Pacific Scoop

Archive for August, 2012

43rd Pacific Islands Forum Communiqué


Pacific Scoop:

Here is the 43rd Pacific Islands Forum Communiqué released at the end of the Leaders’ Retreat held in Aitutaki in the northern Cook Islands today:


The Forty-Third Pacific Islands Forum was held in Rarotonga, Cook Islands, from 28 to 30 August 2012 and was attended by Heads of State and Governments of Australia, the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Kiribati, the Republic of Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Tonga and Tuvalu. Read more »

Oxfam calls for ‘fair and binding’ Pacific climate change pact

Oxfam’s Barry Coates … better climate change planning and accessible funding needed. Image: Oxfam/PMC

Pacific Scoop:
By Henry Yamo on Rarotonga

Oxfam has called for a “fair and binding” international agreement to boost strategic funding for climate change adaptation for all Pacific countries.

“Much more needs to be done to access climate change finance – a core message is that response to climate change depends heavily on building in-country capacity,” executive director of Oxfam New Zealand Barry Coates said today at the launch of a new Oxfam report on climate change in the Cook Islands.

“And for such capacity to be fully effective, it requires collaboration between all actors at all levels of society.” Read more »

Tongan Language Week – Uike Katoanga’i ‘o e Lea Faka

Press Release – New Zealand Government

Pacific Island Affairs Minister, Hekia Parata, says celebrating New Zealand’s diverse cultures and speaking their languages benefits all of us as Tongan Language Week, Uike Kātoanga’i ‘o e Lea Faka-Tonga , begins tomorrow. Read more »

Temaru, other Pacific leaders back Fiji’s return from cold

Oscar Temaru

French Polynesian leader Oscar Temaru … keen to see Fiji back in the Pacific Islands Forum. Image: Cook Islands News

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Henry Yamo on Rarotonga

French Polynesian President Oscar Temaru backs Fiji’s return to the Pacific Islands Forum in any discussion about its suspension by regional leaders in the near future.

“The Pacific leaders are hopeful that in the very close future Fiji will be back again because all countries in the Pacific are linked and no one should be expelled from this ocean,” he said.

Temaru said the suspended status of Fiji from the Forum and other organisations was a problem that would not last forever. Solutions would be found to include the country again. Read more »

‘Damn I need a Dram’ For Latest Lotto Millionaire

Press Release – New Zealand Lotteries Commission

‘Damn I need a Dram’ For Latest Lotto Millionaire A couple of whiskies were badly needed by Lotto’s latest millionaire – a local Auckland man called Stan. “I had no idea that I had won a big prize until I went to check my ticket today,” … Read more »

$320m given for women ‘shaping Pacific development’ plan

Good funding news for Pacific women … Akaiti Puna, wife of Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna, hosting visiting spouses of Pacific leaders. Image: Cook Islands News

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Rachel Reeves on Rarotonga

The Australian government has made what the UN Women’s Director called an “unprecedented investment” in the women of the Pacific Islands.

Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced yesterday at the Forum Leaders Meeting – before she flew back to Canberra – that her government would be earmarking $320 million to achieve gender equality in the Pacific, under the “Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development” scheme to be rolled out over the next decade.

Her announcement met with enthusiastic applause, and praise from Prime Minister Henry Puna, Forum Secretariat Secretary-General Tuiloma Neroni Slade, and UN Women’s director Michelle Bachelet. Read more »

Embrace digital engagement – don’t fear it, US adviser tells Pacific

Pacific Scoop:

Report – By the Pacific Media Centre news desk

A leading United States digital technology strategist has heralded the positive impact that a “Pacific century” could have on democracy and development in the region.

In an interview with Pacific Scoop’s Suze Metherell, Alec Ross, Senior Adviser on Innovation to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, said governments in the region could benefit from the “connectedness of their citizens”

“There are two approaches governments can take,” he said.

Read more »

Media ban in PNG reveals conflict between PM and immigration

Julia Gillard and Peter O'Neill

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard with PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill at the Pacific Islands Forum before Gillard returned to Australia. Image: Henry Yamo/PMC

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Alex Perrottet of Pacific Media Watch, with Henry Yamo on Rarotonga

Reporters Without Borders has condemned the media ban on foreign journalists entering Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, as reports emerge that Australian Fairfax journalists have been denied visas.

Reports first emerged last week that the Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister Rimbink Pato had banned journalists from the island while preparations were in place for the centres that will house asylum-seekers under the new arrangement with the Australian government.

The minister released a statement on Wednesday saying: “As the minister responsible, I have instructed all the PNG Heads of Overseas Missions, that all foreign media personnel are not to be granted visas to travel to Manus to cover the issue.” Read more »

Paralympic celebrations in the Pacific

Press Release – British High Commission

As the Pacific Islands Forum leaders went off to Autitaki, the British Government hosted a special breakfast on Rarotonga today to celebrate the Paralympic Games. Read more »

Oxfam calls for ‘big picture’ climate change funding in Pacific

Climate change

Tawaa Tebunang, 46, at Tanikabaai Village, Tabontebike, Abaiang, in Kiribati. This land was inundated with water following a king tide in 2004. Many crops
were lost as a result including pawpaw, pandanus, banana, taro and figs amongst others; the soil is now too saline to grow food. Image: Rodney Dekker/Oxfam Australia

A NEW report on the way climate change funding is managed in the Pacific is calling for a coordinated and “inclusive” approach in fighting the multiple threats of climate change. A special Pacific Scoop backgrounder.

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Cassandra Mason

Oxfam has proposed a strategic “big picture” approach to regional coordinated funding for Pacific climate change in a new report launched at the Pacific Islands Forum today with the issue being a “core item” on the agenda.

The report, Owning Adaptation in the Pacific: Strengthening governance of climate adaptation finance, gives a detailed look at how climate finance is being managed in Papua New Guinea, Tonga and Vanuatu and makes recommendations for improvements – and also across the Pacific.

Funded by the British High Commission and launched by Oxfam and Richard Benyon, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Natural Environment and Fisheries in DEFRA, the report acknowledges good work that is already being undertaken by governments, donors and civil society. Read more »

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