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Local solutions needed for Pacific internet development, says APNIC

Sylvia Cadena is the project officer of the ISIF Asia grant programme.

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Daniel Drageset

Pacific Island communities face huge benefits by developing “their own solutions” – and not relying on help from others to advance their communities’ digital infrastructure, says a central internet organisation.

“I believe the power is in their [Pacific Islanders’] ideas and the power is in the knowledge they have about the real situation, and I think it’s very difficult for people, even for those that are very oriented to help them and thinking they are doing the right thing to impose solutions,” Sylvia Cadena told Pacific Scoop.

She is the project officer of the Information Society Innovation Fund (ISIF) Asia, which awards grants of up to A$30,000 for internet development in the Asia-Pacific region.
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Micronesian senator praises Louisa Wall for ‘equality chance’ bill

David Panuelo

Ponhpei’s David Panuelo … full of praise for New Zealand’s Louisa Wall. Image: FSM govt

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Michael Sergel and Finian Scott

A Micronesian senator has used a forum of Pacific leaders in Wellington to congratulate Louisa Wall and the New Zealand people for “giving equality a chance”.

Speaking less than 40 hours after the passing of the Marriage Amendment Bill, David Panuelo – a male senator from Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia – addressed Louisa Wall directly when he told delegates that he admired New Zealand’s courageous and committed stance on what he said was a “sensitive issue” in his own country.

While he did not explicitly support similar legislation in the federation – where homosexuality is legal but taboo – he used his speech to the Pacific Parliamentary and Political Leaders Forum to argue passionately for moving closer to gender equality in the Pacific. Read more »

Team put together to review Pacific Plan this year

Pacific Plan

The Pacific Plan … under review, criticised. Image: PMC

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By the PMC news desk

An independent review team of leading experts has been named to consider the Pacific Plan during this year.

Pacific Islands Forum leaders nominated a former Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Sir Mekere Morauta, to lead the review at the Forum meeting in the Cook Islands last September.

Following a competitive selection process, the rest of his team has been named. Read more »

Clinton says Pacific ‘big enough’ for both US, China

PIF Retreat

Pacific Islands Forum leaders meet at their retreat on Aitutaki atoll in the Cook Islands yesterday. Image: Cook Islands News

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Shaun Tandon, Neil Sands and Rachel Reeves on Rarotonga

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has vowed the United States will remain active in the South Pacific for the “long haul” but says the region is big enough for a rising China.

Clinton announced some $32 million in new aid projects as she became the first US secretary of state to take part in the traditional dialogue after the Pacific Islands Forum leaders summit, in a sign of renewed interest in the vast region.

Clinton’s visit came as many island states have been forging closer ties with China, which according to Australia’s Lowy Institute has pledged more than $600 million in low-interest and mostly strings-free loans to the South Pacific since 2005. Read more »

Cook Islanders welcome Clinton for post-Forum dialogue with Pacific

Hillary Clinton

Cook Islanders welcome US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Rarotonga last night for the post-Forum dialogue today. Image: CSM

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Calida Smylie on Rarotonga

After much hype and speculation about whether US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would attend the Forum, she finally arrived in Rarotonga last night and was engaged in talks with the Pacific today.

Clinton flew in last night just before 11pm on her personal jet, one of four government C-32s, or a Boeing 757 fitted with auxiliary fuel tanks enabling it to fly about three hours longer than a regular 757.

She had breakfast today with other leaders at Trader Jack’s and afterwards attended the 24th post-forum dialogue partner’s meeting at the National Auditorium. Read more »

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 ‘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 »

Superpowers focus on tiny Rarotonga for the Pacific Forum

US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton … leading largest delegation expected to hit Rarotonga. Image: CSMonitor

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Rachel Reeves in Rarotonga

Some of the world’s most prominent superpowers could converge on the little Pacific island of Rarotonga next week.

The Pacific Islands Forum could be the impetus for the United States, China and Russia to be in the same place at the same time.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is making global headlines this week, as the world wonders whether she is in fact hauling a cargo plane and a delegation of about 50 people to this South Pacific paradise. Read more »

Brazilian leadership credited as Rio declaration endorsed

Iosefa Maiava, Head UN ESCAP Pacific Centre, says the Rio+20 side events are useful and welcomes the reaffirmation of Small Island Developing States in the declaration. Photo: SPREP/Pacific Climate Change

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Makereta Komai in Rio de Janeiro

More than 100 world leaders gathered in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro have put their stamp of approval on the new United Nations declaration on sustainable development, titled the “Future We Want”.

The approval came six hours after the plenary was convened to endorse the new global roadmap to eradicating poverty through sustainable means of development.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff attributed the success of the Rio+20 talks to the skillful art of negotiations by her team and through the collective compromises shown by parties to reach a consensus outcome. Read more »

Rio+20 ‘failure’ – global multinationals hijack conference

Inside Story reports on the “lack of vision” at Rio+20. Guests: Rick Piltz, Nnimmo Bassey, Daniel Morris. Video: Al Jazeera

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By the PMC news desk

Environmentalists have dubbed the Rio+20 conference as “embarrassing and meaningless” – with the leaders of the United States, Britain and Germany snubbing the summit, reports Al Jazeera’s Inside Story.

In contrast, multinational corporations have been well represented, leading some commentators to wonder whether in the push to attract so-called corporate stakeholders to the environmental cause, the UN summit became less about the future of the planet than about the future of corporate profits.

In the Pacific, several non-government organisations have also condemned the conference as a failure. Read more »

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