Regional

Just Married! Prince Harry and Meghan Markle declared husband and wife

WINDSOR, England (Reuters) – Britain’s Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle were pronounced husband and wife on Saturday by the Archbishop of Canterbury in a glittering union that brought a measure of modern Hollywood...

Call for help for Pacific’s neglected nuclear test victims

WELLINGTON, 18 MAY 2018 (RNZ PACIFIC) – An academic who was part of a Nobel Prize-winning campaign for a treaty against nuclear weapons says more needs to be done to help victims of nuclear weapons testing. The director of the International Disarmament Institute at New York’s Pace University, Matthew Bolton, said the United Nations Treaty...

UN to investigate mysterious emissions of banned ozone-damaging CFCs

BONN, 18 MAY 2018 (CLIMATE HOME) – The United Nation will assess evidence of mysterious emissions of prohibited ozone-damaging chemicals, officials have said. A study published in scientific journal Nature on Wednesday found higher than expected levels of CFC-11 in the air, a human-made chemical known to deplete the ozone layer. It pointed to new...

Climate Change assistance for Pacific

WELLINGTON, 19 MAY 2018 (MFAT) – New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced that the government has agreed to a long term approach to assist Pacific Island states in meeting the challenges of climate change. “We cannot ignore the risks faced by our Pacific Island neighbours who are uniquely vulnerable to the impacts...

APEC orchid is a unique PNG hybrid

PORT MORESBY,17 MAY 2018 (POST COURIER) – The dendrobium APEC PNG orchid will be the official flower for APEC. The orchid is a unique blend of hybrid orchids from Central, East Sepik, Morobe and the New Guinea Islands. It took three years to grow. Minister responsible for APEC Justin Tkatchenko, in announcing the orchid, said...

World Bank calls for greater female participation in Seasonal Worker Program

SYDNEY,17 MAY 2018 (WORLD BANK) – Australia’s Seasonal Worker Programme is delivering more than just financial benefits to Pacific Island countries, with a new study finding that the scheme is also a factor in bringing about positive social impacts both for families that participate, as well as those that don’t. The report undertaken by the...

Australia upholds Nauru decision to reject three refugee claims

CANBERRA, 17 MARCH 2018 (AP) – Australia’s highest court on Wednesday rejected the refugee claims of two Pakistani and a Nepalese asylum seeker because they could find somewhere safe in their homelands to live. The High Court unanimously upheld the decisions of the Supreme Court of Nauru, where the asylum seekers have lived since 2013....

Paris ‘schizophrenic’ over its Pacific colonies, says Tahiti’s Brotherson

PAPE’ETE, 17 MAY 2018 (RNZ PACIFIC) – A leading French Polynesian pro-independence politician has described the French government’s stance towards its Pacific colonies as schizophrenic. Five years ago, the UN General Assembly re-inscribed French Polynesia on the decolonisation list, but Moetai Brotherson said French diplomats still boycotted any UN negotiations involving the territory. Paris described...

New Zealand citizens can vote in Cook Islands elections

RAROTONGA, 17 MAY 2018 (COOK ISLANDS NEWS) – New Zealand citizens who have resided in the Cook Islands for 12 continuous months at any given time of their lives are eligible to vote in the 2018 General Elections. They join Cook Islanders and permanent residents of the Cook Islands to make up the electoral roll...

Commonwealth countries should take bold action to slash number of lifestyle-related deaths

LONDON, 16 MAY 2018 (COMSEC) – Governments must take bold action if they are to tackle non-communicable diseases (NCDs) that blight the lives of millions of Commonwealth citizens. In a new report commissioned by the Commonwealth, recommendations such as establishing 100 per cent smoke-free public spaces and introducing a 20 per cent sugar tax on...

Fisheries’ chance to ‘get it right’

RAROTONGA, 16 MAY 2018 (COOK ISLANDS NEWS) – The Western and Central Pacific region is in a good position to put measures in place to ensure a robust tuna stock for the future. Alfred “Bubba” Cook, World Wide Fund for Nature’s Western and Central Pacific tuna programme manager, says these measures will help the region...

NZ takes lead in Pacific cyber-security network

AUCKLAND, 16 MAY 2018 (NZ WIRES) – Cyber security entities from 14 Pacific nations have formed the Pacific Cyber Security Operational Network (PaCSON), with CERT NZ named as its inaugural chair. CERT NZ and PaCSON representative Jamison Johnson says the countries in the network are Australia, the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, New...

Cook Islands Party says it will develop affordable childcare

RAROTONGA, 16 MAY 2018 (COOK ISLANDS NEWS) – If it is returned to government in the June 14 election, the Cook Islands Party will look into “the unexplored frontier” of paid work being a right for women who currently do countless hours of unpaid work looking after children, those with special needs, and the elderly....

PNG benefits from Japan’s funding

TOKYO, 16 MAY 2018 (POST COURIER) – Papua New Guinea benefits from Japan’s PEC (Pacific Environment Community) Fund of JP¥440 million (K12.57million) which was allocated to install Solar Powered Seawater Desalination Plants in Manus Province. At the climate change briefing in Tokyo, Japan’s director of climate change Tomoaki Ishigaki said that Japan also funded PNG’s...

Enact 50 per cent quota for Vanuatu women in Parliament

PORT VILA, 16 MAY 2018 (VANUATU DAILY POST) – Women leaders from throughout Vanuatu have petitioned the Government of Vanuatu to enact a 50 per cent quota for women’s equal representation in Parliament. The petition was handed to the Acting Prime Minister, Jean-Pierre Nirua,Tuesday, during the official segment of the celebration by Acting President of...

PNG could sign onto Pacific trade pact

BRISBANE, 15 MAY 2018 (AAP) – Papua New Guinea’s trade minister has hinted his country could potentially sign up to a free trade deal with Australia, New Zealand and 12 Pacific island countries by the end of the year. The Pacific Pacer Plus free trade deal was signed last year after eight years of talks...

Ruling on Pangu Pati duo set for June 12

PORT MORESBY, 15 MAY 2018 (POST COURIER) – The Waigani Committal Court in Papua New Guinea will rule on June 12 on whether to commit Pangu Pati duo Patrick Pundau and Morris Tovebae to stand trial at the National Court. Magistrate Mekeo Gauli set the date last Friday after hearing submission from the duo’s lawyer...

Japan PM to meet O’Neill

TOKYO, 15 MAY 2018 (POST COURIER) – Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and his counterpart Japan’s Shinzo Abe are expected to discuss on PNG’s hosting of the APEC Summit in November. All Pacific leaders scheduled to start arriving in Japan today will also be briefed. Japan’s support for APEC PNG 2018 has been...

PM Houenipwela to host Pacific leaders in Honiara

HONIARA,15 MAY 2018 (SIBC) – Solomon Islands Prime Minister Rick Hou will chair the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) meeting in Honiara July this year. The Secretary General of PIDF Francois Martel recently briefed the Prime Minister on the progress of arrangements. Preparations are underway and invitations for the participating countries have been sent out....

PNG secondary school to close as govt funds dry up

A Papua New Guinea secondary school is preparing to close at the end of this week due to funding shortfalls.