plans for a subsidiary of The Metals Co, giving the UN International Seabed Authority (ISA) two years to decide on rules for the new and controversial industry. Nauru President Lionel Aingimea notified the president of the council of ISA in a letter dated 25 June and seen...

Tonga firms opposition to deep sea mining

Tonga civil society strongly opposes deep sea mining and reaffirms a total ban on all mining activities, saying the region including the kingdom needs to act. That position was made clear during the recent Pacific Blue Line webinar hosted by the Pacific Network on Globalisation (PANG) and partners, a series that advocates against threats of deep sea mining. Between 2019 and...

Fiji COVID-19 cases soar to 312; four new deaths reported

Fiji has reported an even higher 312 positive COVID-19 cases and four related deaths Tuesday. Ministry of Health and Medical Services permanent secretary Dr James Fong says 17 of those cases are from the Western division: *Four are from the existing containment zones of Tramline and Qima Settlement in Nadi. *One is a prison officer from Suva in the Tavua prison compound,...

PNG, Fiji situation a concern, says NZ health expert

Papua New Guinea and Fiji are among several countries in the region going backwards in their fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and this is concerning, a New Zealand epidemiologist said. PNG has recorded over 170 deaths and more than 17,000 cases of the virus. In Fiji, 19 people have died and over 3,000 active cases in isolation. Professor Michael Baker, from...

Court ruling a step forward for Samoa: expert

The Supreme Court decision ordering Parliament to convene within seven days is a stepping stone for Samoa to move forward, political scientist Dr Christina Laalai-Tausa says. But the New Zealand-based Samoan political scientist and academic says the Court should have included a date in its judgement handed down on Monday. In an interview with the Pacific Media Network, Dr Laalaai-Tausa said...

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Palau president Whipps calls on UN to include Taiwan

Palau President Surangel Whipps Jr on Tuesday urged the United Nations to allow Taiwan to participate in its system on the first day of...

Bill for an Act to amend the Fiji Electoral Registration of Voters Act 2012...

A Bill for an Act to amend the Electoral (Registration of Voters) Act 2012 was passed by the Fijian Parliament today despite strong opposition. This...

Cook Islander Vaine Marsters charged over unlicensed firearms in PNG

-Two expatriates, a 62-year-old man and a 59-year-old woman, were separately charged in Papua New Guinea’s Alotau magistrate’s court last week with possessing unlicensed...