Pacific Island countries

New Zealand to support Pacific neighbours in accessing Covid-19 vaccines

Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta confirmed $75 million had been earmarked to support Pacific and global vaccine access and roll-out. 

“New Zealand is pursuing a portfolio of potential Covid-19 vaccines to ensure we have flexibility and choice in the fast-moving global marketplace. 

"We want to make sure Pacific countries can also access suitable options, and have the support they need to run successful immunisation campaigns,” she says.

Pacific tourism industry wiped out by Covid-19

Thousands of jobs in countries like Fiji, Samoa and Tonga are dependent on visitor numbers, which have fallen to zero.

Thousands of jobs have already been lost, with resorts and hotels closing in Fiji, the Cook Islands and Samoa, countries where tourism makes up more than half the economy.

And the ILO said with the pain brought by the pandemic expected to be long-lasting, workers with previously stable incomes are sliding into poverty.

Many of these people are also informal workers, with few protections if their jobs fall through.

Pacific nations take aim at NZ tag football organisers

The issue has come to light yet again after concerns were raised at the Tag Football World Cup held in Sydney last year when a Samoan team competing had not been recognised by the Samoan government.

And now American Samoa has taken aim at the New Zealand Tag Federation (NZTFI) organisers with concerns surrounding the use of the name 'American Samoa' in recent events.

Mechanism to track finance

Pacific Island Forum Secretariat (PIFS) Climate Change Finance Advisor, Exsley Taloiburi, said the tracking tool is being tested in two countries with a report to be presented at the 2020 Forum Economic Ministers Meeting (FEMM).

Pacific trade deal PACER-Plus is PACER-minus

“The PACER-plus trade deal with the Pacific Islands, tabled in the Senate today, has not been signed by PNG and Fiji, the two largest Pacific island economies which together represent over 80% of GDP of the combined island economies,” AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today.

“Without the two largest Pacific Island economies, PACER-plus has failed as a regional agreement and should really be called PACER-minus.”

Pacific island countries vote to ban asbestos

The proposal to advance work on banning asbestos, championed by Cook Islands, was agreed to by representatives of the 21 Pacific island and five metropolitan members of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) at its Twenty-eighth Meeting of Officials.

Speaking on behalf of Cook Islands, Director of the Cook Islands National Environment Service, Mr Joseph Brider, expressed delight at the positive outcome.

Climate partnerships needed to tackle climate change in the Pacific

Latu presented a perspective on the ‘Need for Accelerated Climate Change Action’ at the 14th Regional Meeting (Pacific Region) of the ACP-EU Parliamentary Assembly in Vanuatu last week.

“The Pacific has done very little to contribute to the problem of climate change yet stand to suffer the most as a result of the actions of developed countries and some emerging economies,” he said.

Pacific trade deal weakened by Fiji, PNG, Vanuatu withdrawal: AFTINET

Dr Patricia Ranald, Convener of the Australian Fair Trade in Investment Network (AFTINET), said today that this is because the three largest Pacific island economies are saying there are no benefits for them.

Dr Ranald said that the text was released only two weeks ago. Pacific island, Australian and NZ community groups are calling for an independent analysis and time for proper public and parliamentary consultation about the deal.

Pacific nations may face droughts, floods if El Niño develops later this year

Conversely, the Eastern Pacific including countries such as Kiribati, Nauru, Northern Cook Islands and Tuvalu would have the opposite effects, with higher rainfall likely to lead to flooding, damage to roads and bridges, and pollution of water sources.

The alert was released this month by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environmental Programme (SPREP), a regional body for the protection and sustainable development of the region's natural resources. Twenty-two Pacific nations are members.

Pacific decries global climate fund access, delays

The message was heard loud and clear at a two-day meeting that preceded the United Nations biennial forum Mexico is hosting this week in its holiday city by the Caribbean Sea coast this week.
 
Island Business reports presentations at the meeting by SIDS and members of the UN lobby group, the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) showed that access to finance and delays in fund disbursement continued to hamper the implementation of GCF.