Monday 17 Jun 2019 | 07:20 | SYDNEY
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Pacific Islands

An appetite for risk? Food security in the South Pacific

This post is part of the Lowy Institute's South Pacific Fragile States series. The food security situation in the South Pacific is marked by a paradox. While there is increasing availability of – and demand for – protein-rich and resource-demanding food, such as meat and dairy, imports of

Predicting PNG’s election

The PNG national elections are upon us, and for a brief moment the attention of regional and global media will be focused on this vibrant and costly celebration of democracy. The issues leading into the elections have been well documented by myself and others. Bal Kama's recent piece for The

The democratic project under review in PNG elections

In a few days' time, Papua New Guinea will begin a national election with the theme 'Your Choice, Protect the Democracy - Election 2017'. Less than 42 years since independence, PNG's democratic project, while debatably healthy, is in need of review. The current Papua New Guinea

Understanding resilience and fragility in the South Pacific

This post is part of the Lowy Institute's South Pacific Fragile States series. After the US withdrawal from both the Paris Accord and Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Pacific Islands region is looking for reassurance from Australia and the US. The recent AUSMIN summit did produce a joint statement

Resilience has its limits in the Pacific Islands

Over the next 12 months, the Lowy Institute will release a series of research papers and Interpreter posts examining drivers of instability, and their impact on resilience and fragility, in the South Pacific. Please follow on Twitter: @Lowyinstitute #spfsproject 'Building resilience' has been one

The Grand Chief of PNG, Somare, bids farewell

After 49 years representing the people of the East Sepik Province in the Papua New Guinea Parliament, the man who led PNG to Independence, the Grand Chief, Sir Michael Somare, has retired. In this interview, recorded after Sir Michael’s farewell address to the Papua New Guinea Press Club, Sir

In PNG Highlands, conflict not limited to election season

As Papua New Guinea’s general elections approach, observers of the country are watching closely for signs the polls will trigger conflict, particularly in the volatile Highlands. This is understandable, given the pattern discernible from previous elections. But this narrative – of polling

Harnessing Papua New Guinea’s rugby league obsession

You don't have to spend much time in Papua New Guinea to realise that the country is obsessed with rugby league. The atmosphere in Port Moresby on a State of Origin night could rival the most devout regions of New South Wales or Queensland. Rugby league is considered PNG's national sport. In a

Book review: PNG, Australia’s Northern Shield?

Given the general gloom that seems to dominate contemporary Australian perceptions about Papua New Guinea’s ability to govern itself, it is refreshing to learn how mournfully doubtful successive Australian Cabinets in the late 1960s through to PNG’s independence in 1975 were about our former

What will drive votes in the PNG election

Papua New Guineans head to the polls on the 24 June in a national election which will be as fiercely contested as its precedents. Five years ago, intense candidate rivalry, carnival showmanship and controversy about electoral roll discrepancies were the hallmarks of a drawn-out contest between

Tanna: Bare feet on the Oscars red carpet

The Pacific is abuzz with the news that the film Tanna, released in 2015, has been nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Foreign Language Film category. Directed by Australian documentary-makers Bentley Dean and Martin Butler, the film was shot entirely on the island of Tanna in the southern

Solomon Islands: Big hopes for new constitution

By Catherine Wilson, a freelance journalist and correspondent reporting on Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands region Popular aspiration for a federal government in the Solomon Islands was not forefront in my mind as I sat under a tree in a squatter settlement on the edge of the capital,

No. 1 Neighbour: How culture binds Australia & PNG

Last weekend marked the close of the Queensland Art Gallery’s No. 1 Neighbour: Art in Papua New Guinea 1966-2016 exhibit. This was a landmark exhibition, the first in Australia to exclusively explore contemporary Papua New Guinean art. The exhibition showcased Papua New Guinea’s vibrant art

The benefits and challenges of ICT in PNG

Access to information and increased communications capacity bring major benefits to a society. New business opportunities emerge, as do opportunities for education. Access to ICT can broaden opportunities for capacity building and increase workforce productivity. The adoption and use of

How the ABC can avoid tuning out the Pacific

This week the ABC announced it would end shortwave transmission services to the Pacific region early next year, delivering an estimated $2.8 million in savings. It’s unclear exactly how much of these savings will be ring-fenced for the ABC’s already stripped-back Pacific services. I have a lot

John Key's departure a blow for the region

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key’s surprise resignation announcement has brought the curtain down on a political career that can only described as astonishingly successful. Still hugely popular in the second half of his third term, Key has displayed a remarkable ability to calm incipient

Pacific links: NZ quake, PNG budget, Palau election and more

By Harriet Smith, an intern with the Lowy Institute's Melanesia program New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said the cost of damage caused by this week's 7.8-magnitude earthquake in the nation's South Island, which killed two people, may reach over a billion dollars. New Zealand is part of the

Australia needs to invest in its relationship with PNG

Papua New Guinea is our nearest neighbour, yet few Australians have more than superficial knowledge of its culture and history. In a recent Lowy Institute poll, more Australians failed to identify the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea than failed to identify Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Pope

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