Tonga PM addresses importance of unity to Commonwealth leaders

“The Commonwealth needs to work and walk together for a more secure and sustainable future, PM Hu’akavameiliku told its Leaders in London on Friday, 5 May 2023.

"In the Pacific region, we know that when you walk alone, you might get there quicker, if you’re lucky. But if we walk together, we go farther, we are more secure, we are more sustainable, and we will get to our destination.”

Commonwealth mobilises Tonga volcano and tsunami humanitarian relief

About 85 percent of the country has been affected, with vital communications networks cut off for days and water supply severely compromised by acid rain and ashfall.

Three people have lost their lives.

In the wake of the disaster, there has been an outpouring of support from across the world, including from Commonwealth member governments such as Australia, Fiji, India, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, who, alongside many other nations, have generously provided much needed humanitarian relief.

Commonwealth health ministers demand equal access to COVID-19 vaccines for the world

In the statement on behalf of the 54 Commonwealth member countries, they expressed deep concern over the stark gaps in access and delivery of doses, especially in poor countries, and called for “fair and transparent” pricing for the vaccine.

Only 0.3 per cent of the life-saving vaccine doses have been administered in 29 poor countries. About 84 per cent of shots have been given in high and upper-middle-income countries.

Commonwealth Heads of Government adopt marine conservation charter

The Blue Charter maps out efforts to protect oceans and marine environments throughout the Commonwealth, from threats such as climate change, pollution and over fishing.

Vanuatu and Fiji have been nominated by the United Kingdom as countries to champion the Blue Charter's cause in their region.

Representatives of the two Pacific countries spoke about the Charter at a press conference on the sidelines of this week's Commonwealth summit in London.

Commonwealth citizens can now apply to join British Army

The British Army has welcomed soldiers from Commonwealth countries for many years; however, under previous rules, people could only join if they had lived in the UK for five years.

Commonwealth nationals will now be able to apply for positions including Medical Technician, Logistic Supply Specialist, Chef, Vehicle Mechanic, Metalsmith and Gunner Logistics Specialist.

Research helps Tonga identify areas for improvement in governance

Visiting Nuku’alofa this week a team of three researchers were building up a profile of Tonga’s strengths and weaknesses in its ability to govern itself and respond to challenges of many kinds.

Planning for "Blue Economy", a priority for Tonga

Deodat said that getting Tonga to start working on a long term plan on how to develop its Blue Economy, “is a priority area for us in the Commonwealth and for Tonga as well.”

He pointed to the fact that most small island states have very little land mass but they have thousands of square kilometres of sea territory and the “Blue Economy” is a marine-based economy.

He said that traditionally in underdeveloped countries when you think economic development you think about agriculture and the building of infrastructure on land.

Commonwealth urges Pacific to engage youth

Commonwealth youth ministers are meeting in Samoa next week to discuss the issues and challenges facing the region's youth.

The programme manager Sushil Ram says at 60 percent, the Pacific has the highest youth population of any commonwealth region and engaging young people in development is simply common sense.