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Women campaigners take on Pacific militarisation and human rights

Filmmaker Anne Keala Kelly

Hawai’ian filmmaker Anne Keala Kelly (second from right) with campaigners against militarisation in the Pacific at the WILPF conference in Auckland last night. Image: Del Abcede/PMC

Pacific Scoop:
Report – by the Pacific Media Centre news desk

Women campaigners from across the Pacific gathered on ANZAC Day in New Zealand for a three-day hui about militarisation of the region and called for indigenous people’s rights before “corporate rights” in development.

Organised by the Aotearoa Section of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), New Zealand’s oldest peace movement, activists have come from Australia, Fiji, Japan, New Zealand, the Philippines and Tahiti to the conference hosted at AUT University in Auckland by the Pacific Media Centre.

Last night the powerful documentary Noho Hewa: The Wrongful Occupation of Hawai’i by Anne Keala Kelly about the “recolonisation” of the islands by American economic and business interests and the desecration of sacred lands was screened. Read more »

New free press book a must read for Pacific ‘media spoilers’


David Robie talks to Te Waha Nui’s Monique McKenzie about the new book.

Pacific Scoop:
News review – By Patrick Craddock in Suva

Don’t Spoil My Beautiful Face: Media, Mayhem and Human Rights in the Pacific is being published today while Fiji is voicing the mantra of the “free press” at the same time as it continues to ban experienced Pacific reporters such as Barbara Dreaver and Michael Field from New Zealand and Sean Dorney of the ABC.

Ashwin Raj, chairman of the new Media Industry Development Authority (MIDA) is haranguing journalists at public media meetings using expressions such as “…the complicity of select Fijian journalists and media either wittingly or those that remain oblivious to the laws of Fiji…”

The same MIDA that is so upset with Sean Dorney’s mild comment that “there was a feeling in the room anyway that the situation in Fiji wasn’t as free and open for the media as it should be” is also asking for “an ethos of robust debate”. Read more »

WILPF conference to throw spotlight on militarisation in Pacific


The Noho Hewa documentary trailer.

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Pacific Media Watch

A major conference to be held in Auckland over ANZAC weekend will throw the spotlight on militarisation around the Pacific.

The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) is holding its Asia-Pacific conference at the Auckland University of Technology. The conference is being co-sponsored by Peace Movement Aotearoa and AUT’s Pacific Media Centre.

“Most New Zealanders are familiar with the consequences of militarisation and violence in Fiji, or with French military nuclear testing, but perhaps they are less aware of the many other forms that militarisation is taking throughout our region right now,” says WILPF Aotearoa president Céline Kearney. Read more »

USP appoints new journalism coordinator amid controversy

cpacific Wansolwara pageplate 425wide

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Shireen Lata in Suva

A former broadcast journalism lecturer and media centre broadcaster of the University of the South Pacific, New Zealander Patrick Craddock, is returning to Suva to take up the journalism coordinator’s post.

Craddock replaces Australian Dr Ian Weber who resigned suddenly last week.

Craddock has worked for nearly 20 years in different countries in Africa and the Pacific teaching radio journalism, writing scripts and producing radio drama for adult education. Read more »

The diplomacy of decolonisation – plenty of Pacific flashpoints to challenge officials

Paul Neaoutyine

New Caledonia’s Northern Province independence leader Paul Neaoutyine … negotiated contracts with South Korea and China. Image: David Robie/PMC

Decolonisation might not look like a hot-button issue but after Australia’s Security Council win the country will now have to start taking it seriously in the Pacific. A special two-part report.

Pacific Scoop:
Analysis – By Nic Maclellan

The successful bid for a rotating seat on the UN Security Council places Australia in an interesting place. Over the next few years, the country will be in the spotlight as the United Nations addresses hot-button international issues: maritime disputes between China and its Asia-Pacific neighbours; the prospects for Palestinian statehood; negotiations for a global climate treaty and a new compact to replace the Millennium Development Goals after 2015.

But closer engagement with the United Nations will also create a few thorny dilemmas on issues that receive less international attention.

One often ignored issue is the future of the UN Special Committee on Decolonisation and the lack of international action to complete the UN agenda on self-determination and political independence. 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

PIF

Pacific Scoop:
Report

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:

FORUM COMMUNIQUÉ

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 »

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