Features Archive June 2022

"It is vital that the Pacific is not viewed as a geostrategic chessboard because such activity has real consequences for our people. We have to remain focused on delivering and promoting development that empowers our people and makes our region stronger."

The Pacific is Not a Geostrategic Chessboard

The following is a statement made by the President of Nauru, Lionel Rouwen Aingimea, at the 2022 Pacific Update Conference on Tuesday. He shares his views on Pacific regionalism, Nauru, its Covid-19 situation and on geostrategic competition between China and the West in the Pacific.
Detailing another legal approach, Silas Bule Melve, Minister for Climate Change of Vanuatu, pointed out that his country — as part of a coalition — is planning to ask the International Court of Justice for an advisory opinion on how existing international law contains protections for the oceans.

Small Island States Call for Broader Legal Rules, Stronger Partnerships to Sustainably Manage Oceans

Small island developing States stressed that international law, strong partnerships and honoured commitments chart the way to sustainable ocean management, calling for broader legal rules and demanding greater action from those responsible for increased pressure on marine ecosystems as high-level discussion continued in the historic maritime city.
“The Central Bank of Solomon Islands needs to closely monitor inflation pressures and stand ready to adjust its accommodative policy stance to avoid global inflationary pressures from becoming entrenched domestically. Remedial steps by the government to reduce inflation, such as lower taxes on fuel, should be temporary to mitigate fiscal costs."

IMF Staff Concludes Virtual Visit to Solomon Islands

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) team led by Mr. Jarkko Turunen conducted a virtual mission to Solomon Islands during 14 to 24 June 2022 to discuss recent economic developments and policy plans. At the conclusion of the visit, Mr. Turunen issued the following statement:
The Foreign Minister was already on his way to Lisbon but made the decision to return when China blocked the credentials of three Taiwanese participants on Tuvalu's delegation list.

Tuvalu Withdraws From UN Oceans Conference After China Blocks Delegates

The Tuvalu Government has withdrawn from a UN Oceans Conference in Portugal after China has blocked Taiwanese delegates in its team.
Pacific communities have been able to turn to traditional culture and customary systems in order to support livelihoods and wellbeing during the pandemic.

Culture as a Foundation for Development in the Pacific

During the pandemic there have been extraordinary signs of resilience in Pacific Island states. This is despite the economic hardship caused by over two years of border closures in some countries.
Regarding Pacific Islands’ positions on China, some elites have called for a collective approach to increase Pacific unity and voice. Back in February 2019, then-Pacific Islands Forum secretary general Dame Meg Taylor urged member countries to refrain from considering their own bilateral gains only and to take a collective approach on China.

Pacific Islands Adjusting Their Policies On China?

Geostrategic competition between China and traditional powers is intensifying in the Pacific. A closer look at the proposed agreements will reveal much about China’s motives and can help explain Pacific Islands’ refusal to enter into the agreements.
“We're fighting against extinction at this point” Kelly adds. “But there’s still hope and enough turtles, we believe, that the western Pacific leatherback population can recover. We haven't hit the tipping point, yet.”

Solomon Islands First Female Rangers Help Save Leatherback Turtles

Sasakolo beach looks like any other in the South Pacific: a strip of sand buttressed by coconut palms, low green hill rising in the distance.
Under the Rudd government a pilot scheme for up to 2,500 seasonal workers per year from Kiribati, PNG, Tonga and Vanuatu was implemented. The scheme was made permanent in 2012 as the Seasonal Worker Program (SWP).

Australia and New Zealand in the Pacific: the Difference is Migration Policy

During her recent visit to Fiji, new Foreign Minister Penny Wong announced that the Australian government would create a Pacific Engagement Visa, providing a pathway to permanent residency for Pacific Islanders and their families.
Mr. Evans has more than 40 years of sustainable development and climate change experience with various multilateral development banks, private organizations, and other international organizations.

ADB Appoints Warren Evans as Special Senior Advisor for Climate Change

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) today announced the appointment of Warren Evans as Special Senior Advisor (Climate Change), Office of the President.
Australia can and should provide a lead in the Pacific region in advancing new policies to work with partners to enhance outcomes for the region, using the vehicles of skilling and labour mobility.

A Proposal For a New Regional Compact to Promote People Mobility

The call for Australia to offer more labour mobility access to the Pacific has been a common theme of commentators (e.g. from the Lowy Interpreter and ASPI Strategist), as a key part of a response to recent geopolitical maneuvering in the Pacific.
Wang’s withdrawal of the proposed agreement and several Pacific Island countries’ tepid response to it dominated headlines during Wang’s trip.

Four Takeaways From China’s Tour of the Pacific Islands

As U.S.-China competition in the region heats up, Pacific Island nations want to ensure engagement with both powers is on their own terms.
"We will ensure that those Pacific Islanders who come to work in Australia are treated fairly – with better conditions. We will allow workers to bring their families. And we will create the Pacific Engagement Visa – to provide a pathway to permanency for 3,000 members of our Pacific family per year."

New Australian Government Confirms its New Pacific Migration Policies

Australia’s new foreign minister Penny Wong has wasted no time visiting Fiji, Samoa and Tonga in a whirlwind tour, in which she outlined the incoming Labor government’s new Pacific migration policies.
The launch also showcased a performance by members of the Dreamcast theatre group which highlighted key issues communities face and linked how communities can use the platform to address such issues.

PSO Launches Mobile Platform for Legal Information Through Multi-stakeholder Partnership

The launch of a new mobile platform by the Public Solicitor’s Office (PSO) means that over 460,000 mobile users in Solomon Islands, representing 66.3 percent of the population, will be able to access legal information at their own convenience from their own communities.
The launch of the PSO website coincided with a PSO office tour showcasing a refurbished office space, enhancing both the work environment for PSO staff and the consultation environment for clients.

Solomon Islands PSO Digitalization Enhances Inclusive Access to Legal Information

A new website for the Public Solicitor’s Office (PSO) will make free legal information available to support Solomon Islanders address their justice issues.
"On average all the provinces are receiving a sum of SBD$6 million to SBD$7 million per annum. This is approximately equivalent to the sum each constituency is raking in from the government coffers annually. But interestingly the CDF has been been escaping the audit spotlight for years."

Why Is the Constituency Fund Audit Proof?

Someone just asked this big time question and it deserves our time and effort given the significant resources involved.