Pacific countries

Fij praised for taking on COP23 presidency

Germany is hosting the UN climate change meeting this November in Bonn.

At a side event this week at the UN General Assembly in New York, Mr Flasbarth linked the possibilities that can be derived when two different nations work together to build awareness on climate change.

At the same event, the Fiji prime minister Frank Bainimarama reiterated the importance of working closely with Germany.

Climate change implicated in dengue fever outbreaks in Pacific islands

New Zealand travellers are being warned to take precautions when going to affected areas amid a surge of dengue fever in the Pacific this year, and a “type 2” strain that hasn't been seen in 20 years.

The symptoms of aching joints, headaches and fever are the same, but the absence of the strain until recently means many people haven't developed immunity to it.

France to be COP23 spokesman

Speaking at the 10th conference of Pacific Community (SPC), French Overseas Minister Annick Girardin thanked the Pacific for the support it provided for the successful adoption of the Paris Agreement during COP21.
 
“I want to thank you for the unfailing support that you provided during COP21. It was due to your contributions and commitment that COP21 was so successful.
 

PACER Plus could erode social services in Pacific says CTU

The CTU secretary Sam Huggard presented evidence to New Zealand Parliament's Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade select committee.

Mr Huggard examined the progress on the PACER-Plus trade agreement.

He said taxes on goods from Australia and New Zealand support health, education and social services, for which there are few alternatives.

"One of those would be a consumer tax like a GST or a VAT, and in the end those taxes hit the poor much stronger than they hit people who are well-off."

Sweden backs Pacific human rights programme

The agreement focuses on the SPC's Regional Rights Resource Team (RRRT) based in Suva.

The SPC said it was pleased the Swedish government shared its vision for a socially just and equitable Pacific and had matched that commitment with material action.

Anne-Charlotte Malm from Sweeden's Regional Asia and Pacific Embassy in Bangkok said Sweden was excited about the partnership.

Another successful South Pacific Tourism Exchange in Sydney, Australia

A majority of participants expressed their gratification with the two-day event and their commitment to participation in the next SPTE.

A majority of the participants had established new networks, clients and contacts at the event and had gained new information, with a number of buyers securing actual bookings, contracts and package deals.

New trade deal could divide Pacific - NZ MP

The veteran of the aid and development sector is critical of the PACER PLUS agreement involving New Zealand and Australia and 12 island countries that is set to be signed in June.

But missing from it are the two biggest economies among the island nations, Papua New Guinea and Fiji.

While PACER is being touted by Australia and New Zealand as a great deal for the island countries, Mr Coates said they get few benefits.

The MP said the deal also goes against the emphasis placed on regionalism by Australia and New Zealand.

NZ Green MP says little in PACER Plus for Pacific countries

Barry Coates said most of the gains would go to New Zealand and Australia.

He said market access was still denied for many fruits and vegetables, particularly into Australia, there was no long-term commitment on visas for seasonal labourers, and only a fraction of the aid needed for the island countries to build their exporting capacity.

Mr Coates, who had previously worked in the aid and development sector as head of OXFAM in New Zealand, said the PACER deal, from when it was first mooted 16 years ago, was always meant to be for the people of the island countries.

Pacific countries sign Whale Declaration in Tonga

The countries involved are Australia, the Cook Islands, Fiji, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga and Tuvalu.

The initiative includes strengthened whale conservation measures across the Pacific region.orxcis to conserve the population of whales available for future generations in the Pacific.

The conference was part of the 'Year of the Whale in the Pacific Islands' and the declaration included a commitment to recognised the deep cultural relationship, including traditional knowledge, between whales and Pacific peoples.

Faced with ‘clear science, real threats’ countries must remain committed to Paris climate deal – UN

“We are dealing with scientific facts, not politics. And the facts are clear. Climate change is a direct threat in itself, and a multiplier of many other threats,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres told a General Assembly High-Level action event aimed at invigorating political momentum on climate change, highlighting its deep links to the UN 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development.
 
Guterres said his messages to the meeting are simple.